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Week 1

How can I follow the Mediterranean or the Okinawa diet where I live ?

The Mediterranean and the Okinawa diets are two healthy dietary patterns typical of specific territories, the Mediterranean basin and the Okinawa island respectively. Nevertheless, these dietary styles can be followed all over the world in their principles: indeed, they emphasize the consumption of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, legumes, lean protein sources, nuts, seeds, and liquid vegetable oils. All these food groups are available everywhere, even though there may be some territorial differences that should however be respected: The Mediterranean and the Okinawa diets also promote local food consumption. Furthermore, they encourage regular physical activity, adequate rest, and recreational activities within the family and among friends, which are the basics of a healthy lifestyle.

Why should we reduce saturated fats in our diet?

Recent findings suggest that a permanent reduction of dietary saturated fats leads to a potentially important reduction in combined cardiovascular events. Saturated fats are mainly found in butter, cream, cheese, margarine, red and processed meat. The Mediterranean and Okinawa diets are characterised by a low consumption of these foods; so, following the recommendations of these dietary patterns is a good way to reduce dietary saturated fats intake.

How much water should I drink everyday?

Water is essential for practically all functions of the body and is particularly important for thermoregulation. A water intake which balances losses and thereby assures adequate hydration of body tissues is essential for a healthy life. Dietary intake of water happens predominantly through consumption of drinking water and beverages (80%); the remaining quantity (20%) is contained in food. Diets rich in vegetables and fruit provide significant amounts of the total water intake. The recommended adequate intake of water is 2.0 L/day for adult females and 2.5 L/day for adult males, that is roughly 8-10 glasses per day. Both the Mediterranean and the Okinawa diet are characterized by a daily consumption of water and infusions as the main source of hydration, but they also recommend a high consumption of water-rich foods such as fruit and vegetables.

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This article is from the free online course:

Understanding Mediterranean and Okinawa Diets

EIT Food