The Mediterranean diet is really a lifestyle. It encourages eating healthy fats like those found in olive oil, nuts, beans and fish. Those who follow it eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. And they indulge in a glass of wine with dinner.
The Mediterranean diet isn't new — it's actually the lifestyle of folks in the Mediterranean region and has been for a long while.
"An abundance of greens, veggies and fresh fruit, coupled with healthy fats found in olives, nuts, seeds and fish, not only help to lower cholesterol and keep the heart healthy, but have amazing anti-aging benefits and contribute to longevity. It's the foundation of every healthy diet,” according to registered holistic nutritionist Peggy Kotsopoulos.
But new findings of a study show that this way of eating could have even greater benefits than anyone imagined. The study, published on the New England Journal of Medicine's website, found that the Mediterranean diet can significantly reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and deaths. In fact, it could prevent 30 percent of them.
This isn't a diet that will lead to weight loss, but rather to a healthier body. It focuses on healthy fats, and those who follow it avoid things like red meat and processed foods.
"It is such an incredibly fresh diet — you know exactly what you are putting into your body. And the high level of monounsaturated fats means it's heart-healthy," since studies suggest these fats may help reduce risk of heart disease, says chef Nisa Burns of Kitchenability.com, author of Kitchenability 101: The College Student’s Guide to Easy, Healthy, and Delicious Food.
Indeed, natural foods are the cornerstone of Mediterranean eating. And this can really improve your health.
“The Mediterranean diet is a very simple way of eating composed of the most natural and freshest of foods. Nothing processed, nothing refined," says Kotsopoulos.
Burns and Kotsopoulos shared a few favorite Mediterranean diet recipes.
Recipe courtesy of Peggy Kotsopoulos, host of Peggy K’s Kitchen Cures on Veria Living and author of Kitchen Cures
Recipe courtesy of Chef Nisa Burns (of Kitchenability.com), author of Kitchenability 101: The College Student’s Guide to Easy, Healthy and Delicious Food
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