Autumn seems to be a period of reflection and turning towards ways to improve one’s general state and wellbeing. This is the part of the year when we think about our habits that relate to diet, too.
I have been visiting several food fairs and similar events and one just happening this weekend is called “Be careful how you eat”. Besides a great deal of good advice and many offers one can find there, including a number of workshops and presentations , special attention is dedicated to the Mediterranean diet.
I am sure you have come across this diet already. It is recommended as beneficial for various parts of our body, but especially for a healthy heart and brain.
What is a Mediterranean Diet?
The Mediterranean diet means following eating habits which are very common in Southern Europe with less meat, more fish, more unsaturated fats such as olive oil and butter, and large quantities of nuts, fruit and vegetables.
Ideally, it means eating four or more servings of fish a week, no more than three portions of meat, plus at least three servings of fruit and four portions of vegetables daily.
The diet also encourages eating legumes – such as lentils or beans – at least once a week, plus one or more serving of whole grains, with nuts and seeds, plus up to one alcoholic drink a day for women and two for men.
Recent findings relating to heart disease confirm the positive impact of this diet, as the experts found it, cut the chances of early death by 37 per cent. Previous research found that just taking statins cuts mortality by 18 per cent. Experts said the figures were not directly comparable, and that many heart patients could get maximum benefit by doing both diet and statins. But they also said the results were so remarkable that the State should consider handing out free fruit and vegetables, or subsidising such produce, to encourage the public to change its eating habits. The diet regime is already known to have a powerful protective effect against a number of diseases, including diabetes and cancer.
It is important that we individually check and decide what kind of diet is best for us. However, it is refreshing and interesting that one of the recommendations from this year’s heart conference in Rome was that the Mediterranean diet „should be considered before drugs“.(the quote is from Professor Giovanni de Gaetano, head of the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention at the IRCCS Neuromed Institute in Italy).
So, mind your eating habits and be careful with what you eat!