What is the Mediterranean Diet?
The Mediterranean Diet has shown to prevent heart disease. The diet is rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes. The main sources of fat are olive oil and nuts and the main protein sources are chicken, eggs, fish, yogurt and cheese.
Heart Disease and Homocysteine - A Cause for Concern
There is an direct connection between homocysteine and heart diseases. Recently, studies have shown that diets rich with fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products and low in saturated fats lowers the level of homocysteine in the blood. The other nutritional components that are connected to the level of homocysteine in the blood are vitamins: folic acid, and vitamins B12 and B6. Folic acid has proven to reduce the risk of heart defects among fetuses and as a result many countries have adopted policies to enrich flour with folic acid. Another way to guarantee that you are getting the right amount of nutrients is to take multi-vitamins. Before you do so, please see your doctor or dietician.
Fruits and Vegetables
Many studies show that eating fruits and vegetables can help prevent a number of diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, digestive problems, even tumors and cancer. One study has shown that higher amounts of vitamin C in the blood means that there is a higher amount of HDL in the blood ('good' cholesterol). Fruits and vegetables are a good source for a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and other vital nutrients.
Your daily menu should include 3-4 servings of fruit and 5 or more servings of vegetables. They can be prepared in anyway: freshly cut, steamed, cooked, baked etc.
Whole Grains and Legumes
Whole grains are a vital component to our diets. Modern society consumes mainly white flour and white rice. The difference between whoe rice and flour and white rice and flour is huge.
Seeds from grains have 3 components:
The hull, which is made up of fibers
Starch, the main part of the seed which only has carbohydrates
germ, full of vitamins, minerals. This is not part of white flour or rice.
Studies have shown that consumption of whole grain is connected in a decreased risk of heart diseases and diabetes.
Small Changes = Big Difference
Losing weight is connected to the level of fat in your blood. Physical activity can help increase the level of HDL which protects the blood vessels. Small changes in the types of fat in your diet can improve your fat profile in the blood. Vegetables frutis and whole grains are very helpful in promoting your health and reducing risk of cardiovascular diseases.