Jumat, 13 Juni 2014

Mediterranean Heart Diet

The Mayo Clinic recommends a Mediterranean diet based on a 2007 study that showed both men and women lowered their risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Similar to the American Heart Association's diet, the Mediterranean diet's major components include eating lean proteins, high fiber and healthy fats and consuming a moderate amount of red wine. Find out more about the Mediterranean diet that can prevent high cholesterol and heart disease.


    The Mediterranean diet promotes the use of healthy fats and suggests limiting or totally avoiding saturated and hydrogenated oils. The use of monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are greatly encouraged. These fats include canola oil, olive oil, sunflower oil and sesame oil. The Mediterranean diet suggests using only olive oil. Polyunsaturated fats have both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce cholesterol levels and are not made by the body. These fats include vegetable oils, walnuts, salmon, trout, herring and mackerel.

Diet Components

    Most of the meals in the Mediterranean diet are full of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and nuts. Proteins are generally lean meats, fish or shellfish. The Mediterranean food pyramid indicates that red meat should be eaten only a couple times a month. Fish or shellfish can be eaten twice a week. Dairy products typically include low-fat cheeses such as goat or feta. Salt should be replaced by herbs and spices. Grains make up the whole lower portion of the food pyramid and include breads, white rice, potatoes and pasta. Choose a fibrous grain like rye bread, whole wheat pasta, couscous and brown rice.

Alcohol Consumption

    The consumption of alcohol is a much-debated topic in regard to the Mediterranean diet. Red wine is a good source of the antioxidants flavonoid phenolics found in the grape's skins and seeds, which increases HDL levels. HDL is considered the good cholesterol that removes bad cholesterol. The debate is centered around the fact that alcohol consumption can increase triglycerides, which are blood lipids that encourage weight gain. In fact, The American Heart Association suggests that people should not start drinking because of the diet. However, if you do drink and want to follow the diet, one glass of red wine for women and two for men are the suggested amounts. What type of red wine? A study by the University of California at Davis showed that cabernet sauvignon has the most heart healthy benefits.

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