Nice and interesting.....

Mediterranean diet: Choose this heart-healthy diet option

The Mediterranean diet is a heart-healthy eating plan combining elements of Mediterranean-style cooking. Here's how to adopt the Mediterranean diet.
By Mayo Clinic staff

If you're looking for a heart-healthy eating plan, the Mediterranean diet might be right for you. The Mediterranean diet incorporates the basics of healthy eating — plus a splash of flavorful olive oil and perhaps a glass of red wine — among other components characterizing the traditional cooking style of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.

Most healthy diets include fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains, and limit unhealthy fats. While these parts of a healthy diet remain tried-and-true, subtle variations or differences in proportions of certain foods may make a difference in your risk of heart disease.

Benefits of the Mediterranean diet
Research has shown that the traditional Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease. In fact, a recent analysis of more than 1.5 million healthy adults demonstrated that following a Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of overall and cardiovascular mortality, a reduced incidence of cancer and cancer mortality, and a reduced incidence of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.

For this reason, most if not all major scientific organizations encourage healthy adults to adapt a style of eating like that of the Mediterranean diet for prevention of major chronic diseases.


Vitamins are substances that your body needs to grow and develop normally. There are 13 vitamins your body needs. They are vitamins A, C, D, E, K and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate). You can usually get all your vitamins from the foods you eat. Your body can also make vitamins D and K. People who eat a vegetarian diet may need to take a vitamin B12 supplement.

Each vitamin has specific jobs. If you have low levels of certain vitamins, you may develop a deficiency disease. For example, if you don't get enough vitamin D, you could develop rickets. Some vitamins may help prevent medical problems. Vitamin A prevents night blindness.

The best way to get enough vitamins is to eat a balanced diet with a variety of foods. In some cases, you may need to take a daily multivitamin for optimal health. However, high doses of some vitamins can make you sick.

Dining in the Ancient Greek World

Ancient greek recipes! A definitely exciting experiment it seems, but how feasible is it to reproduce ways of food preparation which were in use thousands of years ago? Furthermore, what philosophy stands behind cooking and eating in ancient Greece?

To begin with it is essential to realize that all the below given information refers to the rich people. Poor were not often able to enjoy fancy meals with well - prepared and sophisticated dishes. However, the typical symposium of the wealthy is worth to mention, because it reflects a style of living. Food and drink are seen as a social activity, an opportunity to meet with others and discuss, listen to music, play games, spend many pleasant hours. Symposiums usually would last from early in the afternoon until late at night. Their importance in the ancient societies is easier to understand, if one realizes that great philosophical disputes developed during symposiums. Symposiums were (among others of course) an opportunity for mental exercise. This depended also on the guests. Men were the only ones to participate. Several servants were serving the menu, very often musicians were hired, and generally the wealth of the host was reflected in the quality of the symposium. During the symposium men were laid down on anaklintra. At the beginning they were served a glass of wine mixed with honey (oinomelo) and also bread. After that the dishes of the menu appeared, in the right order: several appetizers and also fruit. Then came fresh fish and meat was the last to be served. What is impressive is the second phase of a symposium, the called epidorpion in Greek. The word now means dessert, but at that time it was for more than that. During the epidorpion phase several kinds of pies, sweets, dried fruits, nuts, cheese was offered along with wine, always mixed with water. The host was responsible that his guests get drunk very soon. Wine drinking now is the issue and wine selection reflects wealth. Wine drinking accompanies philosophical and other conversations, music or even acrobat performances!


Did you Know?

Several studies have suggested that a Mediterranean diet - a diet high in fruits and vegetables, whole-grain cereals, and low-fat dairy products, with fish, poultry, nuts, and legumes as the chief protein sources - is good for heart health. A study appearing in a 2011 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggests that a Mediterranean diet is also associated with a reduced risk of metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors (including glucose intolerance, obesity, hypertension, high triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol) that greatly increases one's risk of developing heart disease.

In the 2011 report, investigators performed a meta-analysis which included results from 50 clinical studies that had enrolled more than 500,000 individuals. They found that people who ate a Mediterranean diet had a 31% reduced risk of developing metabolic syndrome. Furthermore, the individual components of metabolic syndrome (waist circumference, glucose levels, lipids and blood pressure) were each significantly better in those on a Mediterranean diet.
In summary, this recent study adds more credence to the idea that the longstanding controversy regarding "low-fat vs. low-carb" is finally resolving into the conclusion that neither extreme is completely right or completely wrong. Rather, a diet that incorporates good fats and good carbs (and avoids bad fats and bad carbs) actually appears to be optimal for heart health. And of all the popular diets being advanced these days, the Mediterranean diet appears to come the closest to embodying those healthful elements.