The Mediterranean Diet for Heart Health and Longevity.

The Mediterranean Diet for Heart Health and Longevity.

Year after year, the Mediterranean diet is ranked as one of the top diet by health experts and an overwhelming amount of research shows it can lead to sustainable weight loss, improve heart health and brain function… even prevent chronic conditions like diabetes and cancer. A recent study found that swapping out saturated fats like butter, mayonnaise, and dairy fat for olive oil could have benefits on your heart health, increase longevity, lower your risk for cancer, and improve cognitive functioning. The Mediterranean diet does not fit into the restrictive calorie-driven framework of an actual “diet.” But it’s not quite as simple as chowing down on pasta, pizza, and hummus, either. The Mediterranean diet is actually more of a style of eating that involves lots of olive oil, fresh fruits and veggies, fatty fish, and even the occasional glass of red wine. Here’s everything you need to know to embrace the number diet in the world. What is the Mediterranean diet meal plan? The Mediterranean diet is about the foods your body needs, rather than foods you should restrict. There are not any major rules about counting your calories, sugar intake, or macros. It simply encourages enjoying whole foods in moderation. Mediterranean diet foods list Creating a Mediterranean-approved grocery list is simple, and there are more foods you can add to your cart than foods you should avoid. Ultimately, think of the Mediterranean diet as a plant-based eating plan with fish, poultry, and dairy occasionally thrown into the mix.

Eat plenty of: • Colorful fruits and vegetables • Fish and other types of seafood at least twice per week • Olive oil • Nuts and seeds • Beans and legumes • Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and oats • Fresh herbs

Eat in moderation: • Poultry and eggs • Dairy like milk, cheese, and yogurt • Red wine (up to one glass per day for women and two glasses per day for men, if you choose to drink

Limit your intake: • Refined grains and oils • Red meat or deli meats • Processed or packaged foods • Foods high in added sugar, such as pastries or candies Benefits of the Mediterranean diet?

Heart health The Mediterranean diet is known to protect your ticker. One large study of more than 30,000 women found that adherence to the eating plan over a 10-year period lead to lower risk of heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure. In another study, participants had lower blood pressure after following the Mediterranean diet for just six months.

Lower cancer risk People living in the Mediterranean region have lower rates of cancer than those in Northern Europe or the United States, and the authors credit this impressive stat to following a Mediterranean diet. Research has also found that loading up on Mediterranean food staples can decrease the levels of inflammatory markers that are associated with tumor growth. Weight loss Nearly 6,000 adults with Type 2 diabetes or risk for cardiovascular disease were assigned a Mediterranean diet plan with olive oil, a Mediterranean diet plan with nuts, or a control diet. Those who followed the Mediterranean diet with nuts saw an improved difference in waistline over a five-year period.

Type 2 diabetes The Mediterranean diet was associated with better glycemic control than other diets. Translation: Researchers believe that the high intake of polyphenols (plant compounds that act as antioxidants) from fruits, vegetables and nuts can improve insulin sensitivity and therefore reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

How to start the Mediterranean diet When planning your Mediterranean menu, think outside the box and include colorful ingredients, such as wild blueberries, in your daily diet. “Wild blueberries boast anthocyanins, a type of antioxidant that may help boost cognitive function, inhibit growth of certain cancer cells. Eating fish at least twice per week. Fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, and herring have the omega-3’s EPA and DHA, which can help you lower risk of heart disease.