Eat 'Mediterranean' - follow six simple rules

A new study found that eating a Mediterranean-style diet can keep men's hearts beating effectively, aiding in the prevention of disease. Here are six tips to guide your 'Mediterranean' meals.

The researchers noted the study, published in the June 15 online edition of the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, was only conducted on white males, however just about everyone should consider filling up on Mediterranean-inspired dishes given that a host of published studies have found the diet also diminishes depression, cancer, heart disease, strokes, brain damage and premature death risks.

A key to maintaining a Mediterranean-style diet is the production and quality of the food. Simply follow these six guidelines:

1. Fast is not better - for example, bread should be fresh, long-rising, low yeast.
2. Balance is essential, here is a breakdown of what to eat and how often for the next time you are preparing a meal or shopping list:
3. Make sure the majority of your daily diet includes: extra-virgin olive oil originating from the Mediterranean; rice, avoid instant but other than that most grains work (long, medium and short grains, basmati, patna, and aborio); pasta from Italy; grains (couscous, bulgur); fresh, local and unprocessed vegetables and fruits; aromatic herbs and spices and plenty of water.
4. Eat these daily but in low moderation: legumes (chickpeas, lentils); beans, white cheese, yogurt, eggs, nuts, honey and wine (optional).
5. Try to keep these foods in moderation weekly: lean meat, poultry, fish, pastries, bitter chocolate, clarified butter, cheese, milk, and sausage.
6. Only reach for sweets and red meat 2-3 times a month

Full study, "Mediterranean Dietary Pattern Is Associated With Improved Cardiac Autonomic Function Among Middle-Aged Men: A Twin Study": http://circoutcomes.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/CIRCOUTCOMES.109.905810v1

Mediterranean food pyramids: http://www.oldwayspt.org/mediterranean-diet-pyramid and http://www.mediterranean-food-recipes.com/food-pyramid.html

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