Archive for the ‘Mediterranean Diet’ Category

What is the Mediterranean Diet?

What is the Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean diet is touted as the healthiest diet in the world and is the only diet actually endorsed by the Mayo Clinic.

In Western society, heart disease is the number one killer. According to CDC heart disease figures heart disease accounts for more than 25% of overall deaths per year, and that figure is increasing. The first step toward heart health is having a nutritionally balanced diet and an active lifestyle. The American Heart Association has introduced updated guidelines for the people’s healthy heart. Here is some basic information you ought to understand about it and what is the Mediterranean diet they referred to?

What is the Mediterranean Diet?

The main focus of the Mediterranean Diet is actually on vegetables, fruit, unrefined carbohydrates such as root vegetables and wholegrain cereals (refined carbohydrates being things like bread, cakes, pasta and refined cereals). It is also high in fibre, and low in sugar and fat, with the exception of olive oil which is a good fat, more on that in a moment. This describes the Mediterranean Diet in a nutshell. Once you successfully incorporate this in your routine, you certainly won’t go wrong.

What is the Mediterranean Diet Secret to Heart Health?

What is the Mediterranean Diet

Part of it is their approach to meat. The focus is less on red meat and more on poultry and seafood. In general, people in the Mediterranean only eat red meat a few times per month but they eat poultry at least once per week and fish and seafood even more often. As you can imagine, this reduces their cholesterol levels significantly, hence the reduction in heart disease risk. They also eat dairy products daily like goats cheese and yogurt.

Quite obviously, lower cholesterol levels are the first step toward heart health. But where do we get cholesterol from? Cholesterol comes from saturated (bad) fats found in dairy foods and meats. Another contributing factor to heart disease is sodium (salt), although our body needs sodium in western society we tend to consume too much sodium. As much as possible, avoid foods high in the saturated fats found in meat and dairy, when eating red meat, try to have lower fat options.

What is the Mediterranean diet’s answer to this? The secret is food high in healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats like those found in seafood, and olive oil. These also contain plenty of Omega 3 fatty acids which actively reduce cholesterol levels. Omega 3 fatty acids are found in fatty fish. Popular varieties in the Mediterranean diet include sardines, whitebait (often sold in beach bars, restaurants and huts). salmon, tuna, herring and mackerel. Other popular Mediterranean seafood choices include mussels, crab, shrimp, red mullet, squid, swordfish and sea bass..

There are many health benefits to following a Mediterranean diet. The people of the Mediterranean have a much lower incidence of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and even things like alzheimers as a result of their diet compared to those of us in western societies. All of these things lead to to living a long and healthy life.

The final secret of the Mediterranean diet is a healthy exercise regime. While most acknowledge the importance of exercise, very few people actually maintain a regular exercise routine. It doesn’t have to be anything strenuous, a 20-30 walk per day is sufficient. But many of us are too lazy to do this, we’d rather rely on the car. Or we feel that we are too busy to find time to exercise. But think of it this way, if we don’t find time, we’ll live less time!

So now you have the answer to what is the Mediterranean diet, to achieve healthy weight and heart is should also means keeping the blood flowing efficiently with the help of exercise.

Kalamata Olive Diet – Greek Mediterranean Diet

The Kalamata Olive Diet – What is it?

If you’ve searched online for the kalamata olive diet, odds are you’ve found very little information. In truth, the kalamata olive diet is simply a version of the Mediterranean diet which is also known as the Prasouda Diet or the Greek Mediterranean Diet.

What are Kalamata Olives?

Kalamata olives receive their name from the Kalamata region in Greece which is renowned for rich, flavorsome olives and olive oils. The city of Kalamata sits at the head of the Messinian Gulf with the famous city of Sparta to the north. Kalamata olives are sometimes called Greek olives and are a rich reddish purple color. When not used in production of olive oil they are generally pickled in either brine or vinaigrette. This pickling process gives them a dark brown or even black coloration. Kalamata olives contain anthocyanin (a pigment rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties).

Did you know that any fruit with a reddish or purplish color is high in antioxidants which play an important line in the body’s first line of defence against ‘free radicals’ which can cause cell mutations and lead to diseases like heart disease and cancer. In general, the darker the color, the more antioxidants they contain. So the more antioxidant rich food you consume the better and kalamata olives are an ideal source… they also taste delicious! Since Kalamata olives contain flavonoids, polyphenols and vitamin E, they help protect the body from these free radicals. They also support the immune system, improve heart health and reduce inflammation. Another advantage is that they are fiber rich.

Kalamata Olive DietThe Mediterranean Diet and Kalamata Olives

Like with many things, they should be eaten in moderation since 15 grams of Kalamata olives (approximately 3-5 olives) contain 45 calories due to their high fat content. Brined varieties should also be consumed sparingly due to their high sodium content.

What is the Mediterranean Diet or Kalamata Olive Diet?

As you would expect, the Kalmata Olive Diet involves eating plenty of Kalamata olives in various forms, whole, tapenade (olive paste),in oils and dressings etc. The main focus of the Kalamata Olive Diet or Mediterranean diet is on eating lots of fresh fruit and veggies, whole grains (but not processed foods like bread, cakes and pasta), olives and olive oils, fish and seafood (making it high in Omega 3), cheese and yoghurt. Eating red meat is limited to a few times per month. As with all healthy diets, an active lifestyle is recommended even if you just go for a 30 minute walk per day. Following a Mediterranean diet will create many desirable health benefits.

It is interesting to note that the Mediterranean diet is the only diet to be endorsed by the Mayo clinic. Check out this great articles on their site: Mediterranean diet – The heart Healthy diet

If you’re like me and feel that a meal is incomplete without some kind of ‘filler’ like potato, rice or pasta. You might like to try shirataki noodles. These noodles are similar in texture to rice noodles and are made from 97% water and 3% soluble fiber. Because your body is unable to convert fiber to energy, the noodles are effectively calorie free while still acting as a filler. To see a review of this product go to Miracle noodle review

For more information regarding the Mediterranean diet visit our Mediterranean Diet category.