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Does the Mediterranean Diet Really Work?

The Mediterranean diet is touted as the solution to many of our dietary woes. But what is the Mediterranean diet, and does it really work? The Mediterranean diet is one that is rich in whole-grains, vegetables, lean proteins such as fish and chicken and good fats including olive oils and nuts. Importantly it avoids highly processed foods and while the Mediterranean diet may not be the lowest calorie option and while it may not have conformed too many of the diets that are touted by celebrities these days, the principles are solid.

Most importantly, is balance. A balanced diet is critical to making sure that we maintain cardiovascular health. This means that we should not avoid all carbs or avoid all fats or even avoid all sugar. Rather, each of these should be consumed in moderation to ensure appropriate health.

The Mediterranean diet is lacking in high sodium, high saturated fat and processed foods. These are arguably the worst foods, along with sugar and empty carbs, for heart health.

Is diet the only consideration in the Mediterranean lifestyle?

Absolutely not. There are other things that those who live in the Mediterranean do that are decidedly good for their heart. First is, it lowers levels of stress. Regardless of the reason, there is a at least a perception of lower stress. Longer meals and shorter work hours all contribute to a less stressful day-to-day routine which can improve heart health. Mediterranean countries also tend to prioritize walks – usually leisure Lee strolls in the evening which can help them further reduce the risk for heart disease, improve mobility and ultimately ward off cardiovascular issues later on in life

Is the Mediterranean diet my only or best options?

No, ultimately you can choose the diet that’s best for you. There are diets throughout the world that have proven to be very effective. Ultimately, you need to be aware of what you’re eating – eliminating many of the worst processed foods and drinks including packaged foods, soda, juice and more. You must also make sugary desserts an indulgence rather than a daily treat.

If you have any questions about heart healthy food options, we suggest that you speak to a dietician if you have access to one, or your cardiologist at your next appointment.

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