Tired of trying to avoid “high-fat” foods in your daily diet? A new study suggests you may not have to. That’s right – you be able to eat all the fatty foods you want…..as long as that fat is part of the Mediterranean diet.
A Mediterranean diet rich in “healthy” fats — such as those found in olive oil, eggs, nuts and fatty fish — might lower your risk of heart disease, breast cancer and type 2 diabetes.
What is a Mediterranean diet? According to a story in Forbes Magazine, it has at least two of the following seven patterns:
- a high monounsaturated-to-saturated fat ratio;
- lots of fruit and vegetables;
- high intake of legumes;
- high grain and cereal intake;
- moderate red wine consumption;
- moderate dairy intake;
- low consumption of meat/meat products but high intake of fish.
The diet doesn’t restrict total fats, mainly because it is rich in plants and fish, which contain healthy fats that don’t tend to build up in blood vessels and contribute to conditions like heart disease, diabetes and hypertension. Nuts, fruits, vegetables, grains and seafood—also key components—contain unsaturated fats that have been linked to lower risk of chronic diseases, including cancer. Add in olive oil and moderate wine and dairy, and it’s a fat friendly (and pleasurable) way to eat.
Hanna Blomfield, associate chief of staff for research for the Minneapolis VA Health Care System and a professor at the University of Minnesota, was one of the study’s authors. She and her colleagues analyzed the data of 56 previous Mediterranean diet studies to reach their conclusion. When asked in the Washington Post how much fat is okay to eat – Blomfield said “a lot” but added….that didn’t apply to all fats.
“If you are eating healthy fats that are monounsaturated fats like olive oil or canola oil, you don’t necessarily have to limit them. But that doesn’t mean you should be going out and filling up on bakery products that have saturated fats,” Blomfield said.
Let us know what you think about this new report and whether you believe healthy fat can lead to a healthier life. After all, finding new and innovative ways to improve the health of the people of our state takes us one step closer to our long term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!