by Julie Fidler, Natural Society:
The Mediterranean diet is looking more and more appealing these days. Earlier this month, scientists said that adding a small amount of pasta to your Mediterranean diet wouldn’t help pack unwanted pounds onto your frame. In fact, they said, it could even help you slim down a bit.
Well, dinner might look even more appetizing to people who adhere to this way of eating now that researchers have found that a Mediterranean diet high in healthy fats still offers tremendous health benefits.
The Mediterranean diet emphasizes eating primarily plant-based foods – fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. Butter is replaced with healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil. Rather than using salt to flavor foods, people who eat a Mediterranean diet season their meals with herbs and spices. Red meat consumption is limited to no more than a few times a month, while fish and poultry is eaten at least twice a week. Red wine can be enjoyed in moderation.
In a new meta-analysis published in the Annals of Internal Medicine of previous studies that looked at associations between diet and disease outcomes, researchers found that people who ate a high-fat Mediterranean diet significantly reduced their risk of a number of chronic illnesses.
As long as those fats are healthy fats, the team said, and part of an otherwise healthy, vegetable-rich diet, they don’t have to worry about curbing their fat intake.
Study author Hanna E. Bloomfield, a researcher at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center, said:
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