Mediterranean Diet For Heart Health
The Mediterranean diet has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and cholesterol. This diet focuses on limiting saturated fats and hydrogenated oils (trans fats), which both cause heart disease. There is emphasis on consuming high amounts of fruits and vegetables and extra virgin/virgin olive oils, which are least processed and have compounds which have antioxidant effects. Red wine in moderation is also part of the diet which has also been shown to reduce heart disease. Refined carbohydrates and processed foods are replaced with wholesome, healthy food choices.
- High intake of vegetables, fruits and legumes
- Whole grains instead of refined carbohydrates
- Healthy fats (extra virgin olive oil and canola oil)
- Fish and poultry at least twice a week
- Red meat only a few times a month
- Low fat dairy/Eggs no more than 2 to 4 times per week
- Herbs and spices for flavoring
- Red wine in moderation
The Mediterranean diet focuses on healthy fats and healthy carbohydrates. Saturated fat is limited as well as refined carbohydrates. The combination of healthy fats and healthy carbohydrates equals foods high in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants which prevents against heart disease. Studies have shown that people who follow a Mediterranean diet have improved cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure levels. The key is healthy food choices for better heart health.