Health tips for healthy living using a Mediterranean diet.

Many health professionals these days seem to agree that in this modern society for people to be able to enjoy healthy living an essential element is for them to adopt a sensible eating plan. The diets of people throughout the world have come under the microscope and one that seems to have greater ‘health’ benefits over others is the Mediterranean diet. This highly nutritious healthy diet incorporates all the fundamentals of healthy eating that is enjoyed by people living in countries throughout the Mediterranean Sea who enjoy meals, cooked in the traditional style using olive oil, accompanied with a glass or two of red wine!

mediterranean diet

What are the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet?

Over many years research has shown that these people enjoy a healthy living because of their traditional time tested diet which reduces their risk to heart disease, which is the scourge of this modern day obese society. Research has uncovered facts that a Mediterranean diet was connected with a reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease, and similar reductions in incidences of cancer and cancer mortality. In addition it was noted that people who lived there were less likely to suffer from other terrible diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. A cornerstone of the diet is that the people over there eat whole foods rather than the processed varieties. When you eat whole foods, you are getting the food intact in its natural state, with all of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are in the food and as a result enjoy proper nutrition.

Medical organizations throughout the world have as a result concluded that for people to avoid chronic diseases, such as those mentioned above, they should adopt the Mediterranean diet to enjoy a healthy living.

What are the key components of a Mediterranean diet?

mediterranean diet

health mediterranean diet

• Eating a high proportion of the diet made up of plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, nuts, legumes and whole grains.
• Using healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil, instead of butter and margarine
• Avoiding salt to flavor foods with and using herbs and spices instead
• Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
• Minimum consumption of red meat.
• Drinking red wine in moderation.
Exercises to increase fitness levels.

Enjoying meals in the company of family and friends is also regarded as being important.

Why is this diet supposed to be more healthy and nutritious compared with others?

(a) Fruits, vegetables
, nuts and grains together with pasta and rice are traditionally included in the Mediterranean diet, the healthy benefits being the high antioxidant levels that exist particularly in the fruit and vegetables and the low levels of bad cholesterol contained in the diet. High levels of “bad” cholesterol caused through eating foods rich in saturated or trans fats has been associated with heart disease caused through clogging of the arteries in the human body.

(b) Nuts are also included in the nutritious Mediterranean diet. Whilst nuts are generally high in fat most of the fat from them is not saturated. Healthy nuts, such as almonds, pistachios, pecans, hazelnuts and walnuts, contain high amounts of unsaturated fat — or “good” fats — which help lower total cholesterol levels. Even peanuts, which sometimes enjoy a bad reputation, also contain high amounts of unsaturated fat and lower amounts of saturated fat However caution needs to be observed because nuts are high in calories. They should not be eaten in large amounts and a handful a day is quite sufficient. Also to optimize the health benefits only raw nuts should be eaten. Avoid heavily salted or sugar/honey coated nuts.

(c) Grains used are normally whole grain which contains very little trans fats and bread is an important part of the diet in the region. A significant difference to other parts of the world is that in this region bread is eaten plain or dipped in olive oil. It is not eaten with butter or margarine, which contain the unhealthy saturated or trans fats.

(d) Healthy fats

The focus of the Mediterranean diet isn’t on limiting total fat consumption, but rather to make wise choices about the types of fat you eat. The Mediterranean diet discourages saturated fats and hydrogenated oils (trans fats), both of which contribute to heart disease.

People who live in the region use olive oil as the primary source of fat. This oil contains monounsaturated fat which is a healthy type of a type of fat that can help reduce “bad” cholesterol levels when it is used instead of saturated or trans fats. However the types of olive oils that are used are those not subject to much processing before being bottled these being the extra-virgin and virgin varieties which contain high levels of healthy antioxidants.

Other oils containing monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, notably canola oil and some nuts, are also used as these contain omega-3 fatty acids which have great health benefits.

(e) Meat

Eating too much red meats and processed meats, which are often high in saturated fat and cholesterol, has for many years been seen by health professionals as unhealthy, especially for the heart. High levels of “bad” cholesterol caused by eating large amounts of this increases the risk of heart disease. If needed in an eating plan lean meat should be chosen and eaten in small portions only occasionally with other meats such as bacon and sausages being completely avoided because of the high unsaturated fat levels in them. The best healthy substitutes for meats are fish and poultry which rate highly in the Mediterranean diet.

(f) Fish

Fish is an important part of the Mediterranean diet. Fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel herring and sardines are high in omega-3 fatty acids which research has shown provides protection against heart disease. To maximize the health benefits fish should be preferably grilled rather than fried and be seasoned with nourishing herbs and spices.

(g) Wine

Health experts are divided in their opinions as to whether drinking wine is good or bad for your health. However many research studies have shown that a moderate consumption of alcohol has good health benefits. In particular red wine, drank in moderation, has been thought for many years to be good for the heart. The alcohol and certain antioxidant substances in red wine may help prevent heart disease by increasing levels of “good” cholesterol and protecting against artery damage.

The traditional Mediterranean diet often involves people drinking a small glass of wine each day with their meals.

mediterranean diet

To sum up these health and wellness tips

There is continuing research that shows that the Mediterranean diet, which is based upon healthy foods and physical activity, is the recipe for a long, healthy life. It is a highly nutritious, enjoyable healthy lifestyle diet solution that is easy to follow, very flexible, and best of all – great for your health. No need for you to go to the Mediterranean to benefit from such a diet as all the ingredients are readily available for you in your local supermarket!


Keep fit and enjoy a happy, healthy lifestyle.

James Kelly

High Wycombe, Western Australia,6057