Fitness Nutrition

LIVE IT: Reduce Risk of Heart Disease with a Mediterranean Diet

What comes to mind when you think of the Mediterranean perhaps a pristine Italian coastline or a dream vacation destination or how about food the Mediterranean diet has many health benefits that can lower our risk for heart disease it’s a sobering reality that one in every four deaths in America is a result of heart disease one of the main risk factors is having high cholesterol cholesterol is a waxy fat-like substance and when your body makes too much of it it can build up on the walls of your arteries this buildup restricts the amount of blood and oxygen carried throughout your body and can result in a stroke heart attack or other forms of heart disease eating a traditional Mediterranean diet lowers our risk for heart disease the traditional Mediterranean diet is legumes and vegetables whole grains fruits nuts olive oil instead of butter and other types of fats small amounts of dairy products and the small amounts of meat the Mediterranean diet has many health benefits because it contains high amounts of antioxidants protein and omega-3s that you should shift from avoiding fats entirely to adding healthy fats into your diet that fight bad cholesterol to get the good and saturated fats steps the two olive oil and nuts and seeds as well as avocados into your diet you can use olive oil for salad dressings stir-fry make desserts or replace better by dipping your bread in olive oil the fats and olive oil are mostly monounsaturated which help lower cholesterol the second tip is eat more legumes like beans lentils and garbanzos a traditional Mediterranean food like hummus is made from garbanzo beans and oil from whole sesame seeds try adding hummus to your next sandwich or use it as a dip for pita bread carrot sticks and other vegetables the third tip is to eat more nuts and seeds like almonds and walnuts one thing you can try is instead of having a candy dish on a table fill it with almonds this way as you and your family members of walk by you’ll pick up a quick and healthy step there is your tip for the day on how you can live healthier longer you