The Mediterranean diet is one of the most heart healthy diets out there today. In 2007 a study was done in the United States and it found that when both men and women followed a Mediterranean Diet it lowered their risk of heart disease and even cancer. The Mediterranean Diet involves eating all sorts of wonderful foods but also focuses on including some extra key ingredients proven to help keep a heart healthy.
In order to achieve these benefits, the Mediterranean diet involves lessening the consumption of red meat down to very little by substituting red meat with poultry or fish. It is also very important to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables, especially fresh fruits and vegetables that are enriched with high antioxidants, along with increasing the amount of grains ingested. These should be whole grains and lack in unhealthy trans-fats.
With the Mediterranean Diet Plan it is still okay to have fat in your diet. It is just about choosing the right kind of fats that are actually healthy and beneficial. Healthy fats include eating monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats are found in all types of olive oils. This type of fat can reduce the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is otherwise known as the bad cholesterol. Polyunsaturated fats are beneficial because they contain linolenic acid which is a type of omega 3 fatty acid. You can find this type of fat in nuts and canola oils. Omega 3 fatty acids work to help improve functioning of your blood vessels. The Mediterranean diet focuses on eliminating trans- fatty acids that are found in hydrogenated oils, as well as eliminating saturated fats because consuming either of these can lead to heart disease.
Another part of the Mediterranean diet includes drinking a limited amount of red wine. If you feel that you can consume alcohol in moderate amounts then the benefits of red wine can help you. It is recommended that approximately ten ounces of red wine a day for men under age 65, and five ounces of red wine a day for women and men over age 65, can give you added antioxidants and help to reduce blood clotting. Any more than these amounts daily can have adverse affects resulting in other types of health problems. You should always consult your doctor before adding any form of alcohol into your diet since other pre-existing health concerns could be burdened by the consumption of any amount of alcohol.
Overall the benefits of a Mediterranean diet seem very good for the heart but also many other parts of the body as well. The reports have found that with this diet you can lower your cholesterol, prevent certain types of cancer, improve your insulin levels, which results in your lessoning your chance for diabetes, and increasing your metabolism. With a higher metabolism this diet plan can help you maintain a healthy weight or help you lose a few extra pounds. This diet is very easy to follow as long as you pay attention to the foods you buy and pay close attention to how the foods you eat are prepared. Get better at reading the labels on your foods since sometimes the harmful ingredients, such as trans-fatty acids, can hide in foods that you would not expect to have them. The best part of this diet is it requires you to eat regular meals, it is just important to watch the types of food you put into your body. If you follow this plan you can definitely improve your health in many ways.