Mediterranean Diet

Find A Better You has Researched the Mediterranean Diet and more….

Let’s start by stating this is information found from the internet and has been helpful to some patients. However there is a risk of excess calorie intake because specific amounts of foods and portion sizes are not emphasized, which could lead to weight gain. It would be helpful to use the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid if you decide this is right for you. Here's the information we found:

Prevent Ailments by Using Healthier Habits

Have control over your own health by eating vegetables, exercising daily, watching your weight, and stop smoking these habits will reduce the following:

  • Diabetes by nearly 93%
  • Myocardial infarction (heart attack) by nearly 81%
  • Strokes by nearly 50%
  • Cancer by nearly 36%
Death rates in America by cause

Keep Your Body Weight Maintained Through Adulthood

  • As lean as possible without being underweight or looking to thin
  • BMI- if you feel your overweight aim for 30
  • BMI-If you feel your not aim for 25
  • This site can help you calculate your BMI correctly

Stay Active

  • 150 minutes of daily exercise no matter the routine in could be as simple as gardening, housework or even going for a short walk.

Eat Healthy and Start Healthy eating pattern

  • Dense Nutrient Foods
  • Limit your intake of processed proteins such as bacon, cold cuts and sausages
  • Eat a minimum of 2 ½ cups of healthy vegetables/fruits on the daily basis
  • Stick to whole grains rather than the processed grains

Limit/Eliminate Alcohol

  • Don’t have more than one alcoholic drink per day, but less is always better

Reduce Cancer Significantly Through Exercise

A large study was done in 2016 by the JAMA. The outcome was if on average just walking 150 minutes a week can reduce all cancers by at least 7%, including the Liver, Lung, and Breast more than 10%, and also reduce CardioVascularDisease and Diabetes.

Food could be the Best Medicine

Macronutrients are composed of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. In 2015 the US Dietary Guidelines was changed lifting the ban on dietary fats.

Making healthy food choices including those in high healthy fats warranted the move away from total fat reduction.

FATS has always been known to be a four letter word. However this included even healthy fat. We are all aware of the studies that America has the most overweight and obese people.

The dietary guidelines for 2015-2020 are available on the link provided below:

Never Forget About Your Olive Oils

A large study was done in 2015 by The New England Journal of Medicine about the Mediterranean Diet and Cardiovascular Disease. 288 participants; there were 96 events in the group assigned to a Mediterranean diet with extra-virgin olive oil (3.8%), 83 in the group assigned to a Mediterranean diet with nuts (3.4%), and 109 in the control group (4.4%). Read more on the link below:

Mediterranean diet as the most likely dietary model to provide protection against coronary heart disease

Extra-virgin olive oil or nuts reduce cardiovascular disease around 30%.

In conclusion, in this primary prevention study involving persons at high risk for cardiovascular events, those assigned to an energy-unrestricted Mediterranean diet, supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts, had a lower rate of major cardiovascular events than those assigned to a reduced-fat diet. Our findings support a beneficial effect of the Mediterranean diet for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease.”

Harvard school of public health in December 2018: A study of nearly 26,000 women found that those who followed this type of diet had 25% less risk of developing cardiovascular disease over the course of 12 years. The study examined a range of underlying mechanisms that might account for this reduction, and found that changes in inflammation, blood sugar, and body mass index were the biggest drivers. Mediterranean diet maintained weight loss over a period of six years.

The PREDIMED study, a primary prevention trial including thousands of people with diabetes or other risk factors for heart disease found that a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil or nuts; and without any fat and calorie restrictions reduced the rates of death from stroke by roughly 30%. Most dietary fats were healthy fats, such as those from fatty fish, olive oil, and nuts, but total fat intake was generous at 39-42% of total daily calories, much higher than the 20-35% fat guideline as stated by the Institute of Medicine.  Risk of type 2 diabetes was also reduced in the PREDIMED trial. There is a retraction and republication from this study.

Original Study

Research supports the health benefits of a Mediterranean-style eating pattern that includes several different foods. It is the combination of these foods that appear protective against disease, as the benefit is not as strong when looking at single foods or nutrients included in the Mediterranean diet. Therefore it is important to not simply add olive oil or nuts to one’s current diet but to adopt the plan in its entirety.

The JAMA of internal Medicine in May 2016 released the first detailed examination of a Mediterranean diet index and 3 other dietary quality indexes in association with the risk of hip and total fractures. They report that the 4 commonly used indexes predict a lower risk of hip fractures. More recently, the Alternative Healthy Eating Index has been used to track US trends in diet quality since 2000, documenting a steady improvement that would account for major health benefits. 4 The Mediterranean Diet Index was developed to describe adherence to the traditional diet of Greece; this score and a modification for countries in which olive oil is not traditional (the alternative Mediterranean Diet Index) have been strongly associated with better health outcomes in Greece and elsewhere.

You should have about  4 tablespoons a day of olive oil which would  be equivalent to 22% of your daily calorie intake. In relation to breast cancer, olive oil reduced the risk of invasive breast cancer by 68%. NEJM 2013

Eating nuts can reduce the risk of prostate cancer. You should eat nuts approximately 5 days out of the week. Doing this reduces the mortality rate of prostate cancer by 34%. Nuts have high vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and great fats which help in remaining healthy as well as reducing obesity, strokes and even heart disease.

The Link Between Body Weight and Cancer Risks

It has been proven that being overweight or obese is linked with several forms or types of cancer including breast cancer, colon/rectal cancer, endometrium cancer, esophogial cancer, cancer of the kidneys, and even pancreatic cancer. Fat Cells can increase your risk for cancer. Along with Cytokines/IGF1 and estrogen. But it’s not fat that makes people fat it is the high processed carbs.

Processed Carbohydrates

What are they? White bread, white rice, potatoes, white pasta sauce, soda, and candy or sweets to list a few. But let’s dig a little deeper carbs or carbohydrates are molecules that have carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms just for the science part. But in nutrition aspects, "carbs" refers to one of the three macronutrients. The other two are protein and fat.

Dietary carbohydrates can be split into three main categories:

  • Sugars- Is a  short-chain of carbohydrates found in foods. Examples: are glucose, fructose, galactose and sucrose.
  • Starches- Long chains of glucose(sugar) molecules, which eventually get broken down into glucose in the digestive system.
  • Fiber- Our bodies cannot digest fiber, although some of the bacteria in the digestive system can make use of some of them.

Carbohydrates main purpose in our diet is to provide energy. Most carbs get broken down or transformed into glucose (sugar), which can be used as energy. Carbs can also be turned into fat energy stored for later use.

Fiber does not provide energy directly, but it does feed friendly bacteria in our digestive system. These bacteria in fiber can be made into fatty acids that some of our cells can use as energy.

Sugar alcohols are also classified as carbohydrates. These are commonly found in foods are sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol (in chewing gum), isomalt, and hydrogenated starch hydrolysates. Sugar alcohols come from plant products like fruits and berries. The carbohydrate in these plant products however, is altered with a chemical process. Sugar substitutes provide somewhat fewer calories than table sugar, mainly because they are not well absorbed and may even cause small laxative effect. True they do taste sweet, but usually don't provide many calories. People normally consume 30-40% of these in their diets. These are harmful causing weight gain, Diabetes/type 2 diabetes,Cardiovascular Disease, and possibly cancer. There is absolutely nothing good about these kinds of food.

So when choose carbs to eat be careful choose a wide variety to eat but just remember white potatoes should not be used as a vegetable. Do not eat too many fruits with high carbs either such as: oranges, banana’s, cherry’s, grapes, avocados, and apricots. Remember fruit juices are loaded with sugar.  


When shopping read the labels the first five ingredients is what makes up most of the product. However, there is at least 56 names for sugar here are a few:

All the different names of sugar

Keeping hydrated is crucial for health and well-being

However many of us do not consume enough fluids each day. Around 60 percent of the body is made up of water and our blood is 90 percent water. There is no documented universally agreed quantity of water that must be consumed daily. Water is essential for our kidneys and other bodily functions to work correctly. When dehydrated, the skin can become more vulnerable to skin disorders and wrinkling. Drinking water instead of soda can help with weight loss. Remember soda is full of sugar. Water alone will not keep you hydrated it does not have the vitamins and minerals that our bodies need and can sometimes make health problems worse.

The Benefits of Green Tea

Green tea has a great number of healthy benefits being that it is low on its caffeine levels, it is rich in antioxidants, lowers and reduces your risk of cancers, healthy bone promotions, and it supports the liver during detoxification.

The Benefits of Coffee

Coffee has surprising health benefits as well because of its high source of: antioxidants, polyphenols, lowers the risk of Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer’s disease, improves the function of the liver and more. However you should probably skip putting sweeteners and artificial creamers in your coffee; and instead add half and half or whole cream as that isn’t nearly as processed and it is more healthy.

What are Emulsifiers

Emulsifiers made from plant, animal and synthetic sources commonly are added to processed foods such as: mayonnaise, ice cream and baked goods to create a smooth texture, prevent separation and extend shelf life. However, in this era of “clean labels,” consumers question the necessity of additives in food.

Dietary Emulsifiers and its Relation to Tumor Development

The American Journal of Cancer research in November 2016 stated that computation of Dietary emulsifiers promote metabolic syndrome and low-grade intestinal inflammation in white mice. Emulsifies completely changes the species composition of your gut microbiota (microorganisms of a certain site) in a way that increases and incites inflammation which favors cancer growth and development in the body.

Glycemic Food Chart

The glycemic index diet is really not a weight loss diet. It was tended for people with diabetes who count carbs to manage their blood sugar, it is to  help people choose carbs wisely.

However, some companies have made a lot of money off this diet plan. Such as: Sugar Busters, the Zone Diet, and Nutrisystem are more famous than the original “G.I. Diet. The glycemic index diet can be confusing. Just because a food is low on the index doesn't mean it's healthy, and some high glycemic index foods offer a lot of nutrition.

The glycemic index was designed to help people with diabetes control their blood sugar levels which also helped people lose weight. Sticking to a low glycemic index diet could help people prevent conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

But it's not certain that this diet can help you lose weight any better or faster than a low-fat, low-carb, generally healthy diet.

One study showed that people on a low-glycemic diet lost more fat than those on a high-glycemic diet with the same calories. Overall, the scientific evidence is all over the board  with mixed results and unable to show consistent findings.

Good foods - Low glycemic. Bad foods - high glycemic

Our Bodies and Protein

Controversy exists about the maximum amount of protein that can be utilized for lean tissue-building purposes in a single meal for those involved in regimented resistance training. 20–25 g of high-quality protein; anything above this amount is believed to be oxidized for energy or transaminated to form urea and other organic acids.

The current dietary guidelines say we should get between 10 to 35 percent of our daily calories from protein. If you follow the 0.8 rule, that should put you at right about 10 percent, and Harvard University estimates that most people currently get about 16 percent of their calories from protein. And according to research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, even the top 5 percent of protein consumers don’t approach the 35-percent mark.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that to increase muscle mass in combination with physical activity, you need to consume between 1.2 and 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, or 0.5 to 0.8 grams per pound of body weight. After all, since protein is known to promote satiety, prevent overeating and help control blood sugar levels, people stand to benefit from it the most if they consume it regularly.

How to Tell What Types of Fish are Healthy to Eat

Mercury is a natural element that is found in very small quantities in air, water and all living things. Mercury can find its way into food in a number of ways including: natural recycling, volcanic activity, burning of fossil fuels, and pollution. All fish have some level of mercury in them. However there are some fish that has a lower level of mercury than others. Fish with a low Mercury content are: salmon, whitefish, sardines, herring, catfish, shrimp, and tilapia and fish with a higher level of mercury content are: albacore tuna, marlin, orange roughy, tilefish, king mackerel, swordfish, and shark.

Women who may become pregnant, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and young children; should follow the 3 recommendations below for selecting and eating fish or shellfish to receive the nutritional benefits and be confident that they have reduced their exposure to the harmful effects of mercury.

  1. Do not eat: Shark, Swordfish, King Mackerel, or Tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico because they contain high levels of mercury.
  2. Eat up to 12 ounces a week of a variety of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury. Five of the most commonly eaten fish that are low in: mercury are shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish. Another commonly eaten fish, albacore (“white”) tuna has more mercury than canned light tuna. So, when choosing your two meals of fish and shellfish, you may eat up to 6 ounces (one average meal) of albacore tuna per week.
  3. Check local advisories about the safety of fish caught by family and friends in your local lakes, rivers, and coastal areas. If no advice is available, eat up to 6 ounces (one average meal) per week of fish you catch from local waters, but don't consume any other fish during that week. Advisories are available from local and state health departments, as well as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Animal and Plant Protein Intake with All-Cause and Cause- Specific Mortality Rates

“Eating more protein from plant sources was associated with a lower risk of death and eating more protein from animals was associated with a higher risk of death, especially among adults with at least one unhealthy behavior such as: smoking, drinking and being overweight or sedentary, according to an article published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.”

Power Proteins

When following a balanced heart healthy diet you should eat: veggies, fruit, soy, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds on a regular basis. Over the years dietitians from Preventive Cardiology Nutrition Program at the Mayo Clinic has made a list of the best power foods for your heart. They are the following: Spinach (vegetables), Omega fatty fish (Tuna), Berries (fruit), Edamana (soy), Quinoa (Grains), Legumes (Dried Beans) and Nut/seeds (walnuts).


Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, and is found in some foods, added to others, available as a dietary supplement, and present in some medicines (such as antacids). Also; calcium is required for vascular contraction and vasodilation, muscle function, nerve transmission, intracellular signaling and hormonal secretion, though less than 1% of total body calcium is needed to support these critical metabolic functions. The remaining 99% of the body’s calcium supply is stored in the bones and teeth where it supports their structure and function.

Recommended Intakes






0–6 months*

200 mg

200 mg

7–12 months*

260 mg

260 mg

1–3 years

700 mg

700 mg

4–8 years

1,000 mg

1,000 mg

9–13 years

1,300 mg

1,300 mg

14–18 years

1,300 mg

1,300 mg

1,300 mg

1,300 mg

19–50 years

1,000 mg

1,000 mg

1,000 mg

1,000 mg

51–70 years

1,000 mg

1,200 mg

71+ years

1,200 mg

1,200 mg

* Adequate Intake (AI)

Food Sources of calcium


Milligrams (mg)

per serving

Percent DV*

Yogurt, plain, low fat, 8 ounces



Mozzarella, part skim, 1.5 ounces



Sardines, canned in oil, with bones, 3 ounces



Yogurt, fruit, low fat, 8 ounces



Cheddar cheese, 1.5 ounces



Milk, nonfat, 8 ounces**



Soy-milk, calcium-fortified, 8 ounces



Milk, reduced-fat (2% milk fat), 8 ounces



Milk, buttermilk, low-fat, 8 ounces



Milk, whole (3.25% milk fat), 8 ounces



Orange juice, calcium-fortified, 6 ounces



Tofu, firm, made with calcium sulfate, ½ cup***



Salmon, pink, canned, solids with bone, 3 ounces



Cottage cheese, 1% milk fat, 1 cup



Tofu, soft, made with calcium sulfate, ½ cup***



Ready-to-eat cereal, calcium-fortified, 1 cup



Frozen yogurt, vanilla, soft serve, ½ cup



Turnip greens, fresh, boiled, ½ cup



Kale, fresh, cooked, 1 cup



Ice cream, vanilla, ½ cup



Chinese cabbage, bok choy, raw, shredded, 1 cup



Bread, white, 1 slice



Pudding, chocolate, ready-to eat, refrigerated, 4 ounces



Tortilla, corn, ready-to-bake/fry, one 6” diameter



Tortilla, flour, ready-to-bake/fry, one 6” diameter



Sour cream, reduced fat, cultured, 2 tablespoons



Bread, whole-wheat, 1 slice



Kale, raw, chopped, 1 cup



Broccoli, raw, ½ cup



Cheese, cream, regular, 1 tablespoon



Improve your bone density

Women who eat more fruits and vegetables in childhood have a higher BMD, but the intake of dairy was not the same result. Eating more fruits and vegetables decreases the risk of hip fracturing and help up regulate osteoblasts which help down regulate osteoclasts. Almonds also help the osteoclast formation and provides a positive effect on bone health. Another great thing to consume to increase bone health is olive oil which reduces osteoporotic fractures.


“Prolonged fasting (PF) promotes stress resistance, but its effects on longevity are poorly understood. We show that alternating PF and nutrient-rich medium extended yeast lifespan independently of established pro-longevity genes. In mice, 4 days of a diet that mimics fasting (FMD), developed to minimize the burden of PF, decreased the size of multiple organs/systems, an effect followed upon re-feeding by an elevated number of progenitor and stem cells and regeneration. Bi-monthly FMD cycles started at middle age extended longevity, lowered visceral fat, reduced cancer incidence and skin lesions, rejuvenated the immune system, and retarded bone mineral density loss. In old mice, FMD cycles promoted hippocampal neurogenesis, lowered IGF-1 levels and PKA activity, elevated NeuroD1, and improved cognitive performance. In a pilot clinical trial, three FMD cycles decreased risk factors/biomarkers for aging, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer without major adverse effects, providing support for the use of FMDs to promote health-span.”

Nightly Fasting in Relation to Breast Cancer

Nightly fasting has proved beneficial to the reduction to breast cancer. With there being a 36% decrease in chances of recurrent breast cancer as well as a 22% decreased risk of death due to breast cancer. A fasting mimicking diet (FMD) is also healthy to promote healthy body conditioning as well as healthy habits with food intake. The process would be 5 consecutive days each month, ingesting 1100 kcal on the first day and then 1800 kcal  on days 2-5 eating foods with low protein, fats, fruits, vegetables, and more. This allows for the activation of stem to regenerate your organs and tissues.

Multivitamin Take or Don’t Take

Hold on… get vitamins and minerals from food with the exception of Vitamin D, B12, Folic Acid, and Calcium?! Isn’t that pretty close to a multi? Maybe not.

University of Minnesota study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, stated in their study the following: women of reproductive age are advised to get extra folic acid and those who are pregnant, menstruating, or anemic need iron supplements.

The guidelines also urge people 50 and older to get extra vitamin B12 (new research also suggesting it slows the onset of dementia). Women taking multivitamins do not live longer than those who get their nutrients from food alone, according to a U.S. study that found they in fact appear to have slightly higher death rates.

The research also suggests that some of the largely unregulated substances, such as vitamins A and E, could be harmful in high doses, according to an editorial published with the study in the Archives of Internal Medicine. They used data from nearly 39,000 older women who participated in the Iowa Women’s Health Study and filled out questionnaires starting in 1986. Only calcium supplements were linked to a lower risk of death over 19 years of follow-up, with 37% of users dying compared to 43% of non users. By contrast, women taking other supplements did not live longer. For instance, 41% of multivitamin users died versus 40% of non-users — and the gap became even wider when adjusting the numbers based on health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure and overweight in the two groups. One possible exception is vitamin D, which one recent study suggests may help women live a little longer.

Prof. Mursu also cautioned that his study doesn’t prove supplements cause harm. “I would rather conclude that there is no evidence for benefits,” he said. The 2010 U.S. dietary guidelines recommend getting nutrients from food, not supplements.

He added that in the case of iron, women on high doses may have underlying conditions that could explain their higher death rates. So, at nearly the same time, just days prior, along comes another study that shows evidence of Vitamin E contributing to an increased risk of Prostate Cancer! Apparently, men who regularly take vitamin E supplements eventually have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer, compared to other men of the same age and overall health who don’t. This was reported by researchers from the Cleveland Clinic in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association).

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