Women who follow a heart-healthy Mediterranean diet may live a healthier, longer life, a new study suggests. Eating a Mediterranean diet may be your key to living longer. The diet has been consistently linked with health benefits that include helping you manage your weight, and it can lower your risk for chronic issues such as cardiovascular disease.
Since heart disease is the leading cause of death for women and osteoporosis strikes thousands of women each year, it's especially important to know which foods are heart-healthy and good for the bones. Choose food sources that contain important nutrients and get into the habit of eating a variety of foods every day. The Mediterranean Diet is far more effective than crash diets or skipping meals for weight maintenance and healthy bodies.
The women who ate healthier not only lived longer, but they also thrived. They were less likely to have any major chronic diseases and more likely to have no impairment in physical functioning, mental health or thinking skills.
So, what do you mean by a Mediterranean Diet?
The Mediterranean diet is much more than a diet. It's a lifestyle derived from vigorous and diverse culinary traditions. It's a modern nutritional recommendation inspired by the traditional dietary patterns of Greece, South Italy and Spain. Now a day's people are taking more and more online diet consultations to follow such kind of healthy diet.
Mediterranean diet recipes primarily rely on:
- Plant based foods. Fruits, Vegetables, Whole grains, legumes and nuts are the basis for most dishes and take up most of the plate.
- Saturated fats such as butter are replaced with healthy fats; olive oil is a staple of the region.
- Reduced sodium. In Mediterranean cooking, herbs and spices such as cardamom, mint is used to flavor dishes instead of salt.
- Less red meat which means less saturated fat. Typically, red meat is eaten once a week at most. Leaner fish and poultry are eaten at least twice a week.
- Drinking red wine in moderation (optional).
- The diet also recognizes the importance of being physically active and enjoying meals with family and friends.
The Mediterranean diet makes plant-based foods the star of every meal. Typically people in the Mediterranean region average six or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
Nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains and bread (without butter) are part of daily diet as well. And be sure to keep good red wine in stock; glass or two is perfect accompaniment to an authentic Mediterranean meal.
Benefits of following Mediterranean diet:
- A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans and seeds provides thousands of micro nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that can help protect against cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer's disease, among other conditions, expert says.
- Mono saturated fats found in avocado, fish, canola and olive oils are anti-inflammatory and fight disease at the cellular level. Olive oil with its rich mono saturated fat content has gotten lots of attention.
- Mediterranean diet's protective effect against obesity and type 2 diabetes is likely due to its high proportions plant foods, fish and olive oil, along with moderate consumption of alcohol.
- A Mediterranean diet is high in fiber, which slows down digestion preventing wild swings in blood sugar; reduces insulin resistance (a precursor of type 2 diabetes and improves insulin sensitivity to reduce obesity and type 2 diabetes).
Getting started with Mediterranean diet:
The Mediterranean diet is healthy and delicious way to eat. Many people who switch to this style of eating say they will never eat any other way. Here are some specific steps to get you started:
- Eat more veggies and fruits and switch to whole grains: A variety of plant foods should make up the majority of your meals. They should be minimally processed - fresh and whole are best. Include fruits and vegetables in every meal and eat them for snacks as well. Switch to whole grain bread and cereals (like whole grain rice and pasta). Fruit salads are a wonderful way to eat variety of salads.
- Eat Nuts: Nuts and seeds are good sources of fiber, protein and healthy fats. Keep almonds, pistachios, cashews and walnuts for quick snack. Choose natural peanut butter rather than added with hydrogenated fats.
- Choose right oil: Try olive and canola oil as a healthy replacement for butter and margarine. Lightly drizzle it over vegetables. After cooking pasta, add a touch of olive oil, some garlic and green onions for flavoring. Dip bread in flavored olive oil or lightly spread it on whole-grain bread for a tasty alternative to butter. Try tahini (sesame seeds) as a dip or spread for bread too.
- Reduced salt: Herbs and spices make food tasty and can stand in for salt and fat in recipes.
- Eat fish: Eat fish at least twice a week. Fresh or water-packed tuna, salmon, trout, mackerel and herring are healthy choices. Grill, bake or broil fish for great taste and easy cleanup. Avoid breaded and fried fish.
- Limit the intake of red meat: Limit red meat to no more than a few times a month. Substitute fish and poultry for red meat. When choosing red meat, make sure it's lean and keep portions small (about the size of a deck of cards). Also avoid sausage, bacon and other high-fat, processed meats.
- Choose low-fat dairy: Limit higher fat dairy products, such as whole or 2 percent milk, cheese and ice cream. Switch to skim milk, fat-free yogurt and low-fat cheese.
Better diet quality at midlife seems to be strongly linked to greater health and well-being in persons surviving to older ages. Start Mediterranean Diet today!
For dietary advises, you can online consult Doctor Insta's Diet & Nutrition Experts.