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I’ve heard that Mediterranean food is good for health. Is this true? Why?

health-and-fitness Updated: May 06, 2013 02:24 IST

I’ve heard that Mediterranean food is good for health. Is this true? Why?

Yes, Mediterranean food is healthy as the basic components of their diet are unrefined, unprocessed fresh foods with an emphasis on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. It is not a rigid diet regime, but rather diverse and variable in recipe across cultures in the Mediterranean basin. Foods are fresh and unprocessed, and most of the fats they consume comes from olive oil, nuts, beans, and oily fish (as opposed to cookies, candy bars or soda).

Dairy products like cheese are eaten in small amounts daily and red wine is enjoyed in moderation. Red wine is packed with poly phenols, which have been shown in many studies to lower cholesterol and the amount of arterial plaque in the body.

Can dieting lead to rebound weight gain?

Rebound weight gain occurs as a result of fad diets, crash diets, mono diets and poor lifestyle choices. It is important to continue eating high quality food such as sprouts, juices and whole grain when you are trying to maintain your weight.

Going back to eating refined and starchy foods can lead to rebound weight gain. Therefore, it becomes important to identify a quality weight-loss program, which is customised to your individual food preferences and body constitution, provides enough calories and adequate nutrients for good health, sets realistic weight loss goals and includes regular physical activity along with proper behaviour modifications.

I have diabetes, due to which I can’t eat too many fruits. What fruits are advised for diabetics?

A diabetes patient can have any fruit which has a low glycemic index (GI) such as apples, grapefruit, jamun, oranges, pear, sweet lime and guava. It is safe for a diabetic to consume one or two fruits in a day.

Does eating fish help in improving eyesight?

Cord liver oil, which is a rich source of vitamin A, is good for eyesight. The omega-3 essential fatty acids found in fish and other sea food may improve eyesight by neutralising free radicals and reducing inflammation. However, studies have shown that people who ate fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vegetable oils and processed foods rich in and omega-6 fatty acids, got the most benefit.

Dr Anjali Mukerjee, nutritionist

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