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Heart Smart Living
Heart Smart Living

Cardiologist, author, and heart health expert Dr. Sarah Samaan offers advice on how to live a heart smart life.

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The Mediterranean Diet

A delicious way to fight heart disease, cancer, and aging.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know I’m a huge fan of the Mediterranean diet. The traditional diet of the beautiful Greek island of Crete, it’s one of the best ways to reduce your risk for heart disease, stroke, dementia, and many forms of cancer.

The heart-protecting effects of the diet were first discovered in the 1970s, when scientists began to notice that people living in Crete had less than one third the incidence of heart disease as Americans. After accounting for differences in body weight, activity, and cholesterol levels, it was the diet of these traditional Mediterranean people that set them apart.

The Mediterranean diet is not the mainstream Greek or Italian restaurant fare that many of us have grown up with. On the contrary, it is a way of life that is much closer to the earth than our typical Western diets. Although it may sound a little exotic and out of reach, the Mediterranean diet is far more adaptable than you may realize.

The elements of the Mediterranean diet are deliciously uncomplicated. They include:

  • olive oil
  • green leafy vegetables
  • fruit
  • legumes
  • fish
  • whole grains
  • herbs and garlic
  • alcohol in moderation (if it’s appropriate for you)

The beauty of the Mediterranean diet is that it lends itself to all sorts of interpretations. You can make it as fancy or as simple as your heart desires.

Learn more about the effects of the Mediterranean diet:

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Tags: Diet and Heart Health , Risk Factors for Heart Disease

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About the Author


Dr. Samaan is an acclaimed cardiologist, writer, and heart health educator.