What is The Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean Diet comes from countries of the Mediterranean basin. These countries are: Italy, Greece, Crete, southern France and Spain. There is a high consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains and olive oil. Red meat substituted with seafood or poultry. Red wine drunk in moderation.

The diet varies from one Mediterranean country to another. The principles are the same:

High consumption of fruits and vegetables. Preferably green leafy vegetables raw or minimally processed

Olive oil versus butter. Olive oil low in saturated fat and increases the level of HDL good cholesterol.

Whole grain cereals and pasta.

High consumption of beans, nuts and seeds

Red Meat and dairy are substituted with poultry or sea food. Poultry and sea food are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.

If red meat is eating it is in very limited qualities

A maximum of 4 eggs are eaten a week.

Red wine consumed in moderate amounts.

Many research studies have indicated that different properties of the Mediterranean diet have health preventative qualities:Vegetables:Fruits

In Italy the daily open-air markets have produce picked that morning. Italian cooks rely on the fresh and local ingredients. We in America rely on produce-store- consume later system. Antioxidants have a shelf life so try to purchase at local markets and do not store produce for long periods of time.Fats:Red wine:RecipeSauteed Spinach with Pine Nuts & Golden Raisins

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons golden raisins
1 tablespoon pine nuts
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 10-ounce bag fresh spinach (see Ingredient note), tough stems removed
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon shaved Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add raisins, pine nuts and garlic; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add spinach and cook, stirring, until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vinegar and salt. Serve immediately, sprinkled with Parmesan and pepper.

Provided by:eatingwell.com/recipes

The Mediterranean diet a centuries old diet known as the heart and cancer diet. Reviewing the ingredients it is a diet for good health and well being.

: It has been suggested that drinking a glass of red wine with dinner reduces artery plaque and lowers cholesterol. Red wine has the antioxidant compounds called polyphenois.There are good fats and bad fats. Bad fats are considered hard or saturated fats found in butter and meat. Saturated fats cause plaque build up in the arteries.

Unsaturated fats are plant derived fats constitute seed and vegetable oils. Unsaturated fats inhibit plaque build up decreasing heart disease. Additionally, unsaturated fats lower blood cholesterol and provides an essential source of omega-3 fatty acids. Beneficial claims of using olive oil are reduction of plaque build-up, lowering of blood cholesterol and reducing the risk of blood clotting and strokes.: Citrus fruits are rich is vitamin C a protector against a host of ills.

Low risk of heart disease and lung cancer have been linked to leafy green vegetables, broccoli, and peppers are full of beta-carotene. These beta-carotene is associated with lowered risk of heart disease and lung cancer. Leafy greens are also rich in vitamin C a protector against a host of ills. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene a carotenoid that may protect against several types of cancer.

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