The mediterranean diet in a glimpse

The mediterranean diet in a glimpse

This diet received significant attention when scientists highlighted the substantial difference in cardiovascular disease in many Mediterranean countries in comparison with Canada and the United States. Not all Mediterranean countries (Portugal, Israel, Turkey, Greece, France, Italy, and Spain) follow the same diet but their dietary patterns are similar.

This led nutrition researchers to believe that the Mediterranean diet is healthier than the typical North American diet. But what does the Mediterranean diet consist of?

  • Foods eaten on the regular are: whole grains such as breads, pasta, couscous and bulgur; fruits, vegetables, beans and other legumes; nuts; cheese and yogurt. This makes the diet high in fibre, vitamins and minerals.
  • The predominant fat used in cooking is olive oil. This makes the diet high in monounsaturated fats (a type of good fat).
  • Fish is predominant in this diet while red meats, eggs and sweets are only eaten a few times a month.
  • The Mediterranean pyramid also encourages daily physical activity.

Some studies have found that this diet has benefits on heart health, and indirect benefits in managing diabetes and hypertension.

Stephanie Aboueid, RD

References:

Nutrition: A functional approach by Judy Sheeshka, Pearson Education Canada; 2 edition.

http://www.eatright.org/resource/food/planning-and-prep/cooking-tips-and-trends/make-it-mediterranean

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