The Mediterranean diet has long been shown to be one of the most heart-healthy eating plans. Even calling it a diet may be wrong – it is more a lifestyle way of eating. Although the Victor crew has mentioned it in passing before, let’s delve into it a little more.
As per the Mayo Clinic, the key components are:
Eating primarily plant-based foods
Replace butter with healthy fats
Use herbs and spices and not salt for flavor
Limit red meat to just a couple-few times a month
Eat fish and poultry at least twice a week
Optionally drink red wine in moderation
Fruits, veggies, nuts, grains:
These are the mainstay of the diet. Greek residents average nine servings a day of fruits and vegetables and eat very little red meat. Try to stick to whole grains. Bread is usually eaten plain or dipped in olive oil. Nuts can be eaten in small amounts (not candied, honey-roasted, or salty).
Olive oil is the main oil used. Extra-virgin or virgin are least processed. Fatty fish is another source of healthy fat, like salmon or albacore tuna. Low-fat dairy as much as possible.
Moderation means about 5 oz for women and for men over 65, and 10 for men under 65.
Desserts should be limited as well.
Here’s a new reason to use extra virgin olive oil. It may lead to a lower risk of heart disease and dementia but now research is linking it to lower risk of Alzheimer’s as well. Of course the tests were done on mice. Olive oil is a major component of the Mediterranean diet.
They are finding it helps preserve brain cell health. It activates the process of disintegrating toxins in that accumulate between the cells. Unfortunately, the report does not give specific amounts that would have to be taken in per pound of weight in humans.
In your quest to eat healthy, there are times you need to use oil. Try some of these:
Coconut Oil – contains vitamins E, K and iron. They are retained at higher temperatures.
Flax Seed Oil – contains omega-3 fatty acids. Can be used unheated.
Ghee – a type of butter that is free of impurities, use sparingly.
Grapeseed Oil – can work at high temperatures to fight cancers and lower cholesterol.
Hemp Oil – this also contains omega-3 fatty acids and should be used unheated.
Olive Oil – Can be used in sauces or salads.
Sesame Oil – Need just a small amount but is more expensive.
Avocado Oil – contains vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids.
Macadamia Nut Oil – good source of monounsaturated fats.
You’ve probably heard of the Mediterranean diet. The secret may be the olive oil most often found in the salad. Eating fats like the ones in olive oil along with the leafy greens creates a kind of fatty acid that lowers blood pressure. Nitro fatty acids are formed when you eat spinach, celery, and carrots with avocado, nuts and olive oils (healthy fats.)
The Mediterranean diet along with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts can reduce stroke, heart failure and heart attacks incidents.
The Mediterranean diet consists of a lot of vegetables, fish, grains, red wine, fatty nuts, and oils.
Healthy eating and exercise can lead to a healthier heart. The Victor crew found some tips from Health.com to help prevent heart attacks, like avoiding unhealthy food and eating foods rich in nutrients, fiber, and healthy fats.
- Salmon and other fatty fish (like sardines and mackerel) – they contain omega-3 fatty acids
- Oatmeal (and other whole grains) – high in soluble fiber
- Blueberries – antioxidants, flavonoids
- Dark chocolate (yum!) – flavonoids (make sure it’s 60-70% cocoa)
- Citrus fruits – flavonoids, vitamin C
- Soy – protein without unhealthy fats and cholesterol
- Potatoes (not fried) – potassium
- Tomatoes – potassium, antioxidants
- Nuts – fiber, vitamin E
- Legumes – protein without unhealthy fats
- Extra-virgin olive oil – monosaturated fats
- Red wine – (only one per day) resveratrol (you can also get this from peanut butter and grapes)
- Green tea – antioxidants
- Broccoli, spinach, kale – antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, minerals
- Flax or chia seeds – omega-3 fatty acids
- Avocado – monounsaturated fats, antioxidants, potassium
- Pomegranate – antioxidants
~ Steve Victor