Sunday, May 10, 2009

Heart Health

A recent article on Medscape caught my eye: a new study has shown that a Mediterranean diet significantly reduces the risk of heart disease. While it has been known for a while that such a diet is healthier than the way we tend to eat in the western world, this new study is noteworthy because, as a meta -analysis combining close to 200 studies, it ups the level of evidence to support this claim. A meta-analysis is a type of clinical study that combines other types of studies in order to get a stronger answer to a question.

The Mediterranean diet is generally characterized by a higher intake of fruit, veggies, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and fish, whereas the Western diet is characterized by red and processed meats, eggs, refined grains, and high fat dairy products. Foods with a high glycemic index and foods with trans-fatty acids are particularly associated with an increased risk in heart disease.

I feel quite passionate about choices that we can make as individuals to improve our health. Not all disease is preventable, and sure, we could make every "right" decision regarding our health and still wind up with an illness. However, it is our responsibility to be keepers of our bodies!

So, I leave you with today's lunch: a Mediterranean chick pea salad on mixed greens, with whole wheat pita crisps. The salad is simply a tomato, cucumber, 2 peppers, garlic, green onion, parsley, chick peas, and a few olives, with a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice and oregano. I use stale pita to make the crisps, simply tear it into pieces and microwave on a paper towel for 2 minutes!

PS- Happy Mother's Day Mom! I feel so blessed to have a mother who is both my best friend and a great parent:)


Heather said...

Aw-w-w, thank! Right back atcha!

And that meal looks so-o-o-o good!


Don said...

Hi Jess,

Well written. I feel you should have your own talk show on health and nutrition. You could be the Dr. Oz of Canada. Did you know he is going to have his own show starting in September?