Tag Archives: Eat Well.

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.”

Health Benefits of Cooking with Coconut Oil

Discover the health benefits of cooking with coconut oil. Over the past few decades, coconut oil has been demonized as a saturated fat, which is connected with an increased rate of heart disease, Alzheimer’s and obesity.

Image by Phu Thinh Co
Image by Phu Thinh Co

Good news . . . recent research has shown that different types of saturated fats have different effects; some are dangerous and should be avoided, while others are actually beneficial. Coconut oil falls into the second category.

Studies conducted with populations such as the Polynesian islands of Pukapuka, and Tokelau – all of which consume a high amount of pure coconut oil, making up 30% – 60% of their daily calories, show that they are primarily free from cardiovascular diseases. The main source of energy for both these groups is coconut oil, 34% for the Pukapuka dwellers, and 63% for the Tokelau dwellers. In spite of the high amount of “saturated fat” intake, no evidence was found that could link the intake to vascular diseases. In fact, they are extremely rare in both the populations.

Now that we are aware that there is very little, if any, health danger from cooking with coconut oil, let’s look at the advantages it offers over other cooking oils.

Vegetables oils are hydrogenated to reduce the chance of rancidity and prolong their shelf life. This is primarily done to increase profits for the manufacturers, but has no nutritional benefits to the consumer. In fact, partially hydrogenated oils contain trans-fats, which decrease the cholesterol levels of High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL), and increase the levels of the Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL), which can block arteries and cause strokes.

Image by Beth

Almost 50% of the fat in coconut oil is a fatty acid called lauric acid, which increases the good cholesterol (HDL) levels in the body, more than other type of fatty acid. In the body, lauric acid is converted to a compound called monolaurin, which has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-protozoa and anti-viral properties. This may be the reason behind the overall superior health of populations who consume coconut oil.

Other than coconut oil, the only other natural source of such high concentrations of lauric acid is breast milk, which may be why babies who are breast fed tend to be healthier overall during infancy.

In addition to the natural health benefits offered by coconut oil, it also remains stable at high temperatures making it ideal oil for cooking. Common vegetable oils such as soy, corn, and sunflower, are damaged at high temperatures while cooking. The oxidation that results poses many health risks for the body. The antioxidants are also lost. Olive oil is also prone to damage by oxidation while cooking. Another more recent health hazard with oils is that most vegetable oils are now made from genetically modified crops.

Replacing the vegetable oils used in the kitchen with coconut oil can also help in achieving your weight loss goals. Research shows that coconut oil is helpful in optimizing body weight and reducing the risk of developing diabetes. Farmers in 1940’s tried to use cheap coconut oil to make their livestock fatter, but the move backfired and the animals became leaner and more active.

If nothing else convinces you, here is one that may lead you to abandon all the other oils and reap the health benefits of cooking with coconut oil. In a 2009 study it was discovered that women who ingested two tablespoons coconut oil every day for 12 weeks had no weight gain, and actually shed some of their abdominal fat – NICE . . .