Mediterranean Diet In Headlines Again

It seems like not a month can go by without new research popping up touting the benefits of a Mediterranean-style diet. Well, here's another one you can add to the list. New research published in the journal Thorax portrays how eating a diet rich in cereals, wine, fruits, nuts, whole grains, and olive oil can reduce the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by as much as 50 percent compared with subjects who consume a Western-style diet heavy in refined grains, red meat, and baked goods. COPD is characterized by inflammation in the air passages of the lungs leading to excessive mucus production, and is the fifth-leading cause of death worldwide.

The Bigger Picture: You don't need to completely remodel your personal eating habits to start receiving the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet. Just use this meal plan as a starting point to improving your food choices. Replace some of the simple carbs (e.g., refined white flours) that you currently eat with complex whole grain breads and cereals, or substitute the saturated fats found in butter or margarine with the monounsaturated fat of olive oil. Better yet, toss in a handful of almonds, walnuts, peanuts, or cashews and an extra piece of fruit each day. Over time, with a few modifications to your diet, you'll notice a difference in the way you look and feel.
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