Mediterranean diet, its good for you
Even for the most disciplined people, low-fat diets are difficult to stick to. If you want to improve your health, but despair at ever finding a diet that works for you, consider tyring the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet is high in vegetables, fruits, legumes and cereals and a moderate to high intake of fatty fish. Recent studies by the American Heart Association (AHA) show that the Mediterranean diet is also an effective weapon in reducing the risks of heart attacks and strokes. A low intake of dairy and meat products, and a high intake of unsaturated fats, such as olive oil, also feature heavily in the Mediterranean diet. All of these factors combined have been linked to a reduction in the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes.
In the AHA study, three groups were formed from 202 heart attack survivors. One group followed the Mediterranean diet; one group followed a low-fat diet; and the other group were simply given the standard hospital advice that is given after suffering from a heart attack.
The two groups on the Mediterranean diet and low-fat diets had an 83 percent survival rate after suffering second heart attacks, strokes and heart-related hospitalizations. The group simply given advice had only a 53 percent survival rate.
As long as the right fats (such as olive oil) are used, the AHA findings show that fat doesn’t have to be restricted for a reduction in risk of heart disease and strokes to be effective. People simply need to learn about what fats they should be consuming.
The Mediterranean diet has been followed for centuries in the Mediterranean area, and heart disease is very rarely seen. For years, foods like olive oil, nuts and fatty fish were thought to be a health risk for heart patients, but the recent studies show that this isn’t the case, and in fact, these foods are of benefit.
Try this heart-healthy Mediterranean recipe.
Mediterranean-Style Grilled Marinated Salmon
Serve these simple and stylish salmon steaks with a crisp salad and fresh crusty bread. Serves 4
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Four 6-ounce uncooked salmon steaks
Lemon wedges, for serving
Mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, basil, salt, and pepper in a bowl until well combined. Marinate the salmon steaks in the mixture, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Cook the salmon on a hot grill for 3 minutes on each side, brushing with the marinade. Serve the salmon with lemon wedges for squeezing.
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