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Mediterranean Diet - Think Sun and Sea, Red Wine and Olives


The Mediterranean Diet is based on healthy carbs and not low carb or low fat; follow a low-glycemic-index. It's more than just opening a jar of olives and stick toothpicks in them.

Improved cholesterol levels lower the risks of developing heart disease and diabetes. Not all fats are processed by the body the same way. Olive oil is heart healthy. Include whole grains , oatmeal, almonds, brown rice, and beans.

Tampa Bay Online interviewed Dietian Jane Thacker. Thacker states, "The Western Diet that has developed over the past century has made us a very sick nation, and we're only going to get sicker. People in the Mediterranean — we know from research going back to the 1940s — don't suffer from the lifestyle diseases that Americans do."

Research shows that obesity, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, cancer and even Alzheimer's disease can be linked to chronic or "silent" inflammation.

The Western Diet promotes chronic inflammation, which is the root cause of many of our most serious health problems.

This typle of inflammation isn't redness and swelling like a cut or burn. This is called transitory inflammation, Thacker explained. But there is another, low-level, chronic internal inflammation caused by eating too much red meat, processed wheat and sugar. Your immune system suffers from this type of inflamation.

The Study

Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital had participants follow a diet that with a focus on fish, fruit, vegetables, nuts and whole grains.

One reason many dieters end up gaining back their weight loss is because your body requires less calories with less weight. This makes sense. The bigger you are, the more calories you need to maintain your weight.

After the participants lost 10-15% of their weight, the researchers set up three groups following three different diets.

  1. Low-fat diet limiting fats to 20% of total calories
  2. Low-carbohydrate diet limiting carb intake to 10% of total calories
  3. Low-glycemic-index diet, which contained 40% of total calories from carbohydrates, 40% from fats and 20% from protein.

The Results

The low-fat diet had the worst effect on triglyceride and HDL levels - not good We should avoid severely restricting any major nutrient and focus on the quality of the nutrient," he said.

The low-carb diet helped the participants burn about 300 calories more per day. But the extra weight loss came at the expense of other areas. Cortisol, a stress hormone that may cause more belly fat, and inflamation that may increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes, increased. The fast weight loss also causes you to be unhealthy.

The low-glycemic-index diet burned about 150 calories a day more than those on the low-fat diet without any negative impacts on cholesterol levels or various hormones, making it the ideal diet The glycemic index measures the impact of carbohydrates on blood-sugar levels.

Mediterranean diet is good for the heart,and it may be good for the brain as well.

The Archives of Neurology found that the low glycemic diet might protect against blood-vessel damage in the brain, reducing the risks of stroke and memory loss. The Mediterranean diet - Good for your Head and your Heart!

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