Category Archives: Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean Diet – Excellent Choice for Women

Lead researcher, Cecilia Samieri, DVM, PHD, Boston University School of Medicine stated, “Women with healthier dietary patterns at midlife were 40% more likely to survive to age 70 or over.” That is proof that a diet does affect your longevity. But you already knew that.

But, why is the Mediterranean Diet specifically an excellent choice for women?

Mediterranean Diet - Excellent Choice for Women
Image by lunamarina

The average American woman’s diet is filled with highly-processed foods, high in unhealthy fats, high in refined sugar and white flour, filled with additives, and low in nutrition.

Continual consumption of such an unhealthy diet wreaks havoc on a woman’s skin and her body.  It causes her to age more quickly; it weakens her muscles; her energy levels drop; inactivity sets in; and she eventually loses her natural sense of well-being.

The Mediterranean Diet is primarily a natural food diet made up of fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, legumes, nuts, and a little red wine. It is high in monounsaturated fats due to the use of extra-virgin olive oil which is extremely beneficial to the body. Processed foods, fast foods, high sugar content and unhealthy fats are not part of the eating plan.

A Different Way of Eating

The Med-Diet is a different way of eating – you will be feeding your body natural foods that are healthy for the body and mind!

Most women who are struggling to lose weight generally reduce their food intake and start exercising vigorously. While both of these things can be helpful, reducing your food intake, but continuing to eat unhealthy foods is not a wise choice.

It is much better to choose a healthy diet and to eat in moderation to lose weight.  You could possibly eat junk food in moderation and stay slim; but, think about what are you would be doing to your body in the process. You may be choosing to lose weight at the cost of your good health.

It isn’t difficult to see that it would be much better to eat healthy foods like salmon drizzled in olive oil, Greek yogurt with a little honey, stir-fried broccoli, or Quinoa Pasta Primavera, etc.

That is what makes the Mediterranean diet so fantastic. The food you get to eat is actually delicious, nutritious and beneficial to your health.  No more forcing yourself to eat another bland steamed chicken breast or chalk-like protein shake – or caught between feeling half-starved or binge eating when no one is looking.

Reap the Rewards

  • Fresh vegetables and fruits will ensure your body has adequate fiber and vitamins.
  • Calcium rich foods such as kale, Brussel sprouts and spinach will prevent the dreaded osteoporosis.
  • Legumes and potatoes, which are rich in potassium, will prevent you from losing muscle tone and will also lower your blood pressure.
  • Olive oil will reduce your risk of heart disease.
  • The healthy omega-3 fatty acids found in the fish that you eat will do wonders for your health. The modern day diet is too high in omega-6 fatty acids and too low in omega-3 fatty acids. The Mediterranean diet will reverse this awful trend.
  • Honey as your natural sweetener along with generous servings of fruit will help minimize your sugar intake and help avoid Type 2 Diabetes.

Unlike the Atkins Diet, Paleo Diet or Cabbage Soup Diet, the Mediterranean Diet is not too restrictive, which makes it much easier to follow and to sustain over the long-haul.  You will be able stay on the diet because you will be enjoying yourself rather than suffering and staying on track through pure will power.

The Mediterranean Diet is a way of life. It will work wonders for your health and peace of mind. All it takes is a desire to be healthy and a willingness to prepare and eat the wonderfully delicious foods in moderation and daily exercise to start living a healthier lifestyle.

Mediterranean Diet - Excellent Choice for Women
Image by Mike Baird

To all women, I say, “ Make this choice as soon as you can and enjoy the health benefits and sense of well-being that come from being on a nutritious, well-balanced diet.”

Mediterranean Vs Paleo

Which Diet Is Right For Me?

Losing weight seems to be a national activity today. As a result, the question that often arises is which diet is the best to help me lose all my extra weight? Mediterranean vs Paleo? Or, some other diet?

Comparing diets is like comparing apples to oranges – it is almost impossible to do so because they are all different. When trying to compare the Mediterranean Diet to the Paleo Diet – they are worlds apart and both have pros and cons to consider.

Popularity and media hype should not be the factors that determine your choice. The choice should be based on your personal preferences and what is best for your overall health.

Yes, the Paleo Diet is currently extremely popular. Everyone from your TV repairman to your best friend is considering this diet. Coupled with the popularity of Crossfit and its ardent enthusiasts who endorse the diet, it has been given an extra boost in popularity.

Regardless of its popularly and vocal supporters, the real question you must ask yourself is:  Is the paleo diet right for me?

Paleo Diet – Sacrifices and Changes Required

Mediterranean vs Paleo Diet
Image by Szakaly559

For me the term “paleo” (from the “Paleolithic” age) conjures up images of dirty, uncivilized cavemen hunting and eating raw meat, which I suppose has a certain appeal to the masculine gender.

However, the diet requires huge sacrifices and changes that are not particularly good for your health beginning with lots of meat, animal organs such as the liver and heart – all prepared in a specific way. You will probably need a freezer to store your meat. Personally, it makes me shudder to think about the stress a heavy intake of red meat will put on my body.

Eating dinner in a restaurant will always be a hassle since most restaurants do not prepare meals in a paleo manner. I doubt you mainstream American cities you will be able to find a restaurant that uses pure coconut oil to prepare their dishes.

Mediterranean Diet – Easy and Natural

Mediterranean vs Paleo
Image by lunamarina

The Mediterranean diet on the other hand is uncomplicated and easy to follow. Even the name makes you feel good – bringing pictures to mind of sun-kissed beaches, good food, beautiful women, etc. Nothing even remotely related to a hairy caveman.

The diet is rich in olive oil, fish, fruit, nuts and other healthy fats. Eating out is easy because. It does not create a problem when you ask the chef to prepare your fish using extra virgin olive oil.  Any good restaurant will be happy to accommodate you.

Another big plus for me is that I am not required to develop a taste for animal organs. Yes, the Mediterranean diet can be potentially more fattening than the Paleo Diet. But, you can lose weight on any diet if you exercise regularly and take in fewer calories that you burn – moderation is key!

So, if you like tasty, healthy, natural foods that are easy to prepare and do not include large quantities of red meat and animal organs, you will definitely be better off with the Mediterranean diet.

A diet that is restrictive and has demanding preparation requirements is difficult to sustain over time, which is all true of the Paleo Diet Recipes.

With the Mediterranean Diet, the recipes are much simpler and easy to prepare – using basically natural foods that can be purchased at any good grocery store, which makes it much easier to follow and stay with over time.

Adapting to the Paleo Diet takes time and some serious adjustment in taste preferences.  When trying to lose weight – watching your calorie intake and establishing a good exercise routine is difficult enough. Compounding those challenges with a complicated diet may defeat you before you really get started. It requires too many changes – too fast!

The Mediterranean Diet is simply a healthy eating plan that eliminates the normal processed and junk food diet that most people have adopted.

The Choice is Yours

Mediterranean vs. Paleo . . . Of course, ultimately, the choice is yours.

Just be smart about your choice and give it careful consideration.  Do not allow yourself to be swayed they media hype. The Paleo Diet will not make you stronger. The Mediterranean diet will not make you an oily creature.

Both diets can be effective. The main question is – which will work best for you, which will you be able to sustain long-term, and which will give you the long term results you want?

Examine the pros and cons and make a decision based on your body and your habits. Knowing yourself and taking care of your health are more important than the diet you choose. 

Prevent Inflammation with the Mediterranean Diet

Danger of Inflammation

The Free Medical Dictionary describes inflammation as:

A localized protective response elicited by injury or destruction of tissues which serves to destroy, dilute, or wall off both the injurious agent and the injured tissue. The class signs of inflammation are heat, redness, swelling, pain, and loss of function.

Inflammation Tablet in Doctor's Office
Image by tashatuvango

Unfortunately, millions of people suffer from inflammation without realizing it. Even people in their early forties blame the constant aches and pains in their bodies and joints on getting older, which is absurd.

Causes of Inflammation

The reality is that many of those aches and pains are the result of their diet.  Most of the inflammation they are experiencing comes from the foods they put into the bodies without any concern for how it may be affecting their health.

The food manufacturers have changed the average diet so dramatically over the past 50 years that it is frightening.  They have gradually managed to convince us that they know what is best for us to eat and we have succumbed to their strategy.

We accept the extreme processing of foods for convenience, colour, flavour, and taste as perfectly acceptable without a moment’s consideration of whether we should be eating the foods, or not.

We rarely take the time to think about the foods we eat – foods that are filled with processed sugars and flour, preservatives, chemicals, artificial sweeteners, etc. – all of which are incredibly bad for the human body.

We have become human guinea pigs for the food industry. They continuously introduce new foods with no idea of the side effects. Nor, do they seem to care if they are any adverse effects as long as the foods sell and make a profit.

It is time to stop this horrible trend. There is a price to be paid and it will be in the general health of the population.  In fact, many are already paying.  There are more serious health problems today than ever before and inflammation is only the beginning of the problem.

Inflammation may sound relatively harmless, but can and often does lead to numerous serious and life-threatening diseases.  Inflammation is the common link between such debilitating conditions as Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.

Body Ecology believes that one of the main causes of inflammation is low-grade bacterial, viral, and fungal infections in the bloodstream and organs like the stomach and gastro-intestinal tract.

They also list other causes of inflammation as:

  • Chronic low-grade food allergies or food sensitivities that may cause few symptoms.
  • An imbalance of bacteria and fungi in your gastrointestinal tract, also known as symbiosis. This causes your immune system to overreact to bacteria in your gut and can be without notable symptoms.
  • Stress! Constant psychological, emotional or physical stress raises the level of cortisol, creating inflammation.
  • Environmental toxicity from our air, water, food pollutants and toxic metals like mercury and lead all contribute to inflammation and have been linked to diseases as varied as endometriosis and cancer.
  • Diet and lifestyle: too much fat, sugar, and protein in your diet, constant dehydration, consumption of too many sodas or caffeine, inactivity, and lack of sleep can all increase inflammation in your body

When you suffer from any type of ongoing inflammation in your body, your immune system can become overburdened. The inflammatory triggers are cycled continuously through your blood where they affect nerves, organs, connective tissues, joints, and muscles.

As a result, we are quickly becoming a world in crisis. Diabetes is running rampant across all ages. Heart disease is on the rise, and we are nearing a pandemic of obesity in children, teens, and adults.

Mediterranean Diet Can Help

The Mediterranean Diet is a way of life. It is not a fad diet created by a doctor or nutritionist that will reach celebrity status like the Atkins or Paleo Diets. It is much lower key. In fact, it is more of a healthy eating plan than a diet. It is filled with wonderfully delicious foods that are actually good for you.

Because of all the extreme fad diets that have come and gone over the past decade, when most people think of healthy food, they picture tasteless dishes that you must force down, rather than enjoy.

That description does not fit the Mediterranean Diet in any way. The foods are not only tasty; they are also great for your health and do not create inflammation in your body.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The average daily diet today has been essentially stripped of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and includes an excess of Omega -6 Fatty Acids, which come from vegetables such as corn oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, as well as poultry and eggs. The fatty acid balance needs to be restored.

The more omega-3 fat you eat; the less omega-6 will be available to the tissues to produce inflammation. Omega-6 is pro-inflammatory, while omega-3 is neutral. The Mediterranean diet includes generous amounts of fish and olive oil – both rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Mediterranean DietThe Mediterranean diet uses olive oil as its primary oil. There is no use of unhealthy hydrogenated oils which wreak havoc in our bodies. The primary meat is fish with the consumption of red meat and poultry at a minimum; which limits the intake of unhealthy saturated fat that also aggravates the body.

Eating fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains and seeds is essential in the Mediterranean diet. This is quite the opposite of the idea that a bottle of processed apple juice is an adequate serving of fruit each day. What people do not realize is that fruit juices are essentially sugar, water, artificial flavouring and preservatives that contribute to inflammation, which will drive you to the doctor rather than keep him away.

A basic premise of the diet is to eat natural foods – as close to nature as possible. Eat fresh, raw fruits (well-washed).  Also eat large quantities of fresh vegetables, raw or lightly steamed or quickly sautéed in olive oil and a little garlic.

The biggest benefit of the Mediterranean Diet is that those miserable aches and pains will begin to diminish and your overall well-being will improve.  And, you will start losing weight more easily.

Of course, you must eat all things in moderation and exercise daily  to ensure weight loss.  Even the healthiest diet can make you fat if you overeat. When you eat more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. Moderation is the key.

When you eat healthy as this diet allows you to do, the toxins are slowly and naturally eliminated from your body.  The pounds begin to fall away, the aches and pains will lessen, and you will become more fit – especially if you exercise regularly.

With a healthy diet, new toxins are not continually introduced through the foods you eat and you can enjoy the result of a relatively pain free life.

Make the choice today to switch your way of eating to the Mediterranean way and say goodbye to aches and pains and hello to a happier, healthier life.  It’s about time.