Healthy diet

Building a healthy diet start at the base of the food pyramid, with plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. These food are often high in fibres and low in fat and cholesterol. Whole grains such as oatmeal are particularly good choices and may help reduce heart disease risk by lowering your cholesterol, particularly when part of a balanced, low-fat diet. It is also very important to eat food that not quickly increase glucose level (with a low glycemic index)


The Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean Diet: How to stay well and eat well Ancel Keys  

The Mediterranean diet is the traditional diet of countries that border the Mediterranean sea such as Italy, Greece and Spain (the origins are Greek-Roman with Arab influences). This kind of diet costs of:

q       Lots of grain and wholemeal bread

q       Plenty of fresh fruits and vegetable (especially citrus fruit and tomatoes that contains lycopenes that seems to be another type of antioxidant carotene)

q       Legumes

q       Olive oil

q       Moderate amounts of milk products (especially yoghurt and cheese rather than milk and butter)

q        Fish and poultry rather than red meat as main source of high-protein foods from animals

q       small daily amount of wine (especially red containing  some non-alcoholic substances called phenols that seem to have antioxidant power)


These foods make the diet rich of: complex carbohydrates, fibers, the antioxidans vitamin A, C, and E (the body’s resource against free radicals), monounsaturated fats, and fish oil. Furthermore there is a good vitamin E: polyunsaturated ratio, and alcohol.

Many studies, over the past decades, (such as the Seven Countries Study),  have confirmed that people who follow this diet are likely to have a lower risk of heart disease and some kinds of cancer (notably colon cancer).


The food pyramid is building blocks for grown-ups. The broad base represents the foods you should eat every day, the ones that should account for most of the calories you make use of. The pointy top represents the foods that you should eat only once in a while. The middle blocks stand for foods that you should eat in moderate amounts every day.


Tips for a healthy diet 

q       Try to introduce variety into your diet, but do not eat too much

q       Chose low-fat milk and milk products (up to 1.5% fat) and low-fat cheese

q       Watch how much high-fat food you eat. Go for lean meat, fish and sausage

q       Reduce saturated fat, prefer monounsaturated fat such as olive oil

q       Avoid food rich in cholesterol, e.g. egg yolk, offal

q       Look for alternatives to foods that contain a lot of sugar

q       Eat vegetables, fruit, wholemeal products daily to ensure a sufficient daily intake of minerals, vitamins, and fibre for your health

q       Drink plenty of fluids, but mainly low-calorie drinks

q       Use as little fat as possible for cooking. Healthy ways are: stew for a short yime in a minimum of water or steam, cook in laminated pots and pans, in clay pots, or in foil, grill rather than fry

q       Eat little and often, and preferably always in the same place

q       Go easy on alcohol

q       Cut back on your salt intake

q       Preferably buy foods with labels that give information about the nutritional content


Nutrient composition of the therapeutic life style changes diet


Recommended intake

Saturated fat

< 7% of total calories

Trans fatty acids


Polyunsaturated fat

Up to 10% of total calories

Monounsaturated fat

Up to 20% of total calories

Total fat

25-35% of total calories

Carbohydrates (complex carbohydrates expecially whole grains, fruits, and vegetables)

50-60% of total calories


20-30 g/d


Approximately 15% of total calories


< 20 mg/d

Total calories

Balance energy intake and expenditure to maintain desiderable body weight


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