We all know that the Mediterranean Diet is one of the healthiest diets in the world with its choice of heart healthy foods, which have known positives for lowering LDL cholesterol and improving longevity. But few understand that this diet is as much about eating as it is about an entire lifestyle based on centuries of agricultural know-how and practices of the Mediterranean region.
Most facts about Mediterranean nutrition mentioned in a plethora of books and websites, stress on the associated benefits of olive oil, seafood, fruits, nuts and berries. As a result, it is easy to be misguided and disillusioned if the effects of following the Mediterranean diet as a food-only regimen are not immediate or apparent. Hence, it is essential to get your diet information from reliable sources.
Mediterranean Lifestyle is the key to good health
The Mediterranean diet is one of the world’s easiest-to-follow food regimes in the world. As a set of practices, too, it focuses on stress-free, mildly active living. One of the most underrated but highly effective practices followed by Europeans is that they walk a lot. Doctors have always recommended walking as the most attainable way of achieving a healthy weight and cardiovascular fitness. It is also associated with improved moods, stronger bones and muscles and a more balanced posture and coordination. A half hour of walking is usually enough to maintain good health.
Another little known fact, which the Italians are well versed with, is the habit of light breakfasts. A typical example of a light meal is a bread croissant with a spread of chocolate-hazelnut. Butter and jam, with a side of fruit, is quite common in this region. Breakfast is definitely the most important meal of the day, helping the body kickstart its metabolism. However, the quality of the food that you eat and not the quantity should be the focus of your efforts. A smaller breakfast should be complemented by activity and more frequent meals to counter the effects of a lull in metabolic activity.
Everything to be taken in Moderation
The best part of the Mediterranean food regimen is that it does not prohibit wine, eggs, milk or meat. However, Italian cuisine contains very few of these. Moderation is the keyword here. Wine continues to be a part of Italian meal staples. Red wine, in particular, is said to contain resveratrol – linked with lowering the risk of heart disease.
Emphasis on Seafood
Much of the Med Diet consists of seafood – a rich source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. The latter is known to decrease the amount of bad cholesterol in the body, leading to a decrease in plaque build-up associated with coronary artery disease.
Publicly funded websites which have sprung into action after the fact that nearly 55% of American adults were found to be taking cholesterol lowering medication, contain some trustworthy literature. However, a majority of sites purporting to contain authentic Mediterranean diet information may simply be compiling information that is known and popular. They may not offer a planned diet chart prepared by a certified nutritionist, recipes and very importantly, offer counseling .
The mediterraneannutritionist.com is a cut above the rest. It offers a unique, specialist view as it is the official site of certified dietician – Dr. Janet Brill.
Janet Bond Brill, PhD, RDN, FAND, LDN is Nutrition & Fitness Expert, Writer, Speaker, Spokesperson, Consultant, Educator and the leading expert on the Mediterranean lifestyle and author of three best-selling books Cholesterol Down, Prevent a Second Heart Attack and Blood Pressure Down and the new Cholesterol Down on the Go App. Dr. Janet is a frequent guest nutrition and health expert on national television including the Dr. Oz show, CBS and Lifetime.
Subscribe to Dr. Janet’s MediterraneanNutritionist.com for her personalized diet consultations. You can also book an appointment with her and get counseling for your diet and health problems one-on-one. Sign up now!