Many Mediterranean foods have been found to be a staple in a heart-healthy lifestyle. The Mediterranean diet, rich in fruits, nuts, vegetables and olive oil, is hailed by both food and health experts alike as a nutritious (and delicious) way to ward off heart disease, high blood pressure and Alzheimer’s disease. Because the diet is replete with anti-inflammatory foods and those that are antioxidant-rich, the staples in a Mediterranean diet can prevent free radical damage and reduce inflammation of the tissues and blood vessels in the body.
Recently, the Mediterranean Diet Foundation, along with international health and nutrition organizations overhauled the traditional Mediterranean Diet pyramid as a reflection of today’s modern lifestyles. While it continues to promote bread, grains, fruits, vegetables and olive oil as the foundation of the diet, it incorporates recommended serving sizes to help the follower of this healthy lifestyle have a better idea of what, and how much, to eat.
One reason that the Mediterranean Diet is so easy to follow is that the basic food groups in this meal plan are items that most people enjoy though they may not have prepared them in unique, gourmet ways or considered them a part of their daily routine. Foods like whole grains, nuts, legumes, fresh fruits, olive oil, fresh fish and limited amounts of alcohol aren’t as daunting a diet idea when they are incorporated into a lifestyle rather than simply the occasional meal.
Another benefit to following a heart healthy Mediterranean Diet is that it isn’t a fad diet or even a diet per se, but an actual lifestyle. A Mediterranean Diet is simply one of the healthiest ways for your body to absorb the nutrients necessary for longevity, sustained energy and overall well being. The reason the Mediterranean Diet has the word “diet” in it is because of the low amounts of saturated fats, red meat, salt, processed foods and “bad” cholesterol. Due to the healthy nature of the cuisine, the Mediterranean Diet is one of the most positive and healthy in the world.
Utilizing gourmet olive oil, wheat pastas, flavorful balsamic vinegars and healthful herbs and spices from O&CO’s varied selection is an easy way to begin the steps toward a more healthful lifestyle. Drizzle gourmet olive oil and one of the many flavored vinegars over a whole wheat pasta dish, serve crusty, warm-baked bread with olive oil for dipping, add a side dish of fresh fish and you’re well on your way toward taking the steps to leading a Mediterranean lifestyle. The O&CO. recipe selection provides an opportunity for you to incorporate olive oil into a healthier style of preparing delicious meals.