There’s been a great deal of buzz lately about the Mediterranean diet as a heart healthy diet, but is there any substance behind the rumors? Author of “Eat to Live” and board certified family physician specializing in nutritional medicine, Joel Fuhrman, MD, thinks not.
Dr. Fuhrman is known to credit the observed benefits of the Mediterranean diet, not to the olive oil, but rather in spite of it, and instead notes the abundance of fruit, fish, beans, tomato sauce, salads, etc.,
Fat is fat is fat when it comes to losing weight. Weight loss is one of the greatest things a person can do for their heart and their health. While good fats like salmon, eggs and seeds do have significant health benefits, even they need to be used sparingly by those who are determined to shed extra bulk.
Any way you slice it, oil is pure, 100 percent fat. When a person is trying to lose weight, especially a person that is middle-age or older, that is simply too much.
Dr. Fuhrman’s daughter, Talia Fuhrman, an accomplished nutritionist in her own right, weighs in on the subject of the ominous oil:
“Some have proposed that extra virgin olive oil is heart healthy because it is rich in polyphenols. Polyphenols have antioxidant characteristics and studies show that they reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. However, all plant foods are rich in polyphenols and most deliver much more polyphenols (and far fewer calories) than olive oil.”
Then of course, there’s exercise. (It’s not called cardio for nothing after all.) Regular exercise is one of the best things a person can do to reduce cholesterol and improve heart health. It doesn’t have to be vigorous either:
“Experts recommend at least 30 minutes of exercise on most — if not all — days. Studies show that yoga and tai chi, an ancient Chinese exercise involving slow, relaxing movements, may lower blood pressure almost as well as moderate-intensity aerobic exercises.” Source: University of Maryland Medical Center