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The Mediterranean Diet: What the Greeks Know about Healthy Cuisine

"If you have health, you will probably be happy, and if you have health and happiness, you have all the wealth you need, even if it's not everything you want." - Elbert Hubbard.

There are many approaches to optimal well-being. Infomercials tell us about different diet plans from pills and natural herbs to the benefits of liquid diets compared to conventional weight loss methods. What should you believe?

One of the clarifications of the call is the old saying, "If it's too good to be true - that's possible."

The Mediterranean diet depends only on old wisdom. The current study confirms that a man's daily meal is another man's journey to optimal well-being.

In Greece, symptoms of heart disease are among the lowest in the world. It seems that the body of most current scientific research shows that a high diet in fruits and vegetables as well as regular consumption of cereals, legumes, fish, low-fat dairy products, olive oil and nuts provide long-term health benefits and protection.

With a Mediterranean diet you will find that optimal health is more important than weight loss. What the Greeks have known intuitively for centuries has been linked to scientific data showing that adherence to traditional Mediterranean diet can lead to reduced heart disease, improved lifespan and reduced risk for some types of cancer. The health benefits of olive oil have long been realized in Greece.

The term "Mediterranean Diet" is really a generic term because diets in Greece are still diverse. You will find the influence of North Africa and Italy on many Greek cuisines, but the island of Crete has proven true health research. Crete residents have one of the lowest risk of heart disease in the world.

Interestingly, western culture examines the health benefits of countries like Greece, but many young people in Greece are looking for western cuisine. This trend has proven to be rather antithetical to the health experienced by older Greeks. While parents ate melons, tomatoes, salads and yogurt, the younger generation ate cookies, hamburgers, fries, pizza and pop. The result is an increase in obesity among Greek youth cultures - researchers hope to see a rise in heart disease in the years to come.

With a Mediterranean diet, butter is replaced by the health benefits of olive oil, fast-food lunches are replaced with a variety of fresh vegetables - chocolate and cola snacks replaced with fresh fruits and nuts.

Maybe the reason you don't hear much about the Mediterranean diet is because you may have other weight loss plans that have no special pills to buy, no special formulas to drink and no 12-step meal plan to buy.

Mediterranean diets work because common sense is involved in food choices and increasing HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) is a good indicator that they are doing it right. The health benefits of olive oil are unmistakable and traditional Greek cuisine utilizes additional herbs and olive oil. Accordingly, this common sense approach continues to see lower incidence of heart disease and colon cancer as well as an increase in overall survival and weight loss.



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