I will spend most of this article explaining the scientific merits of a Mediterranean diet. Since the Hamptons Diet is an updated, more healthful offshoot of this approach, the same health benefits - and more - would apply.
The American Heart Association (AHA) diet recommends limiting total dietary fat intake to less than 30 percent, saturated fat to less than 10 percent, and your total cholesterol intake to less than 300 mg/day. Although this diet has been shown to lower total cholesterol, it has failed to lower triglyceride levels, and it actually lowers HDL (good cholesterol) levels.The AHA diet has never consistently shown long-term improvement in any heart disease outcome. Triglyceride levels in many recent studies proved to be a more significant indicator of coronary risk than cholesterol levels were, and the recommended AHA diet fails to address this risk factor. Also, some evidence suggests that coronary heart disease continues to progress in patients who follow the AHA diet.
A Mediterranean diet does not regard all fat as bad.The emphasis in this type of diet is not to limit total fat consumption but to make sensible choices about the type of fat you consume.This is the Hamptons approach, too.Two types of fats are considered healthful: omega- 3 fatty acids and monounsaturated omega-9 fats. No limits are put on the consumption of these types of fats. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fatty fish such as tuna and salmon and, in lesser amounts, in some plant sources such as flaxseeds and walnuts. Monounsaturated fats are found in macadamia nut oil, olive oil, nuts, and avocados. Another thing that the Hamptons Diet and the Mediterranean diet have in common is that they both emphasize eating whole, natural, nutritious foods that are low in trans-fatty acids.
The six basic tenets of the Mediterranean diet and the Hamptons Diet are:
The health benefits of following these guidelines were recently reviewed by Harvard researchers. One of these scientists,Walter Willett, examined studies of thousands of people to see if any connections could be made between participants' health and what they were eating. The studies were epidemiological and included people who already had heart disease, as well as those who didn't.Thus the results are both valid and accurate. Let's examine the findings, as they relate to the Hamptons Diet.
The protective effects of eating fish are most likely related to the cardiovascular benefits of omega-3 fatty acids - especially DHA and EPA. A high consumption of these fatty acids has been shown to decrease mortality by 30 percent and decrease the risk of sudden cardiac death by 45 percent.The mechanisms by which omega-3s protect us are still unknown, but we have discovered that they lower triglycerides, have an anti-inflammatory function, decrease the risk of clots, and prevent abnormal heart rhythms.
The protective effects of eating fish have to be tempered with the health risks caused by their high mercury level and the unwholesome practices of fish farms. If this were a perfect world and we could eat ocean-caught fish that weren't in danger of depletion, then fish would be an ideal protein source. To avoid this conundrum, stick to eating smaller fish like sardines or consume fish oils in a purified capsule form. Keep in mind that pregnant women, those who are nursing, or those who plan to become pregnant within a year are advised not to eat too much fish because of potentially high levels of mercury and other pollutants. These women are especially advised to stay away from bluefish, striped bass, tilefish, swordfish, king mackerel, tuna steaks, white and golden snapper, and any freshwater fish. Canned tuna should also be limited to five ounces per week. In addition, to get the full health benefit of eating fish, we should not eat them battered and deep fried. Sautéing fish in macadamia nut oil is fine, but deep-fried fish sticks and fast-food fish sandwiches do not fit into this category.
Because of these problems, the Hamptons Diet changes this category to Eat Fish and Other Types of Lean Protein. I request that people also consume trimmed beef, trimmed pork, skinned chicken, and other animal forms of protein, including eggs. Just remember to trim off all the excess fat and to emphasize white meat chicken and turkey.
These were a significant part of our ancestors' diet, because they are highly nutritious and were easily gathered. Nuts contain protein, carbohydrates, and fat.They also contain vitamin E, folic acid, potassium, and magnesium and do not contain cholesterol. Placing nuts at the top of the USDA food pyramid was a horrible mistake.The lack of emphasis on nuts was probably due to the United States' not growing large amounts of them. Nuts are low in saturated fats, although 80 percent or more of their weight is fat - but good fat. Most of the fat comes in the form of monounsaturates and omega-3 fatty acids, making nuts an extremely healthful food. Keep in mind that peanuts are not nuts but are legumes, so they're not included in this category of foods. Learn to enjoy other nuts, like macadamia nuts, walnuts, pecans, and hazelnuts. They should be plain or roasted, not honey roasted.
The scientific evidence that nuts prevent coronary heart disease is starting to accumulate. Several large, long-term, population-based studies show that people who ate nuts more than four times per week lowered their risk for heart disease by 50 percent. In women, the lowered risk was 35 percent, when compared with those who rarely ate nuts. Nuts have been shown to decrease total, as well as LDL, cholesterol, and therein lies the probable mechanism for their health benefit. In fact, almonds are now approved to carry a heart-healthy seal, which is a big step in the right direction.
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