Latest on the Mediterranean Diet

November 05, 2015

For years,he Mediterranean diet has been lauded as a healthful, delicious way of eating . It's known to be heart healthy and reduces risks of cancer. It helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels, reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and promotes overall longevity! These claims are supported by years of research from well-respected institutions around the world. In fact, last year researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and Cambridge Health Alliance conducted a study involving the effects of a Mediterranean-style diet on young, working adults in the United States. For this study, researchers studied the medical and lifestyle data that included dietary habits of 780 male firefighters in the Midwest and designed a 'Mediterranean diet score' to assess diets of the participants. The study was published in the online journal PLOS ONE. The researchers found that the firefighters who followed a Mediterranean-style diet with the greatest regularity have a 35% decreased metabolic disease risk factors that include large waistlines, high triglyceride levels, low "good" cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and raised blood sugar. They also demonstrated a 43% lower risk of weight gain compared with the firefighters with the least adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet. Additionally, new research from Columbia University in New York looks at the physical effects of the Mediterranean diet on the brain. For this study, which was published in the journal Neurology, researchers focused on the diets of 674 participants with normal cognitive functioning who live in northern Manhattan. The average age of the participants was 80 years old. For the study, the participants completed forms detailing their eating habits and underwent magnetic resonance imaging. The findings? The total brain volume of those who had closely followed a Mediterranean-style diet was on average one-half ounce greater than that of those who had not done so ... an amount equal to approximately five years of aging! How do you incorporate a Mediterranean-style diet into your nutritional regimen? It's simple. In fact, many of us already include the basics in our nutritional regimens!
  • High consumption of beans, nuts, cereals (in the form of wheat, oats, barley, corn or brown rice) and seeds.
  • Fresh fruit as dessert.
  • Cheese and yogurt as the main source of dairy foods.
  • Low to moderate consumption of fish or poultry
  • A maximum of 7 eggs per week — including eggs used in food preparation.
  • If red meat is part of your normal diet, try to eat a maximum of 12 to 16 ounces of lean cuts per month.
  • Use olive oil as the principal source dietary fat, replacing other fats and oils.
  • Top off your healthy diet with regular physical activity and start reaping the benefits of a healthy lifestyle today!
Another possible benefit of the Mediterranean diet ... prevent  or reduce the effects of aging on the brain with a healthy diet!

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