Mediterranean Diet for a Healthy Heart

Robin Reichert By Robin Reichert, 20th May 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Diet & Nutrition

Keep your heart healthy by eating a Mediterranean diet. Giving up fried foods, processed wheat products and red meat never tasted so good.

Mediterranean Diet for a Healthy Heart

The people of the Mediterranean region enjoy a flavorful and healthy diet. Traditional foods from countries like Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Libya, Malta, Morocco, Portugal and Spain are low in saturated fat and high in fiber. Various reports have suggested that heart disease rates and deaths from heart attacks are lower in Mediterranean countries than in the United States. The heart health of the Mediterranean people may be due in part to diet and in part to more physical exercise. Adopting a Mediterranean diet and getting more exercise may help reduce your risk of developing heart disease.

The Mediterranean diet consists of fruits, vegetables, potatoes, beans, nuts, seeds and grains like bread. Olive oil is used to prepare these foods. Wine is served with most meals, and red meats and eggs are rare in the Mediterranean diet. Dairy, chicken and fish are eaten occasionally. Begin to transform your diet to be more Mediterranean in makeup and flavor by replacing vegetable, corn and canola oils with olive oil. Don't use butter or margarine either, instead dip flavorful breads in warm olive oil. Vegetables are low in calories, high in fiber and loaded with beneficial antioxidants. Try some Greek vegetarian dishes a few times each week. Greek food is flavorful and healthy.

Cut red meat out of your diet, or consume red meat no more than once each month. Vegetables are the staple foods in a Mediterranean diet. It may be difficult to break old eating habits, but numerous studies indicate that eating a Mediterranean diet can reduce the overall risk of death from heart attack. Red meat is bad for your heart, because it is filled with saturated fat. The Mediterranean diet does not include steaks and ground beef. Beef is eaten rarely and should be as lean as possible. You can replace ground beef with ground turkey burgers on whole wheat buns to help wean you off the red meat. Instead of mayonnaise, pickles, mustard and ketchup, add a slice of tomato, avocado and lettuce to a turkey burger. Changing your diet may contribute to a longer, healthier life.

Replace the white bread in your breadbox with whole grain bread. Refined wheat products, such as white bread and pasta, are high in fat and low in fiber content. Whole grain foods like cereals are rich in vitamins and minerals not found in unfortified refined wheat products. Fish and chicken contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for heart health. They are also an ideal source of low-fat protein. Fish and chicken in the Mediterranean diet is usually broiled or baked, but never fried. There are no fried foods in the Mediterranean diet.


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Meet the author

author avatar Robin Reichert
I'm an AFPA certified nutrition consultant, AFPA certified personal trainer, NASM certified youth exercise specialist, as well as an online fitness coach and a professional freelance writer.

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