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The Mediterranean Diet – diet that doesn’t restrict and promotes health

 

Chances are you have heard of the Mediterranean Diet – it is one of the most popular diets when it comes to health benefits. In fact, well known organizations such as the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the Canadian Diabetes Association commonly refer to the Mediterranean Diet as one of the most effective dietary patterns for prevention and management of chronic diseases such as heart diseases and diabetes.

 

The benefits of the Mediterranean diet include:
  • lower blood fat levels (i.e. total cholesterol, LDL or the “bad” cholesterol”, total glycerol)
  • improved systolic blood pressure
  • reduce risk of cardiovascular events and cardiovascular mortality
  • improve glycemic control (the blood sugar levels – significant to individuals with diabetes)
  • reduce incidence of Cancer including breast cancer
  • reduce risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases
The Mediterranean Diet is reflective of the dietary traditions in the Mediterranean region, including Greece. The highlights of the diet are as follows:
  • high intake of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, pulses and nuts
  • moderate to high consumption of olive oil – notably as a replacement of butter
  • moderate consumption of dairy products (such as cheese, yogurt)
  • using protein sources such as eggs, fish and poultry
  • low intake of red meat (no more than a few times a month)
  • use of herbs and spices to enhance the flavour of foods (instead of using salt)

If you are interested in some recipes, Mayo Clinic has some tasty ones posted on their page: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-l…
You can also assess your diet to see how it compares to a Mediterranean diet: http://www.cardiacrehabilitation.org.uk/..

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