Diets in Review - Find the Right Diet for You

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.
Read Full Post >



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.
Read Full Post >



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.
Read Full Post >



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.
Read Full Post >



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.
Read Full Post >