The Mediterranean diet has long been touted for its benefits as an overall balanced way of eating. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at the Mediterranean diet as it relates to prevention of heart disease, finding that it may be protective against heart attack and stroke.
But according to Washington DC based group, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a better way to prevent heart disease is to focus on high-fiber, plant-based foods. These include fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. These foods provide safe and healthy sources of omega-3 fats without the risks of toxins found in fish.
While fish do provide omega-3 fats, that accounts for only 15-20% of the total fat in fish. Our oceans are also a dumping ground for much of the world's toxins, which accumulate the higher you go on the food chain. Eating fish, you risk eating concentrated sources of these toxins.
A 2012 review of 20 studies in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that fish oil had no effect on prevention of heart attack, stroke, or heart-related deaths. There are safer and more environmentally friendly alternatives to get the correct amount of Omega fats into your body either through a raw food diet that includes nuts and seeds, plant based supplements such as cold pressed plant oils that have the correct ratio of Omega 3's to 6's that your body needs.
When compared with a vegetarian diet, a recent study showed that the Mediterranean diet actually had less protection when it comes to heart disease. Vegetarians were shown to be 32% less likely to be hospitalized or die from heart disease in comparison to individuals who ate meat and fish.
Not only do vegetarian diets protect from heart disease, but they are effective for weight loss, treating diabetes, and prevention of many other chronic diseases. Focusing on fiber-rich plant foods is one of the best ways to reduce inflammation in the body and to stay healthy.
A particularly healthy version of a plant-based diet is a raw food diet, meaning toxic and or processed foods are eliminated and one focuses on alive, vibrant and fresh natural produce. Advocates of a raw food diet, such as myself, claim that eating foods in their most natural raw state ensures a multitude of vitamins, minerals, digestive enzymes, antioxidants and phytochemicals are available to the body.