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The Mediterranean diet features olive oil as the primary source of fat. Olive oil is mainly monounsaturated fat a type of fat that can help reduce low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels when used in place of saturated or trans fats. "Extra virgin" and "virgin" olive oils (the least processed forms) also contain the highest levels of protective plant compounds that provide antioxidant effects.

healthy eating plan

Key components of the Mediterranean dietThe Mediterranean diet emphasizes:

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Converse Low Top Leather

Grains in the Mediterranean region are typically whole grain and usually contain very few unhealthy trans fats, and bread is an important part of the diet. However, throughout the Mediterranean region, bread is eaten plain or dipped in olive oil Converse Low Top Leather not eaten with butter or margarine, which contains saturated or trans fats.

If you're unable to limit your alcohol intake to the amounts defined above, if you have a personal or family history of alcohol abuse, or if you have heart or liver disease, refrain from drinking wine or any other alcohol.

The Mediterranean diet typically includes a moderate amount of wine, usually red wine. This means no more than 5 ounces (148 milliliters) of wine daily for women of all ages and men older than age 65 and no more than 10 ounces (296 milliliters) of wine daily for younger men. More than this may increase the risk of health problems, including increased risk of certain types of cancer.

Focus on fruits, vegetables, nuts and grainsThe Mediterranean diet traditionally includes fruits, vegetables and grains. For example, residents of Greece average six or more servings a day of antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables.

Eat your veggies and fruits and switch to whole grains. Avariety of plant foods should make up the majority of your meals. They should be minimally processed fresh and whole are best. Include veggies and fruits in every meal and eat them for snacks as well. Switch to whole grain bread and cereal, and begin to eat more whole grain rice and pasta products. Keep baby carrots, apples and bananas on hand for quick, satisfying snacks. Nuts and seeds are good sources of fiber, protein and healthy fats. Keep almonds, cashews, pistachios and walnuts on hand for a quick snack. Choose natural peanut butter, rather than the kind with hydrogenated fat added. Try olive or canola oil as a healthy replacement for butter or margarine. Lightly drizzle it over vegetables. After cooking pasta, add a touch of olive oil, some garlic and green onions for flavoring. Dip bread in flavored olive oil or lightly spread it on whole Converse High Tops Mens 13

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grain bread for a tasty alternative to butter. Eat fish at least twice a week. Fresh or water packed tuna, salmon, trout, mackerel and herring are healthy choices. Grill, bake or broil fish for great taste and easy cleanup. Limit red meat to no more than a few times a month. Substitute fish and poultry for red meat. When choosing red meat, make sure it's lean and keep portions small (about the size of a deck of cards). Limit higher fat dairy products, such as whole or 2 percent milk, cheese and ice cream.

Eating primarily plant based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nutsReplacing butter with healthy fats, such as Converse Chuck 2 On Feet

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olive oilUsing herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foodsLimiting red meat to no more than a few times a monthEating fish and poultry at least twice a weekDrinking red wine in moderation (optional)The diet also recognizes the importance of being physically active, and enjoying meals with family and friends.

Choose healthier fatsThe focus of the Mediterranean diet isn't on limiting total fat consumption, Converse Ballet Lace White

Converse Low Top Leather

Converse Low Top Leather

but rather on choosing healthier types of fat. The Mediterranean diet discourages saturated fats and hydrogenated oils (trans fats), both of which contribute to heart disease.

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Benefits of the Mediterranean dietResearch has shown that the traditional Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease. In fact, an analysis of more than 1.5 million healthy adults demonstrated that following a Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of death from heart disease and cancer, as well as a reduced incidence of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.

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If you're looking for a heart healthy eating plan, the Mediterranean diet might be right for you. The Mediterranean diet incorporates the basics of healthy eating plus a splash of flavorful olive oil and perhaps even a glass of red wine among other components characterizing the traditional cooking style of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.

Nuts are another part of a healthy Mediterranean diet. Nuts are high in fat, but most of the fat is healthy. Because nuts are high in calories, they should not be eaten in large amounts generally no more than a handful a day. For the best nutrition, avoid candied or honey roasted and heavily salted nuts.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends the Mediterranean diet as an eating plan that can help promote health and prevent disease. And the Mediterranean diet is one your whole family can follow for good health.

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Most healthy diets include fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains, and limit unhealthy fats. While these parts of a healthy diet remain tried and true, subtle variations or differences in proportions of certain foods may make a difference in your risk of heart disease.

What about wine?The health effects of alcohol have been debated for many years, and some doctors are reluctant to encourage alcohol consumption because of the health consequences of excessive drinking. However, alcohol in moderation has been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease in some research studies.

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Canola oil and some nuts contain the beneficial linolenic acid (a type of omega 3 fatty acid) in addition to healthy unsaturated fat. Omega 3 fatty acids lower triglycerides, decrease blood clotting, and are associated with decreased incidence of sudden heart attacks, improve the health of your blood vessels, and help moderate blood pressure. Fatty fish such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon are rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids. Fish is eaten on a regular basis in the Mediterranean diet.

Putting it all togetherThe Mediterranean diet is a delicious and healthy way to eat. Many people who switch to this style of eating say they'll never eat any other way. Here are some specific steps to get you started:

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