Mediterranean Diet Food Pyramid

Mediterranean Diet Food Pyramid

How to Lose Weight With The Greek Mediterranean Diet

1. Subdivide your daily food intake into 4-5 sitting. This division helps you digest foods more efficiently and better utilize the main nutrients present in your food.

2. Eat proper amounts of pasta. This is a product capable of acting as the main ingredient of meals.

3. Accompany foods with bread. Try to choose multi-grain bread or traditional Italian bread or rolls and avoid as much as you can speciality breads, that are often prepared with the addition of oil or butter.

4. Include “all-in-one-meals” like pasta with vegetables or legumes in your daily routines. They are typical of Italian cuisine and provide you with the same nutrients as a three-course meal while being also lower in calories.

5. Use olive oil as your preferred fat. It's an extremely digestible fat capable of assisting in the digestion of other fats. Recent studies also suggest that olive oil is the key to the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, due to its content of phenols, a family of weak acidic that repress genes which cause inflammation, so decreasing the risk of heart disease and arthritis.

6. Eat alternative meats such as chicken, rabbit, pork, turkey. They carry similar nutritional values to red meats, but are less fatty by nature.

7. Eat plenty of fish, with special attention to blue fish like sardines and anchovies. They have elevated nutritional value and low fat composition.

8. Limit the use of salt, replacing it with traditional Mediterranean herbs and spices to increase the flavor of foods.

9. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits, which guarantee the proper consumption of fiber, minerals and vitamins (especially carotene, vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and folate).

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Health Tip of The Day



Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Pasta is part of a healthy Mediterranean Diet says study!!

Hey pasta lovers, a new study finds that noodles may not be so bad for your waistline after all.

The study, from researchers at IRCCS Neuromed Institute in Pozzilli, Italy, explored the potential health benefits of eating pasta. Though the Mediterranean diet has been much touted for its health benefits, with many in the region consuming high levels of fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, olive oil and similarly healthful foods, pasta — another major food in the Mediterranean — has often been overlooked or associated with weight gain.

When researchers looked at the data of more than 23,000 Italians, they found that moderate pasta consumption was associated with less abdominal obesity, a healthy body mass index and a lower waist circumference. Researchers didn't specify how much pasta constituted a "moderate level," though they did conclude that the Mediterranean diet in moderation, pasta included, is good for health.

North Jersey Health News

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Mediterranean Diet with EVOO Reduces Cognitive Decline in Older Age!!

By Jedha Dening

The Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) has long been considered one of the world’s healthiest dietary patterns, so researchers Knight, Bryan, and Murphy set out to review the evidence surrounding the MedDiet, along with the contemporary Western diet, and their associations with age-related cognitive decline. They also sought to determine if it could be a feasible intervention strategy to recommend the MedDiet to those currently consuming a Western dietary pattern.

Obesity is associated with a 70-100% increased risk of dementia. It is fairly well established that the Western diet is a major contributor to the growing rates of obesity. The authors suggest that “it is now becoming evident that the clinical problems related to obesity are translating to effects on brain physiology and function.” There is also a consensus that particular nutrients such as saturated, trans fats and refined sugars contribute to age-related cognitive function and neurodegenerative disease via biological mechanisms including inflammation, oxidative stress, and insulin resistance.

As far as an association between the MedDiet and cognitive decline, several longitudinal, three cross-sectional, and two randomized trials assessed in the review did show a general consensus that adhering to a MedDiet improves mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s and dementia. However, due to the nature of the majority of the longitudinal studies being performed in the same cohort of participants, the authors suggest that these results may not be applicable to the wider population.

The two randomized control trials, the only two in this area to date, have shown that consuming a MedDiet with extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) does, in fact, improve cognitive function.

The first trial published in the Journal of Neurology, Neuroscience & Psychiatry, 2013, selected 552 participants with cardiovascular disease to conduct a 5 year trial with a mean follow-up of 6.5 years. Participants were randomized to a low-fat diet or a MedDiet supplemented with EVOO or mixed nuts. The MedDiet group had significantly higher global cognitive scores compared to the low-fat group.

The second trial, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, 2015, selected 447 participants with high cardiovascular risk who were randomly allocated to either a MedDiet supplemented with EVOO; MedDiet supplemented with mixed nuts; or a control low-fat diet. Participants were required to undergo a series of cognitive tests 4.1 years after the intervention. Overall the MedDiet+EVOO scored significantly higher for two of the tests compared to both groups. The MedDiet+EVOO group and MedDiet+mixed nuts saw significant respective changes from baseline in memory, frontal (attention and executive functions), and global function compared to the control group.

Though there are likely many synergistic effects of the MedDiet in its influence on improved cognitive function, researchers claim that the inclusion of olive oil, particularly because of it’s high levels of caffeic acid and tyrosol, reduces markers of inflammation in the central nervous system and has the ability to suppress neuroinflammation in the brain.

Overall the research does suggest that a MedDiet is the best strategy to recommend to people who want to decrease their rate of cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s, dementia, or mild cognitive impairment. Still, while this may be the case, researchers do suggest that due to socio-cultural values, norms, food availability, cost, palatability, and food access, getting people to change their dietary patterns can often be difficult to achieve. They suggest that a more “Westernized” MedDiet intervention could be a more feasible long-term approach worth exploring in future research.

Click HERE to read more!!

Saturday, 11 April 2015

The Mediterranean Diet is not only Healthy but also better for the Environment.

The Mediterranean diet has been lauded as one of the healthiest diets in the world because of its high consumption of vegetables, legumes, fruits and olive oil, and low intake of animal protein.
A recent study has revealed that the diet predominant in Mediterranean countries creates a much smaller carbon footprint than the standard diets of countries like the United States and the United Kingdom.

The study conducted by a team of five Spanish researchers from the University Hospital Complex of Huelva, Jaume I University of Castellón and the University of Huelva, analyzed the contents of meals served at Juan Ramón Jiménez Hospital in Huelva, southwestern Spain. The menus of 448 lunches and 448 dinners, each totaling 2,000 calories, were analyzed over a period of four seasons.

The study concluded that diet has a significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions, with a Mediterranean diet being associated with a lower environmental impact than diets dominated by meat.

In 2006, a United Nations report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) concluded that the meat industry is one of the most significant contributors to environmental problems and that meat production is responsible for 18 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, more than transportation.

Olive Oil Times 

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Mediterranean Diet Reduces Hot Flashes

Healthy eating can positively impact our lives in many ways such as weight loss, increased energy or better blood pressure. A recent study published this May in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that a diet that includes fruits and Mediterranean-style foods can decrease the risk of night sweats and hot flashes in women going through menopause. The Australian-based research looked at 6 types of diets and how they impacted the menopausal symptoms of over 6,000 women, concluding that fruits and Mediterranean food decreased symptoms. Further conclusions of the study state that a diet high in fat and sugar actually increase the risk of women developing vasomotor menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats.

Professors of the Harvard School for Public Health recommend the Mediterranean nutritional approach for both men and women due to the benefits of reducing risk of heart attack and stroke. This diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, poultry, whole grains, and healthy fats from olive oil and nuts. You certainly don't need to be from the Mediterranean to "Feel Better and Live Longer!" Follow these nutrition tips to experience the benefits of the Mediterranean diet in your own home town.
  • Consume four or more servings of both fruits and vegetables a day.
  • Eat one or more servings of beans or nuts per day.
  • Enjoy fish at least 2 times a week.
  • Make all of your grains whole grains.
  • Limit yourself to 1 glass of wine, beer or alcohol a day.

Nourish your way to better health, and enjoy the health benefits!

Jody Anderson, RN, CHC
Succeed Health, LLC- Algoma

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Mediterranean diet has long term positive effects

Even if people have regained some weight several years after going on a healthful Mediterranean or low-carbohydrate diet, they can enjoy lasting beneficial effects, according to a follow-up study at Dimona’s Nuclear Research Center and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheba.

The study, published last week as a peer-reviewed letter in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, updates the landmark diet study carried out on 322 moderately obese personnel in the workplace over a period of two years, and followed up four years after the end of the intervention. The original study was called DIRECT, for Dietary Intervention Randomized Controlled Trial.

Dr. Dan Schwarzfuchs of the Dimona center, where employees were put on diets and the results observed, said: “Our follow- up subsequent data shows lasting, positive effects of Mediterranean and low-carbohydrate diets six years later.”

BGU researchers Dr. Iris Shai and Rachel Golan added: “Data from trials comparing the effectiveness of weight-loss diets are frequently limited to the intervention period. The results after four years suggests that the lipid profile (lower cholesterol, triglycerides and arteriosclerosis) improved over the long term, regardless of partial regain.”

The Mediterranean diet of low meat intake and high consumption of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, pulses and olive oil, as well as the low-carb diet, had a beneficial effect even though the participants regained some weight. But people on a low-fat diet did not have the same consistent and beneficial results.

Four years after the trial was concluded, participants had regained an average of almost 2.7 kg. Since the beginning of the trial, participants who followed the Mediterranean diet lost an average of 3.1 kg., while those on the low-carb diet lost 1.7 kg. Thus the Mediterranean diet was significantly more effective.

After four years post-intervention, more than two-thirds (67 percent) of the DIRECT participants had continued with their original assigned diet, 11% switched to another diet and 22% were not dieting at all.

The researchers also found that after six years, the highdensity lipoprotein (HDL or “good cholesterol”)/low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad cholesterol”) ratio remained significantly lower only in the low-carbohydrate diet. Triglyceride (another potential harmful blood fat) levels remained significantly lower in the Mediterranean and low-carbohydrate diets.

The researchers are now performing a new long-term dietary intervention trial that targets weight-loss mechanisms relating to other different dietary strategies, including novel techniques.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Mediterranean diet helps protect bones‎,says recent study

By DR. SWATI SHROFF, ABC News Medical Unit

Could olive oil be the new milk? A new study suggests that this might be the case — though not all health experts are convinced yet.

The study, which looked at 127 elderly Spanish men, found that those who ate a Mediterranean diet enriched with olive oil had higher levels of a protein called osteocalcin that plays a role in bone formation. The research was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

This could be an important finding since osteoporosis is the most common bone disease in the United States, affecting more than 10 million people. Osteoporosis mainly affects elderly women, but men can develop the disease too. In 2005, there were an estimated 2 million osteoporosis-related fractures, 29 percent them in men.

Earlier studies have found that there are lower rates of osteoporosis in the Mediterranean basin, compared to the rest of Europe, and that may have something to do with the Mediterranean diet. This diet consists of minimally processed fruits, vegetables, breads, beans, nuts and seeds. Olive oil is supposed to be the main source of fat, and there is usually limited dairy, egg, and red meat.

Past studies have suggested that the Mediterranean diet has the potential to lower cardiovascular risk, increase weight loss, lower cancer risk, improve diabetes, and reduce pain and swollen joints in rheumatoid arthritis. What if improved bone health could be added to this growing list?

“We have more evidence that what is good for health in one way, tends to be good for health overall,” says Dr. David Katz, director of Yale University Prevention Research Center. “The very same Mediterranean diet known to be good for cardiovascular health may also confer benefits on your bones.”

However, Dr. Beth Kitchin, a patient educator at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Osteoporosis Clinic, cautions that osteocalcin is simply a marker of bone health — in other words, the new study doesn’t actually look at whether the Mediterranean diet increased bone density or lowered fracture risk.

“This is very interesting data but much, much more work needs to be done before you can say if this has a true clinical impact on bone health,” says Kitchin.

On this point, Katz agrees. “This is not a study of bone density, or clinical effects; it is a short-term study of biomarkers. Interesting, but [it is] more useful for hypothesis generation than anything else.”

Nutritionists were also quick to point out that this study shouldn’t undermine the importance of calcium and vitamin D in bone health.

“It doesn’t replace calcium and vitamin D in the diet, however,” says Keith-Thomas Ayoob, a dietician and professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. “But including all three, and regular exercise, are showing promise as the best way to ensure good bone health.

“I was brought up on a high-olive oil [Mediterranean] diet. It’s how we ate. But not much milk or calcium-containing foods, and my elders paid a price for it.”

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Mediterranean diet can help women get pregnant, research suggests

Women wanting to get pregnant should eat a Mediterranean-style diet rich in avocados and olive oil but light in dairy and meat, an IVF conference has heard.

New research indicates a diet containing lots of monounsaturated fat - found in the fleshy green fruit, olive oil, as well as peanuts, almonds and cashews - can as much as triple the chance of success in women resorting to fertility treatment to conceive.

Specialists believe such a diet could help the majority of women wanting to get pregnant naturally as well.

By contrast eating lots of saturated fat, found in dairy products and red meat, appears to damage women's fertility, the Daily Telegraph reported. High saturated fat intake has already been linked to lower sperm counts.

Dr Jorge Chavarro and colleagues at the Harvard School of Public Health in the United States, looked at how intake of different types of fats affected success of IVF treatment in 147 women, mostly in their 30s.

They found the women who ate the most monounsaturated fat had up to three times the chance of giving birth via IVF as those who ate the least.

Specifically the top third, who derived on average 25 per cent of their calories from monounsaturated fat, has three times the chance of success compared to the bottom third, who derived on average nine per cent of their calories from it.

However, those who ate the most saturated fat produced two fewer eggs suitable for test-tube fertilisation than those who ate the least - nine compared to 11.

Dr Chavarro said: "As far as the best fat profile is concerned, this is the fat profile that you would find in a Mediterranean diet."

However, he cautioned that the study was very small and the findings needed to be replicated in larger numbers before firm advice could be issued.

Nonetheless, he continued: "Even though we don't know for sure if it will be of benefit, we do know it won't be harmful."

This was because numerous studies had shown Mediterranean-style diets to have a protective effect on health, particularly regarding heart disease.

The Harvard study also looked at the role of polyunsaturated fats, commonly thought to be healthy.

They found that - perhaps unexpectedly - women with higher intakes of polyunsaturated fats tended to have lower quality eggs.

But Dr Jorge, a nutritionist and epidemiologist, explained there were different types of polyunsaturated fats - some that could hinder fertility and others that could help.

He said the women in the study tended to eat lots of omega-six polyunsaturates, found in corn and canola oils.

He believed omega-three polyunsaturates, found in oily fish like salmon, were not harmful to fertility.

Women hoping to conceive should not stop eating them, he said.

The study, presented this week at the annual meeting of the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology in Istanbul, was not big enough to tease out the differences between the two types, he added.

Exactly why different types of fat have different effects on fertility is currently unclear, although Dr Chavarro said they were "known to have different effects on biological processes which may influence the outcome of assisted reproduction".

Richard Kennedy, general secretary of the International Federation of Fertility Societies (IFFS), commented: "We know that many lifestyle activities can make it harder to conceive.

"This work reinforces the need for a good lifestyle for those trying to have a baby; eat and drink in moderation, and don't smoke." AGENCIES.