We all would love to live a healthy life by using the foods that we eat every day. This is vital because every thing you eat will ultimately affect your heart, whether you like it or not. This is why I am in love with foods that look out for my heart. In fact I prioritize on these foods.
A Mediterranean diet for heart health comes up as number one for giving you a healthier and a strong life. This has been the case for me ever since I changed my diet 8 years ago. Although my change was caused by an illness I had gotten I am glad I changed my diet to focus on this diet because my life has been way healthier and I am having great healthy factors in my life.
This article will be talking about what a Mediterranean diet is, who it is best for, The pros and cons of the diet.
What is a Mediterranean diet?
A Mediterranean diet is basically a diet originating from the Greece, Italian and Spanish way of eating in the 1940s and is considered the healthiest diet on earth by many experts. This diet mainly focuses on lean meat like Poultry and Fish and doesn’t include red meat. It also includes vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains which help with the balancing out of the lean meat.
The good aspect about this diet is that it only includes the healthy types of oils,which according to Medical News Today, are good for heart health due to a study that was done in Spain which looked at the biological and clinical effects of olive oil.
This diet is what I specifically used to unclog my heart arteries 8 years ago and I am still using till today. What was amazing was that I never knew it was a Mediterranean diet until only 2 years ago. I was only eating these selected types of foods because I was reading different articles online which were talking about foods that do not unclog your heart arteries or those that help unclog heart arteries and keep them heart healthy.
Is the Mediterranean diet for you?
I have to confess that there are some diets which are considered to only be good for certain types of people. This of course could be due to many factors which can contribute. For instance, in my case, I had to change my diets to a more plant based due to the illness I had developed.
However over time I found out that actually diets say a lot about your future heart health or just your future health in general. So choosing a healthier option can actually improve your life or even help reduce a disease you have.
Think of your diet just like your thoughts. Would you want to invite negative thoughts in your daily life just because you feel comfortable or you are oblivious?, of course not. Because you will end up being a negative and depressed person right? So it is the same with the foods you put into your body. The more you eat healthy the more you are depositing good health for your future. Remember most diseases or illnesses do not develop over a day of eating the wrong foods, but they are a result of daily deposits of the wrong foods.
Wherever I go I see that there is a debate about whether to eat a vegetarian diets or not. Some people argue and say meat is essential while the Vegetarians disagree. The best thing about the Mediterranean diet is that it involves foods that tend to more or less balance out the views between the meat eaters and the vegetarians.
My advice would be that anybody can stick with this diet since it is neutral. For the meat eaters it is merely about taking out the red meat and replacing it with the lean meat. This can be done in small amounts when you start; You don’t have to eliminate all the red meat at once, All you do is to pace your taste buds until they get use to the Mediterranean diet. I feel the Mediterranean diet can also be used as a bridge for the meat eaters who are looking to convert to a vegetarian diet as quick as possible.
With the vegetarians (vegans, included) it is easier to try implement part of this Mediterranean diet compared to meat eaters. For this group it is easy because they are already eating 80% like the Mediterranean diet so all they need to do is to supplement some nutrients which will have all the nutrients that the lean meats have such as Iron and calcium, You can check my article on the best supplements for heart health that I put up here. There are other foods for vegans or vegetarians that they can eat within their diet to supplement the nutrients that they miss. But supplements I found work good especially if you are too busy to incorporate these foods in your meals. My first advice is whenever you think of supplementing, you must check with your Doctor,because you never know if you are allergic to certain products.
Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet
I have to admit the diet’s benefits outweigh the disadvantages. I will however be talking about both from my personal experience with this diet. The following are the Benefits you will see by adopting this diet.
- Lighter body- this means that it tends to reduce your body weight. This is good especially for people who are looking to loose a bit of weight without even using any supplements.
- Clean heart arteries- With the high amount of omega 3 (from fish and olive oil) the diet helps with keeping your heart health at a top-level.
- Reduced inflammation-The foods in the diet also assist in reducing the inflammation that occurs all around your body.
- Fresher breath-With the high fiber content in fruits you are sure to maintain your good fresh breath.
- Fuller-Keeps you fuller throughout the day with the high proteins in the diet.
Shortfalls of the Mediterranean diet
The shortfalls of the diet are as follows:
- Costly- As with any good investment you do in life you can expect to pay more for these foods. However, there are ways to not kill your bank account by doing a combination of these foods.
- Supplements- You may still need to do some supplementing especially if you do not get to eat too much fish or poultry
Health nugget for the Mediterranean diet
You may be wondering at this stage whether you are allowed to eat any sweets or chocolates. Well as much you can eat these foods, just keep the eating of such in moderation, rather substitute sweets with fruits especially the ones that will convince your taste buds that you are having something sweet. The following are the foods and goodies you can add in your snacks to indulge on while using this diet:
- Dark chocolate- Focus on dark chocolates with a cocoa content of more than 70%. The higher the percentage the healthier it is for your heart health. You can check a post I made for this information here.
- Nuts-Nuts are a great way to have a snack since they are easy to carry around, But the best tip is to add your nuts on a dark chocolate, by looking for a chocolate of 70% cocoa with nuts ingredients.
- Fruits- Carry fruits with you when you go to work or when you are at gym. Fruits are a good way to keep your hunger at bay which will help you not over eat.
I hope this article helped you understand more about the Mediterranean diet to help you boost your heart health. If you have anything to add or any information to share you are welcome to comment below.