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Mediterranean Diet, The Gold Standard of Lifelong Good Health

The Mediterranean diet is a lifestyle approach to healthy eating that includes a balanced variety of foods and daily exercise. the diet is based on the foods and drinks traditionally consumed by people living in countries along the Mediterranean Sea. the Mediterranean diet includes an abundance of seasonally fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes and nuts, whole grains, and fish, with small amounts of poultry and meats.

TEXARKANA, Ark. –

Mediterranean Diet, the Gold Standard of Lifelong Good Health

The Mediterranean diet is a lifestyle approach to healthy eating that includes a balanced variety of foods and daily exercise. The diet is based on the foods and drinks traditionally consumed by people living in countries along the Mediterranean Sea. The Mediterranean diet includes an abundance of seasonally fresh fruits and vegetables; legumes and nuts; whole grains; and fish; with small amounts of poultry and meats. But why would you want to try it? Are there any health benefits to it, or is it just another diet?

The list of health benefits associated with the Mediterranean diet is endless, and includes reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. The Mediterranean diet has also been shown to shrink waistlines and improve mental function. This approach is considered the “gold standard” of lifelong good health.

Fiber in whole grains, legumes, fruit, nuts, vegetables, and nuts are all cornerstones of the Mediterranean diet. These all help slow digestion and helps control blood sugar levels.

The monounsaturated fats in olive oil, nuts, and fish can protect against heart disease and improve both glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity. 

Numerous research studies have linked adherence to the traditional Mediterranean diet to be beneficial to our health. It is shown that following the Mediterranean diet, has a decreased risk of death from all causes, heart disease and cancer. Can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease by 30 percent. Has shown a reduction in inflammation that increases risk for heart disease.

It has also shown that it has a decreased risk for hypertension and lower abdominal obesity as well as a decreased risk for metabolic syndrome.

There is good news for in that it reduces the risk for type 2 diabetes and improves glycemic control and insulin sensitivity in people with diabetes. As well as mental health with reduced risk of stroke, Alzheimer disease and dementia as well as improved cognitive function.

Plant foods are the foundation of the Mediterranean Diet. In this diet, you eat plenty of colorful fresh fruits and vegetables. As well as whole grains and cereals instead of refined grains and cereals.

Olive oil has been a staple in the Mediterranean Diet for over 2,500 years. It adds flavors, and textures and is high in health-promoting monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. It is the primary fat used. It is used in cooking, seasoning, dressings, and is always extra virgin olive oil, first press.

Learn more about the Mediterranean Diet, the “gold standard” for lifelong good health in a hands on cooking school where you will learn how to incorporate dishes of fruits, vegetables, fish, and whole grains, into your meal planning and discuss the health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet.

You will prepare and taste recipes typical of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea in this hands-on workshop. March 19 and 26, from 9:00 to 11:30 am, $60.00 per person (covers both sessions). For reservations or more information, call the Miller County Extension office 870-779-3609 or e-mail chaley@uaex.edu.

Greek Salad is a great accompaniment for kebabs. This recipe makes 4 one half cups and has 85 calories per one half cup serving. It also has 7 grams fat, 96 mg sodium, 5 total carbohydrates, 2 grams protein per half cup serving.

Greek Salad

Three fourth pound tomatoes, seeded, diced (about 2 cups)

2 cups diced, seeded, peeled cucumber (about 1 large)

1 cup diced red bell pepper (about 1 large)

One fourth cup Kalamata olives or other black olives, halved

One fourth cup diced red onion

3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

One and one half tablespoon red wine vinegar

One half teaspoon dried oregano

One fourth cup crumbled feta cheese

Toss first nine ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Gently mix in cheese. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Can be made up to two hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature a few minutes before serving.

By Carla Haley Hadley M.S.
County Extension Agent
Family & Consumer Sciences
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Carla Haley Hadley M.S.
County Extension Agent
Family & Consumer Sciences
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
chaley@uaex.edu

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