The Mediterranean Diet – Home and Abroad

When it comes to food, most of us Brit’s abroad tend to stick to our creature comforts – which usually means heading for the restaurants and stores that offer the food we love and miss from home. Because of this, more and more supermarkets and restaurants are accommodating this ‘cross-cultural’ demand, and for the British pallet in particular.

food-salad-healthy-vegetables-mediumThe Mediterranean diet however, has been credited with doing everything from helping you lose weight to living longer and improving the health of your brain. A new study, looking at its effect on people with poor heart health, shows that the diet may be a huge help for that too.

The observational study was presented at the European Society of Cardiology Conference and showed that people who have had a history of cardiovascular disease and stuck closest to the diet, had a 37% lower risk of death compared with those who didn’t stick with it. Yeah, I know… how often are we told to only eat this, but don’t eat that… blah, blah, blah. One thing’s for sure though, if you eat junk you feel like junk, if you eat well, guess what? TAH DA! You feel well.

I absolutely ADORE chocolate, so there is no way in hell I am going to give that up. I also drink lots of water, I love salads, and I eat very little bread unless it is packed with grains and seeds. Does that make me a health nut? No – it does not. Now and then I will indulge myself with a special treat when I feel like one. This way, I never deprive myself when something takes my fancy, and my body always lets me know when something I eat isn’t good for me anyway. I always listen and watch for the signs. As indeed we all should – it is the best indicator of all when it comes to our food and drinking habits. Good… or bad!

You are what you eat

I once knew someone who complained about their weight, cholesterol levels and general feelings of ‘unwellness’ regularly. Yet during that complaining, they threw the same stodgy, fatty foods inside them day after day, and made no effort whatsoever to exercise. Why did they constantly complain of lethargy?

“Well… it is a science, but it is not of the ‘rocket’ kind.” Your health depends on your mindset. If it is negative, you can only expect negative results.

A Mediterranean diet is one that is heavy on vegetables and legumes, fish, fruit, nuts and whole grains.

Food is cooked in olive oil rather than butter or the less healthy cooking oil options. Meat eaters can keep poultry and lean cuts of meat on their Mediterranean menu, where red meat, processed food and sugar are most definitely off. I find it hard to digest meat of any kind, especially red meat, so I tend to steer clear. food-vinegar-eat-fruit-52999-medium

The diet seems to do even better than one of the most prescribed options for people with heart problems: cholesterol-lowering statins. On average, statins reduce risk of heart problems about 24%, according to earlier studies. That means the Mediterranean diet looks like a real winner when it comes to heart health too.  Many doctors recommend the diet due to the variety of menu options, including the glass of wine or beer a day which helps people to stick with it, when compared to other diets.

Earlier studies showed that people eating the Mediterranean diet have a lower risk of heart attack and stroke. It may even lower your risk of cancer, improve your bone health and help you live longer generally. Because the new study is only observational, meaning the subjects acted independently, more research is needed. If you do have a history of heart problems or your family has had heart issues, you may want to to give this diet a try. In fact, I recommend that you do.

Diet and bone health

The Mediterranean diet is well-known for its health benefits on your heart and waistline, but did you know that your bones could benefit too? According to a new study published online by JAMA Internal Medicine – it can. In the study, researchers examined whether diet quality affects bone health in postmenopausal women. They found that women who ate a Mediterranean diet were less likely to suffer from hip fractures.

If you care about YOU – then give it a go! What do you have to lose?

Here’s a delicious recipe to try at home – something tasty and refreshing to share with your friends. ENJOY!

A Strawberry-Melon Sangria Recipe – YUMMY!

Aperol, a bittersweet, orangey Italian liqueur similar to Campari, helps balance the sweetness of the strawberries, melon, and honey in this deep-red sangria.  Serve over ice, garnished with the fruit. Top off each glass with a splash of soda.

  • 1 750-ml bottle dry red wine, such as Chianti
  • 2 fl. oz. (1/4 cup) Aperol or Campari
  • 1 fl. oz. (2 Tbs.) Cointreau or other orange liqueur
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup thinly sliced, hulled strawberries (about 8 medium berries)
  • 1 cup small-diced, peeled, seeded cantaloupe (from 1/4 medium)
  • 1 small lemon, thinly sliced crosswise and seeded
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish



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