Diet Alert: Why is Eating the Mediterranean Way Heart Healthy?

Mediterranean Diet for Your Heart

Diet Alert: Why is Eating the Mediterranean Way Heart Healthy?

The Mediterranean diet has long been known for several health benefits. Interestingly, recent studies and clinical trials reveal their beneficial properties specifically for cardiac health. Find out Why Is The Mediterranean Diet Healthy for Your Heart.

In Today’s Post:

#1. How does the Mediterranean diet plan benefit heart health?

#2. Documented Cardiovascular Benefits of the Mediterranean diet

#3. How to Follow Mediterranean Diet Plan if You’re a Heart Patient?

#4. Most Frequently Asked Questions by Heart Patients for the Mediterranean Diet

Cardiac patients keep looking for ways to improve heart health. Diet plays a crucial role in uplifting your wellbeing.

Thus, people keep trying different ways to treat cardiac problems.

In fact, it’s the main reason behind the death of men, women, and people of different backgrounds in the US. Moreover, in every 36 seconds, at least one person dies from a cardiac ailment. The number increases to 655,000 Americans in a year.

However, recent studies indicate how the Mediterranean Diet Plan can benefit heart patients. In the long run, it can even slightly lessen the problems.

But, should we believe in these extraordinary claims? Or, we should question Why Is The Mediterranean Diet Healthy For Your Heart?

Well, we’ve done a complete inspection to discern the truth.

Firstly, let’s understand how the Mediterranean diet is the Healthiest in relation to heart health.

 

Why is the Mediterranean Diet Healthy for Your Heart?

Oftentimes, the Mediterranean diet is considered to revolve around Mediterranean food.

Whether it’s pizza and pasta from Italy or lamb chops from Greece, people dream of having a lot of them when it comes to switching to the diet plan.

However, this eating pattern doesn’t incline with its name. In fact, like most meal plans, it’s about hitting healthier eating options.

In fact, a Mediterranean diet actually relies completely on regional fruits, beans, veggies, nuts, dairy, seafood, and specifically olive oil.

Surprisingly, red wine is a crucial part of the diet plan.

With that said, Is Mediterranean Food Healthy?

The Ideology Behind the Mediterranean Diet for Heart Health

This eating habit is widespread among the inhabitants of Crete, Greece, and Southern Italy.

Interestingly, these people have the lowest rate of chronic ailments in the world. Even while having the least medical facilities, the life expectancy rate is highest compared to other places.

Obviously, this drew the attention of several nutritionists and dieticians.

However, the credit of discovery of the different health benefits of the Mediterranean diet is associated with the American scientist, Ancel Keys.

For the first time, he stressed the relationship between cardiovascular disease and diet.

Even after being published in 1960, the Mediterranean Diet Plan wasn’t popularized until 1990. Currently, it’s mostly popular among weight loss aspirants.

 

Mediterranean Diet for Your Heart

Heart-Healthy Diet

It’s more than just consuming fresh, wholesome foods. Though it’s about the constant choice of eating healthy, it’s an overall lifestyle difference.

Well, combining these healthy foods with daily workouts and other lifestyle choices makes a difference.

Eventually, the profound benefits in improving mood, mental health, and overall well being are observed.

What makes it unique from other eating healthy habits is also the number of delicious tasting foods.

Undoubtedly, making changes in your diet is highly complicated. Particularly, if you’re highly dependent on packed food.

However, the benefits of the Mediterranean diet are worth such efforts. With the recent discovery of its benefits in cardiovascular diseases, it has gone popular.

Still, it’s only fair to question, Why Is the Mediterranean Diet So Healthy For Your Heart? Well, we’ve gone through a couple of studies to discover the truth.

 

How is the Mediterranean Diet Healthy for Your Heart? [Documented Benefits]

The diet plan seems to improve the condition of a heart patient. This is why even doctors have this eating habit at the top of their recommendation list.

In fact, the other popular term used for it is Heart Healthy Diet.

Nonetheless, can it really benefit your wellbeing? What makes it so effective in treating or preventing cardiac issues?

Certainly, these areas must be explored before believing in Mediterranean Diet Health Benefits in this respect.

Fortunately, several studies and research are available making a huge point in this direction. Here’s what we observed.

Study 1: Mediterranean Diet for Coronary Heart Disease

A study conducted by NCBI on the Mediterranean diet and prevention of coronary heart disease in the elderly has a sound outcome.

Evidence suggests that the traditional dietary pattern is beneficial for overall well being.

Moreover, the study revealed its cardio-protective effects are successful using different mechanisms. In fact, the diet plan can revolutionize public health if followed by a large number.

Study 2: Similar Systematic Eating Can Also Help

A study by Jama Internal medicine demonstrated that the Mediterranean Diet Plan lessens the fatality rate among heart patients.

With 1302 participants suffering from different cardiac conditions, the eating pattern seemed helpful.

In the general population, the diet seemed to improve the survival of patients even with somewhat similar systematic eating. 

Study 3: Reduces Cardiac Issues in Women

Another study published on NCBI declares that adhering to the diet plan can decrease the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD).

In fact, the data shared by them demonstrate the relationship between the Mediterranean diet and the risk of stroke.

74,886 women aged 38-63 with a history of cardiac problems participated in the Nurses’ Health Study. Finally, they concluded a greater adherence to Mediterranean Diet Foods and the eating pattern reduces the risk of the disease.

What Can Be Inferred?
The above studies were a reference to examine Why Is the Mediterranean Diet Healthy for Your Heart. Well, what we can see is the cardio-protective benefits associated with the diet plan making it a Heart Healthy Diet. The properties employ various human body processes and mechanisms.

However, don’t underestimate the Mediterranean Diet Benefits. It doesn’t only benefit your cardiac health but also goes beyond it.

Let’s discover other advantages you can expect.

 

Mediterranean Diet Plan Has More to Offer

A healthy diet plan can transform your health and wellbeing completely. With Mediterranean Diet Foods, you have numerous benefits and advantages to receive.

Although there are notable cardiac health improvements of the Mediterranean diet. Still, it can do much more to your mental and physical health both with distinction.

Some Mediterranean Diet Health Benefits to be thankful for!

Benefit 1: Preclude Heart Disease and Strokes

Mediterranean Diet Breakfast and other meals eliminate refined bread, processed foods, and red meat. Also, it increases the intake of red wine in contrast to hard drinks.

Evidently, this diminishes crucial factors leading to increased cardiac problems. Thus, the diet plan helps in preventing disease and stroke.

Benefit 2: Keeping You Agile

For adults, following a Mediterranean Diet Plan promotes nutrition transfusion and nourishment.

Eventually, the risk of growing muscle weakness, osteoporosis, and other symptoms of frailty reduces by 70%.

Benefit 3: Decreasing the Risk of Alzheimer’s

Studies have proven that the diet plan improves blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and overall blood vessel health. In the end, it lessens the risk of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

Benefit 4: Halving the Risk of Parkinson’s Disease

Mediterranean diet plan supplies a high level of antioxidants. This prevents cells from going through a destructive process called oxidative stress.

This drowns out the risk of Parkinson’s disease in half.

Benefit 5: Increasing Longevity

The diet plan is effective in reducing the risk of problems or cancer. In other words, it cuts down the risk of death by 20% at any age.

Benefit 6: Protecting Against Type 2 Diabetes

Following the diet plan provides you immense fiber. The slow-digesting nutrient prevents huge ups and downs in blood sugar.

Moreover, it helps in body weight management while preventing further weight gain.

 

How To Get Started If You are a Heart Patient?

Mediterranean diet has become one of the popular systematic eating patterns. That’s not because of the Mediterranean Diet Weight Loss benefits only, though.

In fact, it has shown positive effects in terms of improving heart health. Besides, it’s helpful in benefitting several health conditions.

Being completely diversified and relying on greens, the diet is distinct from the common American and European eating habits.

In short, it entails all the important nutrients in balance to keep your body in good condition. Meanwhile, it prevents all health issues, which are increasingly becoming common.

Here’s How to Follow a Mediterranean Diet for Heart Patients

The major culprit behind the increased cardiac problems is the reliance on refined and processed foods. Moreover, flesh, meat, pork, and beef are also the most common villains.

This increases the cholesterol level in the body, which accumulates on the inner walls of the blood vessels.

So, the blood flow gets restricted with increased cholesterol levels. Eventually, leading to different heart conditions or even stroke.

On the other hand, the Mediterranean Diet Plan For Beginners begins with the formula of restricting these in the first place.

Here’s what you can see as the major component of this eating pattern:

  • Having lots of veggies, whole grains, fruits, and healthy fats
  • Consuming poultry, fish, beans, and eggs weekly
  • Modest shares of dairy products
  • Controlled consumption of red meat

Well, this is a short introduction to the diet plan. More elaborated information can be read below.

The Diet Relies on Greens No Meat

Unlike other diet plans, the Mediterranean diet plan relies on greens. Basically, you can have vegetables, herbs, fruits, beans, nuts, and whole grains.

Moreover, you can have a limited quantity of dairy, eggs, and poultry. Also, seafood is a central part of the eating pattern but is allowed once a week.

Surprisingly, a moderate quantity of red wine is switched with regular liquor intake to keep things interesting.

A Center for Healthy fats

Healthy fats are the backbone of the systematic eating pattern. Rather than having saturated and trans fats (lesser healthy fats) contributing to the cardiac condition, the Mediterranean diet relies on healthy fats.

Thus, Olive oil is the primary part of the diet plan. In fact, it delivers monounsaturated fat lowering cholesterol level LDL (low-density lipoprotein). Nuts and seeds also comprise monounsaturated fat.

Omega-3 fatty acids are another healthy fat. Fish has much of this healthy fat making it an essential part of the Mediterranean diet.

Thus, you can rely on fatty fish like herring, mackerel, albacore tuna, sardines, salmon, and lake trout.  

Omega-3 fatty acids, a polyunsaturated fat lessen inflammation and decreases blood clotting, and diminishes the risk of stroke and heart failure.

This is a bit of a demonstration of how to get started with a Mediterranean diet plan for health benefits.

However, once you begin this eating pattern, avert from having Sugar-sweetened beverages. Also, avoid added sugars, refined grains, processed meat, refined oils, and other different highly-processed foods.

From the above discussion, it’s clear Why is the Mediterranean Diet Healthy for Your Heart.

With immense benefits, the diet has become popular for treatment in cardiac conditions specifically.

Lastly, we’ve dealt with some of the most common FAQs.

 

Common FAQs on Mediterranean Diet for Heart Health

With the popularized relation between Mediterranean Diet and heart health, several questions and doubts have arisen.

In this segment, we’ve tried to answer some of the common queries to the best of our knowledge.

Q1: Is the Mediterranean Diet Good for Heart Patients?

A study by The New England Journal of Medicine this February has the sound answer. It concludes the diet as a heart protector.

In fact, they found it to lessen the risk of strokes and cardiac disease.

Moreover, it reduced death from cardiac issues by 30% in comparison to a general low-fat diet.

Q2: What are the Characteristics of a Mediterranean Diet That Can Reduce The Risk for Heart Disease By 30%?

A clinical trial published the result. It has shown that the Mediterranean Diet plus olive oil or nuts decreased the risk of cardiac issues by roughly 30% in contrast to other low-fat diets.

Obviously, most of the Mediterranean Diet contains fruits and veggies. With a high quantity of dietary fiber and flavonoids, it decreases the risk of heart problems.

Furthermore, its anti-inflammatory properties prevent heart strokes.

Q3: What Diet Do Cardiologists Recommend?

Dr. DeVane and some experts recommend considering the Mediterranean style of eating.

Well, it minimized the intake of red meat. Mainly, the diet relies on fresh fruits and veggies, nuts, beans, and olive oil.

On top of that, you can have red wine in moderation. However, you can have chicken or deep-sea fish once a week.

Q4: What Foods are Not Allowed on the Mediterranean Diet?

If you are on the Mediterranean diet, you’ve to avoid some food items. The list mainly includes:

  • Refined grains, like white pasta, white bread, and pizza dough comprising white flour.
  • Refined oils, counting in soybean oil, canola oil, and others.
  • Foods with additional sugars, like sugar-loaded drinks, pastries, chocolates, sodas, and candies.
  • Hot dogs, deli meats, red meats, and other processed meats.

Q5: What Kind of Cheese is Allowed on the Mediterranean Diet?

Abstain from having processed dairy products. You can have less processed foods. Consider:

  • Flavorful and delicious cheeses like parmesan
  • Feta or part-skim mozzarella rather than processed American slices

Q6: How Often Can You Eat Chicken on Mediterranean Diet?

Systematic eating limits intake of any kind of meat. However, a moderate quantity of meat and poultry once a week is allowed.

On the other hand, you can relish on 1 to 2 servings of fish every week.

Q7: What 3 Foods Cardiologists Say To Avoid?

Actually, there are more than three foods Cardiologists say to avoid.

We have shared a quick list:

  • Added salt
  • Coconut oil
  • Sugar loaded dessert
  • Fast food and junkies
  • Too much protein-packed meals
  • Energy drinks and sugar extravaganza drinks
  • Processed snacks like Potato chips and others
  • Processed meats like bacon, sausage, and others 

Q8: Is Peanut Butter Ok on Mediterranean Diet?

Yes, peanut butter is more preferable as compared to a normal one. However, nut packed butter is ok in moderate quantities. Have no more than 1-2 Teaspoons of peanut butter.

 

Heart Health & Mediterranean Diet | Our Final Take

Clearly, from the above discussion, we can observe the numerous benefits of a Mediterranean diet. There’s no exact figure to understand the helpfulness.

However, different studies and researches have established the relationship between the Mediterranean diet and heart health.

In other words, the prediction and claims of the American scientist Ancel Keys were completely true. In case you want to improve your cardiac problems, the Mediterranean Diet Plan can be helpful.

Well, we’ve already answered Why Is the Mediterranean Diet Healthy for Your Heart. Still, consulting with your nutritionist or doctor before changing your routine is recommended.

 

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Levin Scholten
levin@horizonclinics.org

Levin Scholten is a research fellow examining the role of oxidative stress and lifestyle changes on protein and amino acid metabolism. Drawing on his analytical awareness and investigative skills, Levin contributes to diet and supplement guides by deducing present scientific data. Read More... About Me

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