Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet

Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet for Seniors in the fight against heart disease

If you haven’t been keeping up with health-related news like us, a recent development in the fight against heart disease has been made through a study on the effects of the Mediterranean Diet. Here’s the study as published in The New England Journal of Medicine. In all styles of Mediterranean eating, whichever way you look at it, there are less sugars and less processed foods than typically found in the average American diet. Included within the Mediterranean Diet are: multiple vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, fish, nuts, wine, and olive oil. American dietician have told us for years that a low-fat, high-carb diet is the way to go, but this study proves otherwise. Even the seasonings in the Mediterranean Diet, like: rosemary, oregano, onions, and garlic are all anti-oxidants.

Although the diet as a whole is seen as a healthful way to eat, the study seemed to mainly focus on the added supplements of nuts and olive oil. Researchers created three groups of eaters. One group ate a general Mediterranean-type diet, supplemented with lots of extra-virgin olive oil. The next group ate the same diet, but instead augmented with a variety of nuts. The last group ate the standard, American, low-fat, high-carb diet mentioned above. What bears mentioning, is that the first two groups had little trouble sticking to their eating regiments, while group three did so poorly they needed extra intervention to bring them back towards the other groups. The Mediterranean Diet, in both forms, seemed to fulfill the cravings of the eaters. Ultimately, the first two groups did fairly similar while the last group failed. The first two groups experienced cardiovascular rejuvenation where there was fear of heart disease and continued health for those already healthy. While there was little weight loss, internal health was greatly improved.

The results were definitely promising, but the researchers did not cross-examine the Mediterranean Diet with other diets such as a Raw Foods Diet, Paleo-Diet, or other popular diets so it is impossible to determine which diet is best. What we do know from the study, however, is that the style of eating America is currently participating in is perfect for obesity, diabetes, and heart disease that other diets do not promote. So, in conclusion, take the easy steps of replacing your red meat, refined sugars, and processed foods with vegetables, fruit, fish, nuts, and olive oil.

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