Mediterranean Diet

Why Choose the Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean Diet is a nutritional concept, which is based upon the way a country eats its food, which states that constantly consuming olive oil and wine will lower the risk of heart disease and will combat many levels and factors of obesity. The Mediterranean diet derives its name from the countries which border the Mediterranean Sea such as Turkey and Greece. There are many variations of Mediterranean diet due to social, political ,and economical differences among the Mediterranean countries. However, the Mediterranean diet does share one common characteristic, which is the large consumption of olive oil, something that is noticeable in all cuisines of the Mediterranean.

Proponents of the Mediterranean diet also contend that red wine, which is consumed frequently in Mediterranean diets, is also a significant factor in reducing heart disease. Although this has not been proven yet, red wine is renowned for their antioxidant qualities and contains bioflavonoid, which helps to eliminate bad toxins in the body.

Although there are several variations of the Mediterranean diet, however all share the same characteristics. The Mediterranean diet consists of: * High consumption of olive oil (emphasis on consuming monounsaturated fat) * High consumption of fruits, vegetables, breads, cereals (such as pasta, beans, nuts and seeds). * Moderate consumption of fish and poultry. * Moderate consumption of wine (two to three times a week). * Low consumption of eggs and red meat.

It is a strange thing that Mediterranean countries such as Italy, Greece, and France have a few reported cases of heart disease when they are compared to their American counterparts, which all share a very similar diet. Both America and France consume very high levels of animal fat but France has comparatively lower cases of heath related disease. The lifestyle factor is something that can play a very big role in this such as walking more and being more active.

Current studies have now begun to investigate exactly how close the Mediterranean style diets are to the AHA (American Heart Association) dietary guidelines. It is evident that those who follow the Mediterranean diet consume less saturated fats then those who are on the average American diet. However, there are some key similarities. For instance, the USDA food guide pyramid comprises many of the foods that are emphasized in the Mediterranean diet.

If these studies prove that the Mediterranean diet is an effective way of reducing heart disease then it will have significant repercussions for the health community. There have been many attempts over the years to find the right diet that would specifically help lower risks of heart disease.  This can mean that diets are going to get completely transformed.  

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