In a nation where heart disease causes 1 out of every 4 deaths, it’s no surprise that heart healthy diets are gaining popularity fast. There are plenty of these plans to choose—Ornish diet, DASH diet, MIND diet, TLC diet, and more—but the #1 spot is held by the Mediterranean diet.
You may be thinking, “Wait, isn’t this diet pretty high in fat?” The answer: yes it is! However, the types of fats found in this diet plan are actually good for your heart, since they provide high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids. Deriving most of these fats from quality olive oil and fish, foods on the Mediterranean diet food list have been proven to decrease levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol—the “bad” cholesterol that can build up arterial plaque. In addition, the Mediterranean diet plan is associated with lower incidence of cancer, and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases
What is Mediterranean Food?
If you’re interested in starting up a Mediterranean diet plan, you’d best know what’s in it first! Here’s a handy breakdown of what this diet includes:
- Foods high in fruits and vegetables. Plant-based foods are a primary part of the Mediterranean diet food list, including whole grains, nuts and legumes.
- Lower salt intake. As much as possible, replace salt with flavorful herbs and spices.
- Consume mostly heart healthy fats by replacing butter with olive oil—especially Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), which contains more healthy Omega-3 fatty acids than any other source of fat.
- Reduce red meat consumption to only a few times a month, while eating fish or poultry at least twice a week.
Already, we can probably agree that this diet is looking a lot healthier than your average American diet, which is heavy in salt, sugar, red meat, and processed foods! To get the most out of this diet, it’s also advisable to limit your consumption of synthetic preservatives, additives, and pesticides by choosing USDA Certified Organic ingredients and products
In addition, regular exercise will help to improve cardiovascular health and fitness. Red wine is optional, but perhaps preferred! But there’s one ingredient that you definitely don’t want to skimp on…
Hummus: A Staple Ingredient in Your Mediterranean Diet Plan
How could the Mediterranean way of eating be complete without a healthy serving of hummus? This classic superfood dip has gained popularity even outside its cultural milieu because of its amazing health benefits and delicious flavor. Plus, as people have been consuming more and more hummus, food manufacturers have responded by creating ever more creative varieties and flavors to suit any palate or diet. When choosing a hummus to round out your Mediterranean diet food list, you obviously want to find the ones that are heart healthy! The best hummus brands use only extra virgin olive oil instead of regular olive oil or canola, and contain the lowest amounts of preservatives or additives. If you’re not careful, your mainstream-brand hummus may contain quite a few ingredients you don’t want in your body
That’s why we recommend HOPE Hummus. Made with only EVOO for optimal heart health, and bearing the USDA Organic seal to signify that we don’t use any unhealthy additives or preservatives, HOPE is the ideal hummus to pair with ingredients from your Mediterranean diet food list.