[caption id="attachment_62525" align="alignright" width="200"] Mediterranean Diet connected to heart health[/caption]Study finds Mediterranean Diet connected to heart health
In these days of health consciousness and miracle fad diets, sometimes it is hard to sort out exactly what to believe. However, amid all the health hubbub, a new study suggests that some of the longstanding beliefs concerning heart health do in fact hold up under scrutiny, and that is something that Westerners need to start hearing.
The study, conducted at McMaster University, extensively examined fifty years of research related to heart health and diet and the connection between the two. The results, while not overly surprising, are something that should be noted, especially in a fast food nation such as America.
Examining all the data from nearly 200 different studies, the researches at McMaster concluded that the best way to ensure heart health is the Mediterranean Diet. This diet, which is a common staple of daily life in countries like Greece or Italy, is rich with whole grains, colorful vegetables, and healthy nuts like walnuts.
The study also confirmed another long-held suspicion: that the processed foods and red meat that people in Western cultures so often live on are among the worst offenders when it comes to a heart healthy lifestyle. Between the refined grains and the high-fat dairy products and the fatty additives, this diet hits just about every don't on the study's list.
However, the study did have a few surprises. Much touted dietary factors like fiber, alcohol, whole grains, fruit, and fish were not shown to be as convincingly related to heart health. Researchers noted a connection between these dietary features and a healthy heart, but ultimately concluded that more research must be completed before there is a conclusive link.
In fact, the only diet found that clearly supports heart health is the Mediterranean Diet, no matter what infomercials or fad diets may want people to believe. Even if it seems impossible to give up red meat and french fries altogether, it is easy to start incorporating some aspects of the Mediterranean Diet just by switching from white bread and pasta to whole grain variety and by snacking on vegetables and fruit rather than processed snacks.