Mediterranean Diet Menus – Healthy Plans to Get You Started
Mediterranean diet menus are proven to be better for a person’s health by the fact that heart disease incidence in Mediterranean countries is proven to be considerably lower compared to United States figures.
Statistically, according to 1995-1998 heart disease death statistics there were almost 103 deaths per 100,000 population caused by heart disease. In the United States that figure was 106 per 100,000, The United Kingdom had 122 deaths per 100,000 and Australia had 110 deaths per 100,000. Interestingly, four out of the six LOWEST heart disease death rates belonged to Mediterranean countries;
- France: 39.8 deaths per 100,000
- Spain: 53.8 deaths per 100,000
- Italy: 65.2 deaths per 100,000
- Greece: 68.8 deaths per 100,000
So what is the secret of Mediterranean diet menus?
Well, the focus of the diet is lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, whole grains, seafood and olive oil combined with minimal processed grain, red meat, saturated fat and salt. If you drink alcohol then a glass of red wine with dinner also increases your antioxidant consumption. Because of these factors, the diet is high in omega 3 and antioxidants which improves heart health and fights free radicals which may lead to diseases like cancer. The findings associated with the Mediterranean diet are consistent with findings elsewhere around the globe. A diet low in saturated fats with plenty of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats produces better health outcomes, especially when it comes to heart health.
Many people are very concerned about their health these days and who wouldn’t be? The mounting figures of major health issues like heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes is enough to scare anyone.
Many studies support Mediterranean diet menus as one of the most healthy in the world including research by The New England Journal of Medicine, Harvard School of Public Health and the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory. Consequently, there is real evidence of Mediterranean Diet Menus aiding in weight loss and reduced risk of cancer and heart disease as a whole.
The great thing with these menus is that they allow for greater creativity and taste which is not possible with other diets. But it is important to combine any diet with moderate exercise to maintain health. And this is the other aspect of Mediterranean life. They tend to have a higher level of activity. For example, most households have their own veggie patch, you’ve probably even noticed this if you have neighbors who come from the region. Not only do they have to tend for their garden, but they are also more likely to go for a walk. All of these things add up to a more active lifestyle and better health.
Sample Mediterranean diet menu
Fresh Yoghurt with berries and low fat granola
Place 7oz rinsed canned chickpeas, 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1/2 a white onion (chopped in quarters), 1/4 cup chopped red pepper, 5 black or kalamata olives, 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste), and 1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar into a blender and blend down to a rough paste. Serve on a bed of lettuce leaves (approximately 2 cups) with 2-3 halved cherry tomatoes.
A handful of heart healthy raw, unsalted nuts
Delicious grilled salmon with greek salad
Slice cucumber, green bell peppers, tomato, and red onion and kalamata olives then mix together. Crumble fetta cheese over the top and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and a little extra virgin olive oil
Heat grill, griddle or frying pan. Take one salmon fillet and slice it into 1 1/2 to 2 inch strips. Spray both sides with extra virgin olive oil then place in hot grill or pan skin side up. Cook for approximately 2 minutes per side turning ONCE only. It may take a little more than two minutes per side depending on the thickness of the fillet. When cooked place salmon on top of Greek salad and serve.