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Why Mediterraneans have Better Hearts

Amongst the people of Greece, southern France, and parts of Italy … natural whole foods are a large part of the diet. Fruits and vegetables, fish, nuts, and olive oil are the heavy hitters in protecting your heart and lowering your blood pressure. Drinking wine with meals is an old custom … and gives even more health benefits.

The great thing about the Mediterranean diet is … it’s a pleasure to eat and you’re much more likely to stick with it. It’s easy to adopt this diet as there are no special requirements. Unlike the radical requirements of many fad diets, the Mediterranean diet doesn’t ask you to make impractical changes in your eating … it offers you a way of eating that you can maintain long-term. It will lead you to long-term health benefits.

Adopting the diet of  people who live around the Mediterranean Sea, particularly Greece, Italy, Spain and southern France could save your life from Heart Disease. Such people are only half as likely to die of heart disease as Americans.

Indeed, some researchers are convinced the Mediterranean diet is more agreeable way for Americans to save their hearts than is a lower-fat diet. No, the Mediterranean diet is not low-fat; in fact, Mediterraneans typically eat more fat than Americans do. But there is a BIG difference.

About three-fourths of all their fat calories come from monounsaturated fat, exemplified by olive oil. They also eat very little saturated animal fat. They rarely eat anything deep fried.  Instead, if there was oil involved, it was used to sauté vegetables, chicken or fish, and pasta in olive oil. Since mainly whole foods are eaten along the Mediterranean Sea … the deadly trans-fats — found in fast foods and bakery goods — are greatly reduced.

~ Living on a Sea Gives you Lots of Fish ~

Fish are a big part of the Mediterranean diet. Eating lots of fish has been recognized as being heart protective for quite a while, now. Especially, fatty fish are good for your heart and blood pressure … they are full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

Eating fish 2-3 times a week is a great way to lower blood pressure and ensure a long, healthy life.

~ Lots of Olive Trees Grow Along the Mediterranean Sea ~

Olive trees grow on sunny hillsides … providing both tasty olives and golden olive oil. Olive oil is used in most Mediterranean cooking … drizzled on rough chunks of whole-grain bread, mixed in salads, used in making tomato sauces. The flavonoids in virgin olive oil lower blood pressure and increase your levels of good HDL cholesterol.

That … and olive oil tastes great and gives off a wonderful fragrance when heated.

~ Nuts Are an Ancient Energy Source ~

Since the Stone Age, nuts have been an important source of energy. Shunned a few decades ago because of their high fat content … nuts were given a bum rap. The fats in nuts are good fats … healthy fats that will lower your blood pressure and protect your heart.

Just a handful of nuts — especially walnuts — is a tasty way to protect your heart.

~ Wash Your Meal Down With a Glass of Red Wine ~

A glass of red wine goes great with Mediterranean meals. Your heart will also enjoy the glass of wine. Red wine is rich in healthy flavonoids — anti-oxidants that protect your heart from dangerous free radicals. Enjoy a daily glass or two and lower your blood pressure … lower your risk of heart attack.

Recent studies have shown that light red wine drinkers have less risk than non-drinkers. Just don’t over-do it.

~ A Great Diet to Start Today ~

The main feature of the Mediterranean diet is the focus on natural whole foods … a shift away from unhealthy processed foods with their dangerous bad fats. And, the good thing is … it’s so easy to get started. Nothing radical … just ask those who live healthy lives along the Mediterranean Sea. Compare Healthy Diets

What makes monounsaturated fat better for the heart?

It is nicer to arteries, chemically speaking. It lowers bad LDL cholesterol, but not good HDL cholesterol. Additionally, monounsaturated fat has antioxidant activity that fends off artery damage from LDL cholesterol. In Italy, physicians have used olive oil as therapy after heart attacks. Such patients had better blood profiles, making them less vulnerable to future heart attacks.

Another reason olive oil is close to the hearts of health authorities is that nobody has found any danger in it. Presumably it is the only really safe fat our there. It is advisable to use only Extra Virgin, cold – pressed olive oil as it’s with the most antioxidant properties. Staples of the Mediterranean Diet

Monounsaturated fat is also concentrated in Almonds, Hazelnut, Canola and Avocado oils.

Foods Highest in Artery-Protecting Fats

  • Hazelnuts – 81%
  • Avocados – 80%
  • Olive Oil – 72%
  • Almonds – 71%
  • Canola Oil – 60%

Healthy Mediterranean Diet Recipes

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Healthy Mediterranean Diet Recipes

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