- Posted September 15, 2013 by
The Truth About Mediterranean Diet
Among the legion of today's most popular diet regimens, the Mediterranean diet has become a poster child for healthy eating, garnering praise from nutrition experts and home gourmets alike and eating gourmet recipes
Fish and Seafood
Fish foods and seafood are widely regarded among nutritionists to be among the healthiest of animal proteins. So it may come as a surprise to some that, according to the new analysis, these options do not appear to have much of an overall impact on the healthiness of the diet.
Widely used in Mediterranean-style cooking, olive oil has become almost synonymous with the Mediterranean diet itself. The healthy reputation may be well-deserved, as the authors of the new study note that this component of the regimen appears to confer at least some of it health benefits.
Katz noted that olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fat -- a fat that is believed to which lower total cholesterol and, more specifically, levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or "bad" cholesterol in the blood.
Fruits and Vegetables
The notion that additional helpings of fruit and vegetables lead to a healthier diet should come as little surprise to anyone who has even had a doting mother. So nutrition experts largely agreed with the researchers when they suggested that the veggie-heavy offerings of the Mediterranean diet are responsible for much of its positive health effects.
One aspect of the Mediterranean diet that authors agreed was a strong contributor to its success was the presence of nuts. Aside from contributing a healthy helping of unsaturated fatty acids, nuts like almonds and walnuts offer a wealth of nutrients including calcium potassium and fiber.
The research released yesterday is not the first to suggest the importance of nuts to the Mediterranean diet. A study published last December in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that adding an extra portion of nuts to the traditional Mediterranean regimen offered a promising way to help control the risk of metabolic disease in older adults who had a high heart disease risk.
Along with nuts and vegetables, the researchers in the new study found that beans were likely to be significant contributors to the success of the Mediterranean regimen. No surprise here," Ayoob said. "Beans are a near miracle food. They have some protein, lots of fiber source, iron and a ton of other nutrients and adding beans to any diet makes for a better diet.
The debate over what place, if any, alcoholic beverages should hold in a healthy diet has raged among health experts for decades. As for the study at hand, researchers suggested that a moderate level of alcohol consumption, traditionally from red wine, may have a protective effect against heart disease -- thus earning it a place in the winner's column among other Mediterranean diet staples.