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Saturday, 21 September 2013

Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet

The best diet plan is one that easily becomes a lifestyle! The Mediterranean Diet is popular because it includes so many delicious foods: the diet is high in fruit, vegetables, fish, nuts, whole grains and healthy fats such as those in olive oil, while low in red meat and dairy products. Of course, there are many countries in the Mediterranean area and diets vary from country to country. It is interesting to note the similarities between them all, however, two of them being eating fresh and in season, and avoiding processed foods. Other similarities between Mediterranean countries believed to affect longevity and overall health include low incomes and extensive social support systems.

The Mediterranean Diet is also very flexible and forgiving, another indication of a "best diet plan". Small amounts of red meat and dairy products are ok. With a forgiving diet, it is also possible to use products such as diet pills that act as fat binders. These are pills you can take after you have slipped off your diet (maybe it was a birthday party or a wedding reception) and they reduce the amount of fat absorbed by the body.

If you are looking for a heart-healthy diet, look no further. Besides lowering the chances of contracting major chronic diseases such as Alzheimer's, lung disease, asthma, cancer, and Parkinson's, following the Mediterranean diet is good for your heart. There is less risk of stroke or heart attack when combining the Mediterranean diet with moderate exercise and a low-stress lifestyle, and also a retention of bone mass in the elderly.

Many detractors point out that the Mediterranean diet is high in fat. Olive oil is the main fat used, in everything from salads and pasta to breads and cakes. Why is olive oil good for you? One reason is the presence of oleocanthal, a compound that may reduce inflammation, thereby helping to prevent conditions like heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and autoimmune diseases. Omega-3 fatty acids are also found in abundance in the Mediterranean diet and help prevent many of the same diseases.

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