Monday, February 7, 2011
The Mediterranean Diet for Heart Month
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and so, February is designated as “American Heart Month” to help encourage Americans to improve their heart health and battle heart disease. Along with regular cardiovascular exercise, following a healthy diet is one of the best lifestyle choices one can make to keep the heart healthy and prevent heart attacks. More specifically, the “Mediterranean Diet” has shown to be incredibly effective for prolonging life, preventing heart attacks, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s (British Medical Journal, September 2008).
The “Mediterranean Diet” itself is a broad term used to describe the general diet of more than 1.5 people that were followed for about 18 years through combined studies. Basically, the healthiest people in these studies ate loads of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts, beans, fish, wine in moderation, and ate no red meat and little (or no) cheese. The most benefit was found with those people who consumed the most vegetables and fish, while the most harm (i.e: premature death, heart attacks, cancer, and arthritis) was found in people who ate red meat regularly.
I encourage you to try to follow the Mediterranean diet during the month of February as a tribute to American Heart Month and a way to get you on track for a healthy diet. I recommend you base each meal on plant-based foods (vegetables, whole grains, beans, olive oil, herbs, spices), and consume fish and seafood at least 2x/week. Eat yogurt or low-fat dairy on a daily basis and consume poultry, eggs, and wine in moderation (small quantities daily, or moderate portions a few times each week). If you have more questions about this diet or would like to meet with me to tailor a Mediterranean meal plan to your needs contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mediterranean Diet Resources: