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True Mediterranean Diet for Good Health

8 Sep

Ancel Keys, 96 is credited to the popularity of the Mediterranean diet. As a young scientist 50 years ago, Keys made the connection between where people lived, food they ate, and their state of health.  He found that people in Greece, Southern Italy, southern France and parts of North Africa and the Middle Eat ate a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, used olive oil and ate more fish. He compared this to the North American diet of foods high in saturated fat, beef and cheese. He found that heart disease, which was rare in countries with Mediterranean diet, was the leading cause of death in North America.  However, while the old fashioned Mediterranean diet might have been better modern day diet with white bread, pasta and white rice have been linked to increased risk of certain cancers, particularly thyroid, colon and stomach cancers. Italian fettuccine alfredo is laden with saturated fats.  A serving of fried calamari may have the cholesterol equivalent of a four-egg omelet.  These are not the kinds of food that Keys was talking about.

“The Mediterranean diet was nearly vegetarian, with fish and very little meat, and was rich in green vegetables and fruits,” says Keys, who is now a professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota. People living on Crete got more than one-third of their calories from fat, most of it from olive oil, which is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids. They also consumed wine every day.  Recapturing the Mediterranean Ideal  Here are a few tips from Dr. Keys: 1. Fill your plate with fresh fruits and vegetables. The people of Crete were called mangifolia, which means “leaf-eaters,” because they consumed so many leafy green vegetables, foraged from the steep hillsides of the island. Fruits and vegetables are low in calories and fat and very rich in nutrients, including cancer-fighting antioxidants. 2. If you’re dining out, look for entrees with plenty of vegetables and very little cream or cheese— a vegetarian pasta tossed in olive oil and a little parmesan cheese, for instance, or grilled fish served with steamed vegetables. 3. When buying bread, choose loaves made with whole grains and flours.Refined foods cause blood sugar levels to spike because they are so easily digested, says David Jacobs Jr, PhD, professor of epidemiology at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Less processed, whole grain ones provide a more sustained level of energy over a longer period, making them more healthful, says Keys. 4. For dessert, choose something that provides one serving of fruit.  How about baked apple slices, sprinkled lightly with cinnamon and sugar.  

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Meditteranean Diet

2 Sep

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What is Mediteranean diet? We hear it is good good for us and like most North Americans we get hooked on to fads, i.e. anything that is the buzz at the moment which promises to help us live longer, healthier lives.  After a few months or even weeks, the fad loses it flavour and we unconsciously revert to our old diets and/or habits. Right? 

All  original diets have their pros and cons.  In North America the old people lived longer, healthier lives because of the way they lived. They worked hard, ate good food (not processed) and they lived simply.  Eating well, living simply and taking time to rest and relax with family and friends are the  basic ingredients for a good life.

Mediteranean diets comprise of lots of fruits and vegetables, fish, lemon, lime, whole grains and olive oil. There are not a lot of processed foods and sweets in this diet.

The fish is baked or broiled and the meal is almost always accompanied by a glass of red or white wine. For those who cannot and does not like wine, a glass of grape juice would provide a stepsister kind of alternative.

What is important important is to have a variety of fruits and vegetables everyday and fish or lean meat. Forget about white flour – who invented this poison anyway? – Choose whole grains, taste the flavours.  Eat everything in moderation.   Excercise – start moving your body today

What you have here is in distilled advice of the so-called experts.  Enjoy your life in good health

Bon appetit!

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