The Mediterranean Diet is an easy way to eat healthier for your heart.
What is it: As the name suggests it is the main diet of Mediterranean countries for centuries. Doctors noticed that Mediterranean countries like Greece and Italy have less heart disease related deaths than the US and northern Europe. This is a plant-based diet rich in healthy fats, seafood, and bread.
Eating Guidelines: eat a plant-based diet of mostly fruits and vegetables with a weekly intake of fish, poultry, beans, and eggs. Dairy products are allowed in conservative amounts but nutritionists discourage red meat intake whenever possible. A plus to some, a moderate amount of red wine is encouraged.
Non-mediterranean foods are allowed and encouraged. Eat locally by choosing in-season fruits and vegetables that benefit your diet and your wallet.
Its affordable: preparing meals centered on vegetables and whole grains is very affordable, especially when you get your grains from dry bulk bins. Olives and cheese are expensive but you can get away with buying small amounts
Not all fat is created equal: the mediterranean diet uses olive oil instead of butter or lard for cookings. Saturated fats, trans fats, or hydrogenated fats like palm oil don't contribute positivel to your heart health, but natural fats can improveyour overall cholesterol levels. Fatty fish are also crucial such as salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, albacore, and lake trout. Thanks to omega-3 fatty acids, consumption of these fish improves your blood circulation and reduces inflammation in the body.