A study in 2004 confirmed that people who followed the Mediterranean diet, live longer and disease free lives. The Mediterranean diet is a collection of eating patterns of people who live in the Mediterranean region.
Mediterranean is a word that reminds me where I came from. A place of breath taking valleys, coasts, hills and dreamy sunsets.
The countries that border the Mediterranean sea have different cultures and eating habits, but they have a few common characteristics. A high consumption of fruits and vegetables, legumes, cereals, yogurt and cheese, fair amounts of fish, wine with meals, lots of olive oil and an active lifestyle.
In a study which lasted four years and 22,000 participants living in Greece, followed the Mediterranean diet, which protected their hearts, showed incidence of 25% greater protection against heart disease, many kinds of cancer, also Alzheimer’s, neurological disorders and age related bone loss, due to its high content of mono-unsaturated fats and antioxidants such as vitamin E, poly-phenols and phyto-nutrients.
The Mediterranean diet is not low in fats. It is high in healthy fats from olive oil, nuts and omega-3s fatty acids from fish.
Mortality statistics show that people who followed the Mediterranean diet, live longer and mainly olive oil is responsible for such benefits. Olive oil along with fruits, vegetables, fish, plenty of sun and physical activity, are contributors to a long, healthy lifestyle.
It has been documented for thousands of years that mono-unsaturated fats and poly-phenols are the most important weapons in olive oil, which increase HDL cholesterol levels, decrease LDL levels and plasma triglycerides.
Heart health and anti-inflammatory benefits of the Mediterranean diet, come from seafood. Omega-3s from fish and olive oil poly-phynols, when consumed together, the benefits are great.
In 2009 Norwegian researhers used a mixture of omega-3 fatty acids and extra virgin olive oil, presented a data, relative to atherosclerosis prevention. The formation of lesions was reduced by 55%.
People with cardiovascular disease take a low dose of aspirin because of its anti-inflammatory and anti-clotting benefits, reduces the risk of heart attack. The poly-phenols in olive oil have the same effects.
Another study shows that the poly-phenols in olive oil reduce the sticking of platelets, just like aspirin preventing the risk of clotting. Poly-phenols in olive oil also reduce arthritis, a chronic inflammation.
Mediterranean diet, a way of life! A great way of life!