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Have You Heard of the Mediterranean Diet?
The Heart-Healthy Lifestyle Improve Your Health With the Mediterranean Diet
Calorie-cutting diets have become a thing of the past. Instead of depriving our bodies of nutrients, we’ve turned to lifestyle changes. Losing weight and reaching a healthy nutritional balance isn’t easy, and a few months of eating 1,000 calories per day just doesn’t cut it. Enter the Mediterranean diet, a lifestyle change that’s become quite popular and effective. This diet is inspired by the traditional eating habits of people in southern Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Spain. According to the Mayo Clinic, it is a realistic and sustainable way to reduce disease-causing inflammation and lose weight, and it is one of the most heart- conscious ways of eating.
• Nuts and seeds • Legumes and beans • Herbs and spices • Whole grains • Wild-caught fish and seafood • High-quality, pasture-raised poultry, eggs, cheese, goat milk, and yogurt • Red meat, but only on special occasions • Daily glasses of red wine Following the Mediterranean diet has many benefits. The Mayo Clinic credits this lifestyle with reduced incidences of cancer and Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. In addition, women who eat a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil and mixed nuts may have a reduced risk of breast cancer. But there are still a lot of misconceptions surrounding this lifestyle change. Many people believe it costs a small fortune. However, if you craft meals with beans or lentils as your main source of protein and eat mostly plants and whole
grains, the Mediterranean diet is far less expensive than processed foods.
Some Mediterranean diet enthusiasts may believe that if a daily glass of wine is good for your heart, then three glasses per day is okay, too. While moderate amounts of red wine certainly have unique heart benefits, drinking too much has the opposite effect. The Mayo Clinic recommends no more than 5 ounces of wine daily for women and men over 65, and no more than 10 ounces per day for those under 65. Anything more is bad for your heart. But even if you switch over to Mediterranean-friendly recipes, your work doesn’t stop there. It’s also important to mirror the other ways Mediterraneans live their lives. When it’s time to eat, don’t rush or watch TV. Sit down, relax, and enjoy a leisurely meal with others. And of course, get plenty of exercise.
The Mediterranean lifestyle promotes heart- healthy foods, including the following:
• Fresh fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens and non-starchy veggies • Olive oil
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