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A study of the Mediterranean diet by researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston and the University of Athens Medical School in Greece discusses the benefits of eight foods that are the main components of the diet.

1.  Olive Oil  –  It can help lower cholesterol, but should be used in moderation.

2.  Lots of fruits and vegetables.  Researchers reported that once your diet is comprised of mostly vegetables and fruit (preferably at every meal), the additive benefits of other foods are small.   These should be a mainstay in your diet.

3.  Fish and Seafood.  Emphasis was made on eating wild fish and preparing fish in a healthy way.

4.  Nuts.  Walnuts and almonds are the best; they help with heart health, as long as they are not prepared with lots of salt and sugar.

5.  Beans.  They contain protein, fiber, iron and tons of nutrients.

6.  Alcohol — red wine, but only in moderation, can help prevent heart disease.  Too much can have an opposite effect.  The key ingredient is resveratrol, which is also found in grapes and pomegranates.

7.  Cereals.  Researchers emphasize that whole grain cereals are beneficial, while sugary, processed cereals are not. (Dr C note: I suggest sticking to the less common whole grains Emmer, Brown rice, Farro, Einkorn, Rye, Spelt,  Millet, Quinoa, Amaranth, and  Sprouted Grains.

8.  Cutting Back on Dairy. (Dr. C note: If you are doing dairy make sure it’s at least organic so you don’t have the hormones and antibiotics that are so prevalent. If you can find a local farmer at your farmers market who will provide you with fresh local milk that’s even better. I am also not a fan of non fat dairy because i think it converts to sugar too quickly in your body).

For more info, read the ABC News article here.