Heart and Vascular

The Mediterranean Diet: Is it Heart Healthy?

Mar 4 2020

For those of you searching for new eating habits, you’ve probably come across the Mediterranean diet. Not only has this diet been trending recently, studies also show it has ties to increases in heart health.

Interest in the Mediterranean diet began with the realization that heart disease causes fewer deaths in countries like Greece and Italy compared to the United States and northern Europe. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest eating plans around.

What is the Mediterranean diet?

The Mediterranean diet focuses on the consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats. Embracing the diet introduces you to more balanced and healthy nutrition.

The following foods are at the center of the Mediterranean diet:

  • Olive and canola oil
  • Fish
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Lean meat
  • Beans
  • Eggs
  • Whole grain bread, pasta, cereal, etc.
  • Fruits and vegetables – lots of them

Dairy is modestly applied to the diet and red meat is allowed occasionally. Refined sugar and flour are phased out almost entirely from most meals.

Is the Mediterranean diet heart healthy?

The Mediterranean diet has long been considered by researchers to be a diet that leads to longer and healthier living. It can help reduce cardiovascular risks as well as the chances of developing diabetes and high cholesterol. Additionally, it can reduce the risk of dementia, depression, and breast cancer among other health benefits. As with any diet, it is also important to participate in routine physical activity.

Before making any major changes to your current diet, be sure to consult with your primary care physician.

Learn more about the nutrition services offered at Bon Secours.

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