Coast of Portugal

Have you heard of the Mediterranean way of eating? It is a diet rich in olive oil, fruit, nuts, vegetables, fish and legumes. It even allows wine with meals. Just imagine yourself sitting in a small restaurant overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, enjoying fish caught that very morning and sipping a glass of red wine. It sounds idyllic, but it turns out this way of eating can also be good for you. I recently read an article in the New York Times about an impressive study that found about 30 per cent of heart attacks, strokes and deaths from heart disease can be prevented in those at high risk if they follow the Mediterranean diet.

So, what does the Mediterranean diet actually mean? The basic premise is as follows:

- Olive oil each day, in salads, drizzled over food
- Nuts, a generous handful a day (combination of walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts)
- Fruits, at least three servings a day
- Vegetables, at least two servings a day
- Fish, at least three times a week
- Legumes, at least three times a week
- Wine, at least seven glasses with meals a week
- Eat white meat (poultry, pork) instead of red meat
- Avoid commercially-packaged sweets

The study was so conclusive that researchers ended the study early (after almost five years) to ensure all participants benefited from the findings. Very interesting, and just one more reason to eat more fish each week!

(The image is one that I took of the beach at Albufeira, Portugal).

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