Monday, 17 November 2014

Doctors back the Mediterranean Diet as a sure way to improve health

Doctors back the Mediterranean Diet as a sure way to improve health
Doctors back the Mediterranean Diet as a sure way to improve health
Doctors writing an editorial in November’s issue of the Postgraduate Medical Journal have argued that the “obesity epidemic and its associated adverse health consequences is one of today's important public health challenges”. They reason that we often make  decisions on the food we buy and eat are on auto-pilot, but that if we regularly followed the principles of the Mediterranean Diet, it would be a sure way to improve health. Research has shown that people eat the traditional diet of the Mediterranean region appear to have lower rates heart disease and diabetes compared to that generally found in northern Europe and America. 
Pepper & Bean Chilli Pot on the Mediterranean Diet
Pepper & Bean Chilli Pot on the Mediterranean Diet

What is the Mediterranean Diet?

Compared to the diets of northern Europe and America, traditionally people in the Mediterranean eat more:
  • fruit and vegetables
  • wholegrain breads and cereals, 
  • pulses (peas, beans and lentils)
  • nuts and seeds 
  • fish, both white and oily varieties
and less:
  • high saturated fat dairy 
  • red meat
They also enjoy moderate alcohol consumption and are exposed to higher levels of sunshine, which along with the oily fish in their diets, results in healthy levels of vitamin D.

Is the Mediterranean Diet a Low Fat Diet?

This may come as a surprise, but the Mediterranean Diet is not a low fat diet per se! However, critically, it is a diet that is a low saturated fat diet, as much less of the fat comes from saturated sources like butter, fatty meats, pastry or dairy fat.
The Mediterranean Diet is a healthy diet as it contains superfoods such as:
  • olive oil and nuts which are rich in monounsaturated fats that are heart healthy
  • seafood and oily fish, a good source of omega 3 fatty acids
  • a wide variety of wholegrain cereals, fruit, vegetables and nuts, rich in potassium, antioxidants including vitamins E and C, carotenoids and flavonoids, and B vitamins including folic acid
  • high levels of soluble fibre from wholegrain cereals, vegetables, fruit, beans and peas
  • beta glucan rich foods such as oats, shiitake mushrooms & pearl barley. 
However, as the editorial in the Postgraduate Medical Journal pointed out, people often find it hard to translate following the Mediterranean Diet into everyday eating and meals. Milly White’s Easy Low Fat and Low Cholesterol Recipe Mediterranean Diet Cookbook helps with this dilemma, providing: 
  • Over 100 Easy Mediterranean Diet Recipes 
  • Full Meal Plans for Weight Loss Diets or Weight Maintenance Health Eating 
  • Everyday Recipes for One or Two
  • Satisfying Recipes for Family Meals, Kids and even Entertaining 
  • Recipes and Options for Vegetarian Cooking
  • Recipes that use healthy, natural, wholesome, delicious foods 
  • Recipes that are low in saturated fat and salt but incredibly high in flavour and taste.

As a Paperback & eBook from Amazon:

As an eBook from:
  

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