Tag Archives: mediterranean diet

How to Cook with Artichokes

Artichokes: Where do I begin? As a child I was absolutely terrified by them and as an adult I’m still a little bit unsure of their distinct texture, taste and shape. When I order a salad at a restaurant and it comes with artichokes, I usually manage to eat about half before throwing in the towel. However, I think the problem here is two-fold: 1) I didn’t realize how good they were for you, and 2) I’ve never actually cooked them myself. However, all of that’s about to change. 

Health benefits:  It’s no surprise that artichokes are a staple in the Mediterranean diet as they’re loaded with vitamins C and K, folate, magnesium, potassium and manganese.

Like many other fruits and veggies, artichokes are also high in fiber – nearly 10 grams in one medium choke. Each serving also contains approximately 3-4 grams of protein and less than one gram of fat for a satisfying, healthful indulgence. One of the tricks to getting the most nutrients out of your artichoke is eating the whole vegetable. If you opt only for the hearts, you will inevitably miss out on some of the vitamins and minerals. However, with that being said, the hearts are still worth devouring as they’re no doubt a healthy, low-calorie food.

Nutritional statistics: 1 cup contains approximately 76 calories, 1 g fat, 15 g carbohydrates, 8 g of dietary fiber, 1 g sugar and 5 g protein. (more…)

Eating Avocados and Olive Oil Could Triple Your Chances of Fertility

A diet high in monounsaturated fat has been found to increase fertility in women trying to get pregnant trough IVF treatments, finds a new study.

The results of this study were presented at the annual meeting of ESHRE (European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology) by Dr Jorge Chavarro, Assistant Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health, USA.

“Different types of fat are known to have different effects on biological processes which may influence the outcome of assisted reproduction – such as underlying levels of inflammation or insulin sensitivity. However, it is not clear at this moment which biological mechanisms underlie the associations we found,” said Chavarro in the press release.

The study took place among 147 women having IVF at the Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center. According to the press release, they had preclinical assessments including oocyte development. They were also categorized into tertiles of fat intake, with outcomes compared in relation to the lowest tertile. Results were controlled for other sources of energy, infertility diagnosis, ovarian stimulation protocol, body mass index (BMI) and smoking status.

The study also found that women who ate polyunsaturated fat or the “bad fat” had more poor quality embryos. The connection of a diet high in saturated fat and lower sperm count has already been discovered. (more…)

Mediterranean Diet More Likely to Keep Weight Off Than Other Diets

Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital have dubbed the low-glycemic index, similar to the Mediterranean Diet, as the best diet to keep off weight without causing harmful side effects. The study was lead by Cara Ebbeling who tested three different diets. The low-fat, low-carb, and low-glycemic index diet were test by 21 participants who are overweight or obese.

Overview of Calories per Diet

Low Fat: 60% of calories are carbohydrates, 20% of calories are protein, and 20% of calories are fat. The foods included in the diet are whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. The low-fat diet reduces the amount of fatty meats, oils, nuts, and other fat products.

Low Carb (Atkins Diet): 10% of calories are carbs, 30% of calories are protein, and 60% of calories are from protein. Types foods included in the diet are little to no carbohydrates, high amounts of beef, chicken, eggs, cheese, and there are some fruits and vegetables in the diet plan.

Low-Glycemic Index Diet (Mediterranean Diet): 40% of calories are carbs, 40% of calories are fat, 20% of calories are from protein. The foods in the diet are whole grains, low fat meats, fruits, vegetables, beans, and healthy fats from olive oil and nuts. (more…)

Keys to Long Life Found on Tiny Greek Island

Experts appear to have found the secret to longevity and it resides in the small Aegean island of Ikaria: siestas (short naps), a healthy diet, and oh yeah, genetics.

Conducted by Greek cardiologists, a study examined more than 1,400 residents of Ikaria (there is just a population of 8,000) over several months in 2009. Thirteen percent of those polled were over 80 years old and more than one percent were over 90.

“While in the rest of Europe only 0.1 percent of the population is over 90 years old, in Ikaria the figure is tenfold, 1.1 percent,” said Christina Chrysohoou, a cardiologist at the Athens university school of medicine. (more…)

Drinking Wine as Part of a Heart Healthy Diet

Guest blogger, Vicki L. VanArsdale is a freelance writer, certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. By adopting a healthy and active lifestyle, she has lost 100 lbs. Her mission is to motivate and inspire people through her actions and words. Get healthy from the inside, out is her motto. Learn more on Vicki’s blog.

Did you know that a glass of wine can be considered part of a healthy lifestyle? For those who live in other parts of the world, a glass of wine is common with meals. Here in the U.S., the problem is binge drinking. But having a glass of wine once in a while is just fine.

Many studies indicate that moderate amounts of red wine lowers the risk of heart disease and may raise high density lipoprotein (HDL), which is known as the “good” cholesterol. Moderate means one glass of wine per day for women and two for men.  The American Heart Association says one serving of wine is four ounces, so be vigilant with your serving size. And women who have the breast cancer gene should avoid alcohol because of its potential to increase risk of the disease. (more…)

Win a Copy of The New Sonoma Diet

When we hear the word Sonoma, what comes to mind are miles and miles of lush green fields of grape vineyards, groves of olive and orange trees and some of the nation’s most premiere restaurants specializing in that unique and healthy California cuisine.

Five years ago, Dr. Connie Guttersen wrote The Sonoma Diet, a breakthrough plan that used the bounty of the Sonoma Valley as the cornerstone for this healthy and fresh eating weight loss plan. Now, Dr. Guttersen has updated her bestselling program to bring you a plan that reflects the latest findings in nutritional science, as well as the culinary jewels born from the Golden State’s rich soil and farmland.

The New Sonoma Diet is packed with practical information, decadent recipes and go-to lists and tips for making healthy eating as simple and as straightforward as picking a Valencia orange from a Sonoma Valley orange tree and noshing away. By following the plan for just 10 days, you are practically guaranteed a trimmer and healthier you. The secret to the plan is eating the right foods in the right portions.

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Mediterranean Diet Key to Growing Old Gracefully

Following the Mediterranean diet is not only tasty, but has a great benefit on your brain health. Recent research conducted at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago tracked nearly 4,000 adults over the age of 65. Their results confirmed what we’ve heard many times: the so-called Mediterranean Diet, a diet rich in fruit, vegetables and olive oil, helps your brain to age gracefully.

Published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, this research proved that those who followed the diet were less likely to struggle with everyday tasks as they grew older. The study also revealed that those on a steady diet of healthy foods performed much better than those who ate lots of red meat, white bread and processed foods, often known as the “American” diet. Researchers found that the best performers consumed lots of fruit, vegetables, fish, olive oil, beans, nuts and moderate amounts of alcohol. The foods have a positive affect on the brain, protecting it by reducing damage caused by oxidative stress.

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Mediterranean Diet Can Lower Cholesterol

You’ve probably all heard about the health benefits of eating a Mediterranean diet, right? This diet that’s high in nuts, fish, legumes, fruits and vegetables, has been shown to even prevent type II diabetes and lower heart disease risk. According to new research, this popular diet can also help reduce cholesterol levels.

A recent study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that when researchers added monounsaturated fats (MUFAs, for short) to a low-cholesterol diet for patients with mild to moderate elevated cholesterol levels, the participants had an increase in their HDL (good cholesterol) and a decrease in their LDL (bad cholesterol) levels. MUFAs are found in nuts such as peanuts, walnuts, almonds and pistachios. MUFAs are also high in olive oil, canola oil and avocados (holy guacamole!). (more…)

Figs Are Fall’s Favorite Fruit

The fig is thought to be the oldest cultivated fruit known to man. Many centuries ago, they were native to Asia and the Mediterranean, although they’ve been introduced to places all over the world with similar climates. The Mediterranean diet has become very popular in the U.S. but an essential part of it, the fig, is often forgotten. Since ancient times, figs have been prized for their sweetness and nutritional profile. If you’ve never experienced the fig beyond a chewy newton, I highly suggest you do. (more…)

Eat Healthy When Studying Abroad

This summer many college students will find themselves taking it less easy than their peers, as they partake in summer study abroad trips. This means they’ll spend their three-month vacation from hitting the books, doing just that, hitting the books but in a much more exotic location than their own campus here in the States. It’s an incredible opportunity to immerse oneself in a new culture, study at a foreign university, and enjoy a little R&R somewhere other than their neighborhood pool.

Kelsey Murray, a student blogger at EduinReview.com, is studying abroad this summer in Spain. An advertising student from the University of Oklahoma, Kelsey is journaling her experience by sharing it with the site’s readers and offering up her first-hand advice for studying abroad.

This week, she touched on the idea of maintaining healthy eating habits while abroad.

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