Heart problems are on a serious rise across the world. Doctors suggest that a change in our lifestyles and food habits are the major culprit here. Our stress-filled lifestyle is affecting our health in a way worst than we could imagine. With people as young as 20 years old getting a heart stroke, it’s time for everyone to take a step back and reevaluate their lifestyle choices.
The increase in heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems is pushing people towards consciously changing their lifestyle and food habits. A lot of research is happening in this space with dieticians and doctors trying to unveil the heart-healthy diet. One such diet gaining popularity is the Indo-Mediterranean diet.
What Is the Indo-Mediterranean Diet?
The Indo-Mediterranean diet is said to reduce heart diseases, depression, and dementia. Most doctors prescribe it if you have high blood pressure or prone to heart diseases. While there are numerous versions of the diet, it was in 1993 that the Harvard School of Public Health came up with the Mediterranean diet pyramid, which helps people follow a healthy lifestyle. Research shows that this diet not just reduces the heart disorder risks, but also increases the life expectancy of a person.
Research on over 26,000 women who tried this diet went on to prove that they’re 25% less likely to develop cardiovascular diseases. This research was spanning over a 12-year-period, and they found a drop in the levels of inflammation, blood sugar, hypertension, and body mass index. It thus proves that the diet is great for the overall well-being of the person. Another research on around 10,670 women in the age group of 57-60 years showed that they were showing fewer signs of aging when on the healthy Mediterranian diet. The results also showed that these women had fewer instances of kidney problems, heart issues, and high on antioxidants in their bodies.
What Can You Eat?
Healthy fats are the go-to inclusions in an Indo-Mediterranean diet. Olive oil is a key ingredient in this diet, and you will have to let go of all the unhealthy trans fat and saturated fat. Olive oil is rich in mono-saturated fat and gives your body it’s a daily dose of low-density lipoprotein or LDL. You could also include lots of nuts, seeds, and fish in your diet. These foods are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, all of which help reduce the instances of blood clotting. It thereby reduces your risk of a heart attack.
Your diet will also include lots of fruits and vegetables, besides whole grains, poultry, eggs, and dairy products. You could also include a lot of plant-based food and seafood to give your taste buds a treat, but the healthy way! Also, try to make water the primary beverage instead of sodas or alcohol.
What Should You Avoid?
You need to reduce your intake of red meat if you are on this diet, and wine is a big no-no! This diet is more of a plant-based meal than a meat-based one! So, one will have to increase the number of fruits and vegetable intake and reduce meat and dairy products. While the diet allows an occasional consumption of red wine, one should refrain from it.
A few people might argue that alcohol reduces heart attack risks. But that doesn’t mean it is healthy. So, while you’re making lifestyle changes for good, it’s best to shun this habit too.
Who Should Take up This Diet?
The World Health Organization or the WHO recognizes this as a sustainable diet. They call it the intangible cultural asset of the United National Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. Besides this, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans also recommends this as a great way to boost your immune system. It also reduces cardiovascular disease risks and prevents other chronic illnesses.
This means anyone who has a stressful life or wants to bring a positive lifestyle change could start this diet. The Indo-Mediterranean diet is rich not just in nutrients but is also famous for the traditional rich flavor. It is important to have tasty food while on a diet to avoid the risk of binge eating.
However, make sure to discuss the diet with your dietician as the standard Indo-Meditratian diet has no mention of portions or diet charts to follow. Your doctor will also help you understand if this is the right diet for your health and lifestyle.