Advertisement

The Quick-Fix Mediterranean Diet

Adding international flair to your diet could quickly lead to a healthier heart.

After only 3 months of eating a Mediterranean diet, study participants reduced their risk of cardiovascular disease by approximately 15%. A Mediterranean diet emphasizes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, low-fat dairy, and olive oil. Planning your meals around these items may be even better for your heart than a low-fat diet.

In a recent study, two groups of participants with moderate risk factors for cardiovascular disease were placed on a Mediterranean diet or a low-fat diet for 3 months. By the end of the study, members of both groups experienced improvements in body mass index (BMI), blood lipids, and other risk factors. While those in the low-fat diet group reduced their risk for cardiovascular disease by an estimated 9%, participants in the Mediterranean-diet group lowered their disease risk by approximately 15%.

The abundant disease-fighting nutrients found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, olive oil, nuts, and fish make a Mediterranean diet one of the healthiest around. Whole grains are rich in fiber, magnesium, and B-vitamins; fruits and vegetables are filled with heart-healthy antioxidants; and olive oil, fish, and nuts provide artery-friendly mono- and polyunsaturated fats. Make these delicious and healthful foods the foundation of your diet. In a few short months, you'll be on your way to reaping the long-term benefits.

Medically reviewed in March 2019.

More On

Follow This Morning Ritual to Get Slimmer

article

Follow This Morning Ritual to Get Slimmer
Ever skip breakfast, secretly hoping you'll fit into your jeans better if you do? It's a natural thought. Less food in your belly means more room in ...
5 Ways to Actually Stick to Your Diet This Summer

slideshow

5 Ways to Actually Stick to Your Diet This Summer
How to make healthier choices, even at BBQs, pool parties and beach vacations.
Burn More Calories with This Sandwich Choice

article

Burn More Calories with This Sandwich Choice
Energy used for digestion accounts for a good chunk of your daily calorie burn. And you can boost that burn even higher just by choosing whole-grain b...
How Accurate Is Healthy-Menu Info?

article

How Accurate Is Healthy-Menu Info?
It's great when restaurants offer some "healthy" options on their regular menus. But how accurate are those calorie counts? Sometimes, not very. A st...
6 Ways to Eat More and Weigh Less

article

6 Ways to Eat More and Weigh Less
Everyone who has ever tried to lose weight is on a first-name basis with lettuce. But who isn't bored silly by a bowl of greens with some diced chicke...