By: Patricia Esparza, 5210 Contributor
Cardiovascular disease and cancer are still some of the leading causes of death in the United States and the prevalence of these diseases are lower in countries along the Mediterranean sea.
In fact, a meta-analysis of more than 1.5 million healthy adults demonstrated that following a Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular death. It's also been supported that the Mediterranean diet lowers LDL (bad cholesterol) and raises HDL (good cholesterol).
The Mediterranean diet is full of fresh fruits and vegetables, especially beans. And healthy fats, which can be found in foods such as olive oil, safflower oil, nuts, and fish.
If you are interested in following the Mediterranean diet, here are some key points to follow
- Eat plant-based foods for most of your meals. The Mediterranean diet's entrees are primarily plant-based!
- Use a variety of spices instead of table salt to reduce the amount of sodium you eat
- Limit red meat to a few times a month, and increase the amount of seafood in your diet!
- Replace butter with olive oil!
- Reduce refined grains and replace them with whole grains