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Understanding The Mediterranean Diet

As a young scientist Ancel Keys showed that among people in countries where fresh fruit, vegetables and olive oil were plentiful like Greece, southern Italy and southern France- heart disease was extremely rare. In other countries where people eat a lot of beef, cheese and foods high in saturated fat- like the United States- heart disease is a leading cause of death. Ancel Keys, who is now 96, promoted the health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet, which has become synonymous with good health. Recently some have started to question the diet. In the past few years, Italian scientists have linked bread, pasta and rice made from refined grains to an increased risk of certain cancers, particularly thyroid, colon and stomach cancers. The Center for Science in the Public Interest also issued an enlightening report on the food served in Italian restaurants- many laden with saturated fat and cholesterol.

Like fettuccine alfredo which has as much saturated fat as three pints of butter-almond ice cream or a serving of fried calamari which has the cholesterol equivalent of a four-egg omelet. However the foods served in most Italian restaurants are a long way from the foods that Keys first promoted in his original diet. The original Mediterranean Diet was nearly vegetarian, with fish and very little meat, and was rich in green vegetables and fruits. When the traditional diets were brought to America suddenly a lot of meat, sugar and cream sauces were added. In addition, many pastas and bread are no longer even prepared the traditional way.

The original Mediterranean diet never included refined flours. By making careful choices, you can experience the true Mediterranean Diet and have the healthiest and most delicious meals. When buying breads choose loaves made with whole grains and flours as opposed to white refined flours. For the main course fill your plate with fresh fruits and vegetables. If you are dining out, look for entrees with plenty of vegetables and very little cream, or cheese. For dessert, choose something that provides one serving of fruit. Copyright Fitness-Pulse.com, All Rights Reserved.


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