You may be familiar with the Mediterranean diet pyramid, but do you understand the science behind it? Full of diverse plant-based foods, healthy fats, whole grains, and yes—the occasional glass of red wine—the Mediterranean diet is widely embraced by top medical professionals and experts. This age-old eating habit is deeply rooted in the coastal cuisines of Mediterranean countries such as Greece, Spain, Italy, France, and northern Africa. Doctors and medical professionals in United States are increasingly advocating a Mediterranean diet plan as research uncovers its many health benefits. A groundbreaking 2013 study by the University of Barcelona made the connection between the Mediterranean diet and cardiovascular health strikingly clear. Over 7,000 Spanish participants—many of whom were overweight, smokers, or diabetic—adopted a Mediterranean-style diet rich in healthy fats (olive oil or nuts) for nearly five years. After a comprehensive follow-up, surprised researchers ended the study early after observing a sharp improvement in participants’ health. The findings showed an “absolute risk reduction,” or a 30% decrease of cardiovascular disease among these high-risk individuals. The results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, made news across the U.S. as evidence enough that everyone, from high-risk to healthy individuals, can benefit by eating Mediterranean diet foods.
Restaurants and dinners with friends are doable on South Beach Diet, even in phase one – if you can stick to the guidelines. Skip the bread during phase one, for example, but enjoy a whole-grain roll in later phases. An all-phase-friendly tip: Order soup as a first course, then have a salad and choose lean protein for your entree. That way you'll already be feeling full by the time your main dish arrives, making you less likely to splurge on dessert. Grilled fish, turkey and filet mignon are all smart choices.
Cynthia Graber is the co-host of Gastropod and is an award-winning radio and print journalist who covers science and technology, agriculture and food, distant lands, and any other stories that catch her fancy. Her work has been featured in Fast Company, Slate, the Boston Globe, Scientific American, the BBC, and a variety of other magazines, radio shows, and podcasts.

The China Study is frequently cited when criticizing the Paleo Diet – focusing on a vegetarian diet and consuming rice is healthier than the Paleo Diet. I respectfully disagree with that nutritional philosophy and strongly disagree with the conclusions drawn from that book [7], and will leave you to make your own conclusions based on your own self-experimentation.
A 2013 Cochrane review found limited evidence that a Mediterranean diet favorably affects cardiovascular risk factors.[4] A meta-analysis in 2013 compared Mediterranean, vegan, vegetarian, low-glycemic index, low-carbohydrate, high-fiber, and high-protein diets with control diets. The research concluded that Mediterranean, low-carbohydrate, low-glycemic index, and high-protein diets are effective in improving markers of risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, while there was limited evidence for an effect of vegetarian diets on glycemic control and lipid levels unrelated to weight loss.[15] However, reviews of early 2016 have been more cautious: Concerns have been raised about the quality of previously performed systematic reviews and meta-analyses examining the impact of a Mediterranean diet on cardiovascular risk factors,[16] further standardized research has been found to be necessary,[17] and the evidence as to the prevention of vascular disease by the Mediterranean diet has been found to be "limited and highly variable".[18] Newer reviews have reached similar conclusions about the ability of a Mediterranean diet to improve cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases.[5][19]
The Paleo diet is the healthiest way you can eat because it is the ONLY nutritional approach that works with your genetics to help you stay lean, strong and energetic! Research in biology, biochemistry, Ophthalmology, Dermatology and many other disciplines indicate it is our modern diet, full of refined foods, trans fats and sugar, that is at the root of degenerative diseases such as obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, depression and infertility. – Robb Wolf
By far the best part for me was having the book as a reference. With elimination diets, there can be discrepancies all over the internet about what is and isn’t allowed, and you can waste a lot of time doing research. The South Beach Diet Supercharged includes extensive "Foods to Enjoy" and "Foods to Avoid" lists as well as sample meal plans and recipes for phase one.

Participants ate one of the three aforementioned dietary patterns in 3 separate phases of the trial, including (1) Screening, (2), Run-in and (3) Intervention. In the screening phase, participants were screened for eligibility based on the combined results of blood pressure readings. In the 3 week run-in phase, each subject was given the control diet for 3 weeks, had their blood pressure measurements taken on each of five separate days, gave one 24-hour urine sample and completed a questionnaire on symptoms. At this point, subjects who were compliant with the feeding program during the screening phase were each randomly assigned to one of the three diets outlined above, to begin at the start of the 4th week. The intervention phase followed next; this was an 8-week period in which the subjects were provided the diet to which they had been randomly assigned. Blood pressures and urine samples were collected again during this time together with symptom & physical activity recall questionnaires. The first group of study subjects began the run-in phase of the trial in September 1994 while the fifth and final group began in January 1996.[9] Each of the three diets contained the same 3 grams (3,000 mg) of sodium, selected because that was the approximate average intake in the nation at the time. Participants were also given two packets of salt, each containing 200 mg of sodium, for discretionary use. Alcohol was limited to no more than two beverages per day, and caffeine intake was limited to no more than three caffeinated beverages.[10]
Another influencing factor is that this diet encourages people to spend time in nature, get good sleep and come together to bond over a home-cooked healthy meal, which are great ways to relieve stress and, therefore, help prevent inflammation. Generally, people in these regions make sure to spend a lot of time outdoors in nature; eating food surrounded by family and friends (rather than alone or on-the-go); and put aside time to laugh, dance, garden and practice hobbies.
Participants ate one of the three aforementioned dietary patterns in 3 separate phases of the trial, including (1) Screening, (2), Run-in and (3) Intervention. In the screening phase, participants were screened for eligibility based on the combined results of blood pressure readings. In the 3 week run-in phase, each subject was given the control diet for 3 weeks, had their blood pressure measurements taken on each of five separate days, gave one 24-hour urine sample and completed a questionnaire on symptoms. At this point, subjects who were compliant with the feeding program during the screening phase were each randomly assigned to one of the three diets outlined above, to begin at the start of the 4th week. The intervention phase followed next; this was an 8-week period in which the subjects were provided the diet to which they had been randomly assigned. Blood pressures and urine samples were collected again during this time together with symptom & physical activity recall questionnaires. The first group of study subjects began the run-in phase of the trial in September 1994 while the fifth and final group began in January 1996.[9] Each of the three diets contained the same 3 grams (3,000 mg) of sodium, selected because that was the approximate average intake in the nation at the time. Participants were also given two packets of salt, each containing 200 mg of sodium, for discretionary use. Alcohol was limited to no more than two beverages per day, and caffeine intake was limited to no more than three caffeinated beverages.[10]
A diet high in phytic acid, which can be found in whole grains (it's in the bran) and beans like soy, is very detrimental for mineral absorption. Phytic acid strongly binds to minerals like calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium to form insoluble salts, phytates, which precipitate from the body and are not absorbed. Staffan Lindeberg has written a summary on phytic acid.
Spinach is a great source of iron, which is a key component in red blood cells that fuel our muscles with oxygen for energy. But researchers in Sweden identified another way in which these greens might keep you charged: Compounds found in spinach actually increase the efficiency of our mitochondria, the energy-producing factories inside our cells. That means eating a cup of cooked spinach a day may give you more lasting power on the elliptical machine (or in your daily sprint to catch the bus).

If lunch was a nutritional bust, then dinner is your chance for redemption. Focus on creating a balanced plate, and challenge yourself to go meatless at least once a week. Find small ways to boost the nutrition of your meal, whether it’s piling fresh arugula over homemade pizza, tossing leftover grilled veggies into pasta, or sprinkling chopped nuts or seeds over a salad.
Our bodies need much more protein than the average person consumes. In fact, protein accounts for only 15 percent of the average person’s daily calories, while 19 to 35 percent of the average hunter-gatherer diet was comprised of protein. This was due to the high consumption of meat, seafood, and other animal products prevalent in contemporary approaches to Paleo eating.
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