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Components of the Mediterranean Diet that Work Best

mediterranean dietAn article on ABC News website discussed a newly released study examining what is it about the Mediterranean diet that makes it so healthy and good for you? The study consisted of 23,000 Greek men and women over an eight year period. The researchers were able to tell that certain foods, more than others, may offer the majority of the nutritional benefits of this diet.

The researchers concluded from their analysis that “the dominant components of the Mediterranean diet score as a predictor of lower mortality are moderate consumption of alcohol, low consumption of meat and meat products, and high consumption of vegetables, fruits and nuts, olive oil, and legumes.” In addition, the researchers found that the elevated consumption of fish and cereals and avoidance of dairy products seen in the typical Mediterranean diet had little to do with the benefits of this diet.
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How to Use the Food Guide Pyramid to Eat Healthier

food pyramidIt’s well known that eating healthy includes increased consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free/low-fat dairy products. However, even though we know we should eat better Americans still don’t do it. The American Dietetics Association provided a quick breakdown of the basic food groups, what you should eat within those groups, how many servings you should eat, and what counts as a serving.

Whole grains
It’s recommended to consume 3 servings a day.

What counts as a serving?
A one ounce serving equals one slice whole-wheat bread, 1/2 cup brown rice, 5 whole-wheat crackers, 1/2 cup oatmeal.
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Prevention is a Healthier Route than Treatment

prescriptionsMany of the diseases and cancers seen in our society could be preventable or postponed if we shifted our focus to prevention rather than treating a disease. Too often people go on medication to lower their cholesterol or help with their blood pressure, but had they considered diet and exercise years before it’s likely that they wouldn’t have to depend on medication at all.

Obesity is another medical issue that could probably be avoided if we paid more attention to what we put into our mouths and how much exercise we get. The cost of prevention (eating right and exercising) is far cheaper than the cost of medical expenses (doctor visits, hospital stays, medications, etc.).

All this being said, what can you do to start this road of prevention? In my eyes, it’s never too late to start getting healthier. So what can you do? 
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Summertime Nutrition Tips

hand washingSummer is here which means there will be plenty of long days spent outside by the beach, lake, or poolside. It’s very important to apply and re-apply plenty of sunblock, but the sun can effect other parts of your body, not just your skin.  Below is a list found on WebMD of sun problems and associated foods that can help your body bounce back from the sun’s powerful rays.

Dry or Damaged Skin

  • Caused by: sweating more in summertime causing your skin to be less supple; chlorine in pool water and saltwater can also dry out your skin; finally the very common sunburn really can dry out your skin.
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Beware High Mercury Fish

fish and saladFish have been recommended as an important part of a healthy diet because of their high-quality protein, are low in saturated fat, and contain omega-3 fatty acids, particularly eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Incorporating a variety of fish can contribute to heart health.

However, nearly all fish contain traces of mercury. Some researchers believe consuming fish with high mercury levels will diminish all potential health benefits. Some studies have actually suggested an increased risk of cardiovascular disease associated with mercury levels in fish, whereas other studies could not find any relationship between elevated mercury and risk of heart disease. This controversy has caused much discussion on what amount of fish is safe to eat without having harmful effects in the body.
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