It’s worth knowing about the Mediterranean diet.
When I talk about the Mediterranean diet, I’m referring to a diet rife with olive oil, almonds, pistachios, walnuts, beans, and other legumes, fruits, olives, lots of fish, small amounts of dairy, and even smaller amounts of meat. The Mediterranean diet isn’t low fat – it includes olive oil and fatty fish.
Dr. Ailsa Welch is a nutrition expert from Norwich Medical University. She conducted a study that spanned 17 years and included 23,232 men and women, ages 40 to 77. Dr. Welch and her team found that eating a Mediterranean diet significantly reduced the risk of stroke. Women did the best with a 17% protective effect versus a 6% protective effect for men. The 17% reduction in stroke for women applied whether the woman was taking hormone replacement therapy or not.
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The Mediterranean diet includes foods like sardines, figs, and olives. I believe that people in the Mediterranean also tend to be more relaxed, more social, and eat much slower than the typical American. There is also more daily physical activity in the Mediterranean populations.
I read another intriguing study that said that big food companies are taking over where “big” tobacco left off. Most of us are aware that tobacco was promoted to the masses in the ‘50s and ‘60s – not unlike how fast food is promoted today.
The older generation remembers a time when they made their own chicken dishes and pizza. The younger generation is growing up with Kentucky Fried Chicken and Domino’s Pizza instead.
I have personally been following the Mediterranean diet for years. I use lots of olive oil, fish (including salmon, which isn’t really Mediterranean but still very healthy), avocados, nuts, seeds, and legumes. In my opinion, a low meat, high fish diet with lots of vegetables and fresh fruit is one of the best diets to follow.