The Mediterranean diet emphasizes healthy fats such as olive oil and avocados, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds. The diet is based on the traditional eating plans of Italian, Greek, Spanish, and other Mediterranean cultures.
A recent five-year study by the University of Navarra in Spain found the Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes by 30 percent.
“We were surprised because of the great magnitude [of the link between the diet and heart-disease prevention],” said Miguel Martínez-Gonzalez, who led the study. “This is a very important step in confirming a truly causal relationship between the [Mediterranean-style diet] and cardiovascular protection.”
The study examined 8,000 men and women in their 60s and 70s and found that individuals on the Mediterranean diet had dramatically less buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries compared with those followed a low-fat diet.
Previous studies also showed that people who followed a Mediterranean diet also had fewer degenerative diseases like cancer, diabetes and dementia and lived longer than those who followed other eating plans.
Brooke Burke Charvet credits the Mediterranean diet for her sizzling body at 43. “We try to eat a Mediterranean diet — lots of greens, lots of fish, lots of vegetables,” said Burke Charvet, creator of the 30 Day Slim down.
Similarly, Rocco DiSpirito credited his Pound a Day Diet, a low-carb Mediterranean-style eating plan, for his stunning 50-pound weight loss and improved health. DiSpirito’s “Pound a Day Diet” also helped Whoopi Goldberg lose 35 pounds.
And TV star Maria Menounos lost 40 pounds with a Mediterranean diet and martial arts workouts. Menounos shared her weight loss, diet and workout secrets in her bestseller, The EveryGirl’s Guide to Diet and Fitness.