No one knows how far way scientists are from finding cures for heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer. Several studies, however, indicate researchers have already hit on a way to better protect you from developing those diseases. It’s the Mediterranean Diet.
What is the Mediterranean Diet? More than a dozen countries border the Mediterranean Sea. Their cultures and their diets vary. Even so, there are common denominators among their preferred foods: fruits, vegetables, seeds, beans, nuts and olive oil. The typical Mediterranean Diet is low to moderate on fish, poultry and dairy products. Wine is part of the diet, as long as it’s consumed in moderate amounts. The key is more than half of the fat calories in the Mediterranean Diet come from monounsaturated fats, which don’t raise cholesterol levels at the rate saturated fats do.
Of course, other factors besides your diet play a role in preventing serious diseases. Smokers, for example, increase their chances of heart disease and cancer, regardless of their choices of foods. Couch potatoes are more likely to develop serious illnesses than those who spend more time on their feet in regular exercise. The latest evidence suggests, however, that those who make wise lifestyle choices and eat the Mediterranean Diet are giving themselves the chance of a longer, healthier life.