Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States: Every year, approximately 375,000 people have a heart attack. This is a sad state of affairs, but luckily the power to change this trend is in our hands. One approach to reducing your family’s likelihood of developing heart disease is to adopt a version of the Mediterranean diet.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the Mediterranean diet is proven to reduce risk of death from heart disease and cancer, and reduce incidence of Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease. A recent study showed 1.5 million people demonstrating these outstanding results. If you’re looking for an easy way to start changing your diet for a healthy heart, read on.
What is the Mediterranean Diet?
This diet is derived from Southern Europe, Crete, Greece, and Southern Italy eating habits, which is simply eating clean and lean foods that benefit your body. It emphasizes eating:
Plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, and nuts
Fish and poultry at least twice a week
Herbs and spices
…and limiting foods like:
Red meat (no more than a few times a month)
Saturated fats such as dairy products
Butter (avoid, if possible)
Did You Know?
Citizens of Greece average about six times more servings of fruits and vegetables than the U.S.? That’s six times more antioxidant consumption doing good work to keep their bodies happy and healthy than the average American gets. Making dietary changes can seem overwhelming, but you can do it slowly by simply crowding out the foods you want to avoid—instead of telling yourself, “I must not eat red meat” tell yourself to try a flavorful bean and rice dish today, and maybe have that steak tomorrow. Eventually, these tasty, healthier foods will become the norm.
Try a Dish
If you think switching to the Mediterranean Diet is going to be difficult, think again! There are lots of easy and yummy recipes available to benefit your heart health. For instance: