By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet
Introducing health expert Tom Corson-Knowles...He speaks out on the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet--a key theme in The Healing Powers series--including olive oil, a healthful, primary fat.
Why The Mediterranean Diet Reduces Heart Disease Risk
Ever since the 1990s when "The Mediterranean Diet" gained attention from researchers and widespread media, there's been a lot of buzz about it. Researchers started to notice that people who lived in Greece, Crete, Spain and Southern Italy and ate the typical local diet had much lower risk of heart disease. But why is it?
Many think it's the healthy olive oil used in so much of the Mediterranean foods. Others say it's the goat cheese and yogurt frequently eaten. Others say that the diet is high in monounsaturated fat and low in saturated fats - so that's why! Still others think it's the high intake of dietary fiber that really gives the Mediterranean diet it's heart-healthy powers.
But I have a different idea...
I think it's the simple fact that the Mediterranean diet does not include processed foods, junk food, or pre-packaged microwave dinners!
In America, I see people eat a so-called "Mediterranean diet" every day - lots of meat, dairy, yogurt, oil in their foods, and yet they tend to be overweight and have high risk for heart disease! Why is that?
Because in America our food system and food supply is so dramatically different than on the island of Crete.
You see, when someone eats yogurt in Crete, it's fresh from that farm, unprocessed and often times even unpasteurized! In America, when someone eats yogurt it's often from a large corporation packaged in a small plastic container loaded with white sugar, food coloring, food dyes, artificial flavorings, and it's pasteurized! Not to mention the fact that our cows are fed corn, growth hormones and antibiotics on a daily basis.
So, is it the yogurt that makes the Mediterranean Diet so healthy? Or is it the simple fact that their food is unprocessed, natural and as fresh as possible?
What do you think?