Welcome to The Cooking Cardiologist Blog! I write about health, food and cooking from my perspective as a cardiologist (as you can imagine, there’s a lot to know). If you don’t see something you’re interested to know, please ask!
The prevalence of cardiovascular disease is considerably less in Mediterranean countries than in the U.S., and diet is a big reason. The benefits of following a Mediterranean-type diet are impressive: The diet can reduce cardiovascular events by 72% and lower total mortality by 60%. So, learning to eat the Mediterranean way is a heart-healthy choice that makes a lot of sense for a lot of people.
Although no single set of guidelines exists for what constitutes a “traditional Mediterranean diet,” most dieticians and doctors agree on the key components. A Mediterranean diet is high in fruits, vegetables, beans, whole-grain carbohydrates, nuts, fish and monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, avocado and nuts. Dairy-product consumption is low-to-moderate and little red meat is eaten. Alcohol (especially red wine) is consumed in moderation.
A Mediterranean diet involves far more than enjoying lots of extra-virgin olive oil. It starts when you get up in the morning and guides your eating patterns throughout the day. Here are six simple tips to help you get started with a Mediterranean diet:
Finally, remember that feeling full is your body’s way of saying that you have eaten too much. So, stop eating when you are satisfied, not full. For additional information about eating the Mediterranean way, be sure to check out the Mayo Clinic’s informative overview of the diet and the elements of Mediterranean-style cooking.