Friday, March 18, 2011

(CBS) "If You Want to Be Healthy, Eat Like A Greek!"

For years, scientists have touted the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, encouraging those who are looking for a more healthy lifestyle to "eat like Greeks". CBS News Healthwatch recently published an article lauding the diet habits of the Greeks, saying that they reduce cardiovascular risk factors, such as obesity, high cholesterol, and elevated blood sugar. Those who follow a Mediterranean diet have been found to have a 70% higher life expectancy and an 80% better quality of life than those who do not.

Since ancient times, Greeks have maintained a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. They supplement these culinary staples with a variety of legumes, tree nuts, and seafood, while red meats are consumed in small quantities. No Greek kitchen would be complete without the quintessential Mediterranean ingredient: olive oil. Not only does olive oil add an unparalleled flavor to Greek dishes, but it is also high in monounsaturated fatty acids, which have been proven to improve cardiovascular health. Unlike many other diets which avoid alcohol, the Greek diet allows (and even encourages!) moderate alcohol intake, mostly in the form of red or white wine.

Aside from eating healthily, the Greeks enjoy frequent physical exercise, such as walking or dancing, another factor which contributes to their overall wellbeing.

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