Mediterranean Diet- Healthy Eating

Check out these top diets

It seems everyone has a new diet to try, and chances are that they’re more fad than fantastic. But research shows that some diets actually can give you the health benefits you need while also being pretty tasty.

Check out three diets that health experts recommend.

DASH

DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is a lifelong approach to healthy eating designed to help treat or prevent high blood pressure (hypertension).  It was named the “best overall” popular diet in America by a panel of health experts.

Developed in part by The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the plan consists of eating a combination of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, low-fat dairy, and nuts and seeds.  These foods contain generous amounts of magnesium, calcium and potassium, which can lower blood pressure.

Recent research also suggests the DASH diet supports heart health and helps prevent diabetes and some cancers.

MEDITERRANEAN

Health experts also give high marks to the Mediterranean diet, a flavorful eating plan that’s rich in plants and olive oil and low in animal protein.

This traditional style of eating, which originated in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, is known for its abilities to prevent or manage chronic conditions, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts, legumes, olive oil and flavorful herbs and spices top the menu.  Fish, seafood, poultry, eggs, cheese, yogurt and red wine are in the “In Moderation” section, while sweets and red meat are on the “Special Occasions Only” menu.

TLC

The American Heart Association endorses the TLC (Therapeutic Lifestyle Change) diet as a heart-healthy regimen.  This lifestyle-change program – created by the National Institutes of Health’s National Cholesterol Education Program – teaches people how to lower their blood cholesterol and reduce risks for heart disease by eating healthy meals, exercising regularly, losing weight and not smoking.

The eating plan slashes intake of foods high in saturated fats and trans fats (processed and fried food, red meat, high fat dairy), and replaces them with moderate amounts of healthier fats (nuts, seeds, olive oil), which can lower your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and raise your HDL (“good”) cholesterol.

Tracy Garrett is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at the Sun Health Center for Health & Wellbeing.

To schedule an individual consultation with her or our other experts, or to find out more about nutrition-related classes and services at the Center, call 623-832-WELL (9355).

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