3/18/13

Special: A diet to cut the risk of stroke by 30%



You may have heard the buzz about the mediterranean diet on the news lately. What is the Mediterranean diet? It is a way of eating that incorporates the basics of healthy eating with an emphasis on olive oil and a glass of red wine if you wish. It is a heart healthy eating plan combining elements of Mediterranean-style cooking.

Based on a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil and tree nuts can significantly reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events among high-risk persons. The results support the benefits of the Mediterranean diet for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease.

In an article written in the Wall Street Journal, Steven Nissen, chairman of the department of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, who was not involved in the study "notes that the preventive effect of the diet is similar to the effect of taking statins, the cholesterol-lowering drugs, which research has shown to reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events by about 25% to 30%"

Foods Recommended
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil > 4 table spoons /day (cooking and salad dressing)
  • Tree nuts and peanuts  >3 servings/week (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts)
  • Fresh fruit  >3 servings per day
  • Fresh veggies >2 servings per day
  • Oily Fish (Salmon, Tuna, Trout, Herring, Sardines, Mackerel) >3 servings per week
  • Legumes (beans, peas, lentils) > 3 servings per week
  • White meat (skinless chicken, duck, pork, lamb, veal)
  • Wine with meals (optional) >7 glasses/week NOTE: 1 glass = 4oz
Foods Discouraged
  • Sodas - less than 1 drink per day
  • Commercial baked goods, sweets, etc. - less than 3 servings per week
  • Spread fats (margarine/butter) - less than 1 serving per day
  • Red and processed meats - less than 1 serving per day
For the next two Mondays we are going to focus on the Mediterranean Diet. Next week, we look at the importance of olive oil and how to pick amongst all the different varieties. Then we will wrap it up by providing you with a meal plan that you can use to start your own Mediterranean way of eating.

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