February is the month of Valentine’s Day, a time to celebrate love and hearts! Here at La Chelé, we want to help you to keep your heart as healthy as possible. One of the best ways to protect your heart health is by following a Mediterranean Diet. A recent article in US News and World Report rated a Mediterranean Diet as the #1 best overall diet. Many people who live in areas bordering the Mediterranean Sea live longer and healthier lives. There is a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer in this region of the world. A big reason for this is the healthier lifestyle, including diet and exercise.

A Mediterranean Diet is not a specific diet per se, but a certain way of eating that produces many health benefits. A Mediterranean Diet has the most consistent scientific support in reducing atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk. Other health benefits of this dietary pattern include: promoting heart health and weight loss, supporting healthy blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of certain cancers and protecting brain function.

The general principles of a Mediterranean Diet include limiting red meat, sugars, simple carbohydrates and saturated fats. Instead, the focus is on eating foods that are rich in healthy nutrients like fiber, protein and mono / polyunsaturated fats. On a Mediterranean Diet foods like avocados, olives / extra-virgin olive oil, high-fiber fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, seafood, fermented dairy products and moderate intake of red wine are encouraged. Foods to be avoided include refined oils (canola and vegetable oils), large amounts of red / processed meat, saturated / trans fats and ultra-processed carbohydrates / added sugars.

Combined with an active lifestyle, a Mediterranean Diet is a delicious and satisfying way prevent many diseases and to help you live a longer and healthier life. And you can enjoy some red wine – in moderation, of course!

If you are interested in learning how to implement the Mediterranean diet into your weight loss journey, join us for a medical weight loss consultation!