A Bit of Mediterranean Lifestyle Could Help You Live Longer

mediterranean-diet

As if we didn’t already know that life on the Mediterranean is much better for our health, than the hectic city life and fast food of metropolises, it turns out that new research published this week in the British Medical Journal reveals that a Mediterranean Diet is amongst the healthiest out there. But while you may imagine strolls on the beach and kilos of gelato to take home, like many trips to Italy undoubtedly have, the diet that Harvard researchers investigated for the study was the trademark diet known of the Mediterranean – rich in olive oils, fish, vegetables, legumes and low in sugar. With a little added touch; a glass of wine traditional with every meal. And what the researchers found is that women who follow the strictly healthy fat diet have significantly longer life spans than women who don’t have a healthy diet – keeping them younger and in better health for years more than the global average.

Studying nutritional data from 4,676 participating in the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, the research team was able to determine which individuals’ diets were the healthiest. And what they found was that women whose dietary habits hewed significant similarities with a Mediterranean diet had elongated telomeres at the ends of their DNA, giving them longer cellular life-spans and healthier skin as a trade-off.

“We know that having shorter telomeres is associated with a lower life expectancy and a greater risk of cancer, heart disease, and other diseases” study coauthor from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Immaculata De Vivo says. “Certain lifestyle factors like obesity, sugary sodas, and smoking have been found to accelerate telomere shortening.”

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Oysters, olives, sprouts, liver: The foods we love to hate are good for us, says experts

An expert dietician reveals the top 10 items which are worth giving another try and suggests ways to help overcome your aversions

BROCCOLI
This much abused vegetable contains many nutrients such as folate, vitamins A, C and K, plus calcium.
Broccoli is also high in sulforaphane, an antioxidant considered to be protective against cancer as well as helpful in protecting the eyes from macular degeneration. TIP: Mash with potato, sprinkle a few florets on a pizza or add to a cheese sauce. Stir fry with linguine and prawns and a little soy or garlic sauce.healthy-eating-539826OYSTERSThese shellfish are bursting with vitamin C and zinc, boosting the immune system and helping wounds heal.

They are also low in calories so are a great starter when eating out.

Oysters have a salty taste but it’s the unusual, chewy texture that often upsets sensitive palates. Traditionally they are served raw with lemon, Tabasco or a little shallot vinaigrette. TIP: Grill lightly or bake rather than eating raw. Alternatively add a few to a stew.

OLIVES

High in healthy monounsaturated oils, olives are an important part of the Mediterranean diet which is associated with reduced heart disease and living a long life.

The bitter taste associated with olives comes from oleocanthal, a plant compound which is considered to be an anti–inflammatory.

TIP: Start with sweeter varieties, mash to make a tasty dip or opt for olives stuffed with peppers or lemon.
SPINACH
This leafy green has a slightly bitter and metallic taste due to its high iron content.It is this iron which helps produce the red blood cells responsible for keeping oxygen flowing around the body.Spinach is also packed with vitamin K which is necessary for blood clotting and also good for bone health. Other phytonutrients found in spinach are thought to protect against breast and prostate cancer.TIP: Use a big bunch for juicing with other vegetables and an apple for a touch of sweetness. Lightly steamed spinach tends to have a milder taste than boiled. Eat fresh in salads or sprinkle with olive oil and sesame seeds.

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Mediterranean Diet | Olives

Though we may not like to admit it, obesity, heart disease, and our health in general is most definitely linked to our diets. What we eat not only affects how we feel, grow, and live, it also affects the expression of certain negative genetic traits (3)(4)(5).

So when the Mediterranean diet began making the rounds in the health and diet world, it immediately caught my attention. Could a traditional diet increase vitality, health, and lower the risk of heart disease or other medical conditions? Do we now have a reason to eat more Greek salads, olives and hummus?

med2In 2008, a meta-analysis of 12 studies, with a total of 1,574,299 subjects was published in the BMJ (6). The researchers carefully and systematically analyzed 12 studies with cohorts from the Mediterranean and elsewhere around the world and studied the effects of adhering to a Mediterranean diet. Their primary goal was to investigate the relationship between adherence to a Mediterranean diet and mortality and chronic diseases.

The results were excellent if you’re fond of tabouleh and red cabbage. The meta-analysis found that a greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet is associated with a significant improvement in overall health: 9 percent reduction in overall mortality, 9 percent reduction in mortality from cardiovascular diseases, 6 percent reduction in incidence of or mortality from cancer, and a 13 percent reduction in incidence of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. These numbers are big news and further support a Mediterranean diet as a form of primary prevention of major chronic illnesses.

For those who are new to the Mediterranean diet, here’s a quick snapshot of what it includes (7): vegetables (broccoli, pumpkin, beets, arugula, artichokes), fruits (apples, apricots, avocados, peaches, oranges, pomegranates), olives and olive oil, nuts, beans, legumes, yogurt, fish and shellfish (shrimp, squid, mackerel, mussels, octopus, sardines, oysters), eggs, meats (in smaller portions), and a glass of red wine a day.

(Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/)

Robin’s Rescue: 7 low-carb, meat-free, easy meals

Robin Miller, Special for the Republic12:38 p.m. MST October 29, 2014

Quinoa pilaf with olives, pine nuts and feta: Cook 1 cup of quinoa according to the package instructions. While still warm, add 1 cup diced fresh tomato, 1/2cup pitted and sliced kalamata (Greek) olives, 1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts, 1/4cup chopped fresh parsley, 1/4 cup chopped scallions, 1 teaspoon dried oregano and 1 teaspoon dried thyme. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1teaspoon Dijon mustard. Add the mixture to the quinoa mixture and toss to combine. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Spoon the quinoa mixture into bowls and top with crumbled feta cheese.

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Lentils and couscous with garlic-wilted spinach and Parmesan: Cook 2cups of lentils according to the package instructions. Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2-3 cloves minced garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add 5 ounces of baby spinach leaves and cook for 1 minute, until the spinach wilts. Transfer the lentils to a large bowl and add the spinach, 11/2cups cooked whole-wheat couscous, 1/4cup grated Parmesan cheese and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil. Toss to combine, adding a little more olive oil if necessary to keep mixture moist. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Spoon the mixture into bowls and top with grated or shaved Parmesan cheese.

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6 high fat foods you should be eating

WHETHER we’re trying to lose weight or just avoid gaining it, many of us think steering clear of dietary fat is the first step. Rather than cut out all fat, however, we’d be better served if we focused on what types of fat we’re getting.

The body needs some fat — just not too much. Fat gives your body energy, keeps your skin and hair healthy, helps you absorb certain vitamins and even keeps you warm, among other responsibilities.

A diet high in saturated fat — found in animal products and some vegetable oils — can lead to heart problems, but eating the right amount of unsaturated fats can protect the heart.

Unsaturated fats — including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats — are considered good-for-you fats. Polyunsaturated fats include the famed omega 3 and omega 6 fats, both considered essential fatty acids, because our bodies can’t make them on its own. Polyunsaturated fats can help lower total cholesterol, while monounsaturated fats can raise “good” cholesterol, or HDL, and lower “bad” cholesterol, or LDL.

The average adult should get about 20 to 35 per cent of their daily calories from fat and less than 10 per cent of their daily calories from saturated fats. A gram of fat contains nine calories, so a daily diet comprised of 2000 calories would even out to about 44 to 78 grams of total fat a day.

So where can you find these unsaturated fats? Look no further than the six healthy picks below.

Olives (And Olive Oil)

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Mixing 10 large olives into your next salad will add about 5 grams of fat, 3.5 of which are monounsaturated and .4 of which are polyunsaturated.

Not an olive fan? The oil is an even more concentrated source of healthy fats — just don’t be too heavy-handed on your pour: A single tablespoon contains over 13 grams of fat, nearly 10 of which are monounsaturated and about 1.5 are polyunsaturated.

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