The Mediterranean diet is not a new fad diet … dreamed up by a weight-loss “guru” or as a new health measure. It actually dates back thousands of years ago. People living along the Mediterranean Sea have been eating a natural diet that has been proven in numerous studies to reduce the risk of heart attack and keep blood pressure from rising.
The great thing about the Mediterranean diet is that it is sustainable and appetizing, so you’re much more likely to stick with it. It’s easy to adopt this diet as there are no special requirements. Unlike the radical requirements of many fad diets, the Mediterranean diet doesn’t ask you to make impractical changes in your eating it offers you a way of eating that you can maintain long-term.
Amongst the people of Greece, southern France, and parts of Italy, natural whole foods are a large part of the diet. Fruits and vegetables, fish, nuts, and olive oil are the heavy hitters in protecting your heart and lowering your blood pressure. Drinking wine with meals is an old custom, and it gives even more health benefits.
The Mediterranean diet doesn’t look at fats as bad in general. Instead, it promotes selecting the good kinds of fat which such as low saturated fats omega-3 fatty acids, and monounsaturated fats.
Since mainly whole foods are eaten along the Mediterranean Sea the deadly trans-fats found in fast foods and bakery goods are greatly reduced. Eating lots of fish has been recognized as good protection for the heart for quite a while, now. Especially, since fatty fish are good for your cardiovascular systems and blood pressure. Eating fish 2-3 times a week is a great way to lower blood pressure and ensure a long, healthy life.
Olive trees grow on sunny hillsides providing both tasty olives and golden olive oil. Olive oil is used in most Mediterranean cooking drizzled on rough chunks of whole-grain bread, mixed in salads, used in making tomato sauces. The flavonoids in virgin olive oil lower blood pressure and increase your levels of good HDL cholesterol. That and olive oil tastes great and gives off a wonderful fragrance when heated.
Since the Stone Age, nuts have been an important source of energy. Shunned a few decades ago because of their high-fat content, nuts were given a bum rap. The fats in nuts are good healthy fats that will lower your blood pressure and protect your heart.
A glass of red wine goes great with Mediterranean meals. Your heart will also enjoy the glass of wine. Red wine is rich in healthy flavonoids antioxidants that protect your heart from dangerous free radicals. Enjoy a daily glass or two to lower your risk of heart attack. Recent studies have shown that light red wine drinkers have less risk than non-drinkers. Just don’t over-do it.
The main feature of the Mediterranean diet is the focus on natural whole foods a shift away from unhealthy processed foods with their dangerous bad fats. And, the good thing is it’s so easy to get started. Nothing radical just ask those who live healthy lives along the Mediterranean Sea.