Mediterranean Diet Leads To Longevity and Good Health

A diet rich in Mediterranean foods including: vegetables, whole grains, fish, extra virgin olive oils and limited amounts of animal products such as red meat and milk, leads to longevity. Swedish researchers published the results of the H70 study that compared 70-year-olds that followed a Westernized-type diet with 70-year-olds that followed a Mediterranean-type diet.

Those who consumed animal and meat products under the Westernized diet had shorter life spans than those that followed a Mediterranean diet. Individuals on the Mediterranean diet lived, on average, 20 percent longer –two to three additional years. The results of this study and others, proves that eating a Mediterranean-style diet can prolong your life and it is also a diet and lifestyle that is simple to incorporate into your daily menu planning.

What exactly is a Mediterranean Diet?
A Mediterranean Diet is an overall beneficial eating plan that is heart-healthy and combines the elements of Mediterranean foods including fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains. The simple, but flavorful style of Mediterranean cooking and eating is one of the healthiest meal plans and has been shown to naturally lead to weight loss without having to sacrifice.

Healthy eating includes a diet rich in fish, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, a splash of extra virgin olive oil and the occasional glass of red wine; it limits the intake of processed foods and high cholesterol items. With a Mediterranean diet most individuals see a reduction in the risk of heart disease, lowered cholesterol and blood pressure and reduced chance of cancer. Add the weight loss benefits and you can see why the diet is popular.

The key principles of the Mediterranean diet are:

  • Consuming fish, poultry, sea food and other white meats. If you want to eat red meats, eat lean cuts and not more than once a week.
  • Eat fresh vegetables, fruits and legumes with meals and as in-between meal treats. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil on your steamed or grilled vegetables.
  • Use extra virgin olive oil in place of other plant or animal-based fats in cooking and as a condiment on whole wheat pasta, vegetables, and as a spread on your morning bread.
  • Limit the intake of cheese, yogurt and other dairy products. Avoid cream and butter.
  • Drink red wine in moderation.
  • Enhance the flavor of food with savory herbs and sea salt additives such as those offered by O&CO.

The main objective of the Mediterranean Diet isn’t to deprive yourself, but to limit fat consumption and make smarter choices about the foods on your plate. For individuals who have never tried gourmet olive oil, O&CO.’s Affiorato olive oil is the first olive oil of 2012 from a harvest from the Trasimeno groves in Umbria, Italy. This oil, offers a surprising green color, is strong on the palate and finishes with a rich, creamy taste. This all-occasion oil pairs well with most meats and vegetables and enhances the flavor of your meals.

To begin the Mediterranean Diet you may need to adjust your shopping habits to include more fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, chicken and whole grain foods and gourmet olive oils. Shake up your meals and your taste buds by adding in O&CO.’s sea salt and herbs in your meal preparation. Use extra virgin olive oil as a dip for your bread, toss O&CO. whole grain pastas with it and use the oil for both cooking and baking.