Grassroots Naturopathic Medicine Health Clinic

CardioMetabolic Diet

Introducing: Your Complete Cardio-Metabolic Assessment

What if you could extend not only your life span, but your health span, starting now?  Health span means vibrant health into old age, not just living longer.  If you could stop for a minute and picture yourself 20, 30, 40 years older, how does that look?  Are you doing your favorite activity? Are you fit and active? Are you engaging with family and friends?  Picture it!

There are 8 key elements to improving cardio-metabolic health and longevity.  Over the next 8 months, tune in to this newsletter for a featured article about each of the 8 elements contributing to cardio-vascular and metabolic health. 

Up first, naturally, we have NUTRITION!!

The Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet is well known to promote longevity and cardiovascular health. 

It is more than just pasta and wine!  The Mediterranean Diet consists of whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, dairy, extra virgin olive oil, spices, modest amounts of poultry and fish, low amounts of red meat, and red wine. It is the combination of all these foods, which are whole, fresh and unprocessed that lead to the health benefits of this diet.

Key Features of the Mediterranean Diet

  • Whole Foods!
  • Low Glycemic Index
  • High in Lean Protein
  • Rich in Good Fats
  • High in Fibre
  • High in plant Antioxidants called Polyphenols

Key Features of the Mediterranean Diet

Whole Foods There is that old adage, shop the perimeter of grocery store.  There, you will find fresh produce, meats and items that don’t have a 2 year shelf life!  The food in the Mediterranean is known to be fresh, local, seasonal and organic. Start now: The summer harvest is in! Buy ONE vegetable you never buy!  I like to buy zucchini this time of year and make “fries”.  Brown in a pan with olive oil and garlic salt.  Yum!  Butternut squash soup?  Roasted beets?  Anyone hungry yet?
Low Glycemic Index It’s time to eliminate refined carbohydrates from your diet.  Refined sugar, white flour, white rice, processed foods such as boxed cereals and sweetened yogurt, send our blood sugar on an up and down roller coaster ride and contribute to elevated triglycerides (fats in the blood the body makes from excess carbohydrates). Choose smart carbohydrates with lots of fibre such as sweet potato, brown rice, oatmeal, and quinoa more often which slows the release of blood sugar and binds and eliminates cholesterol from the body. Start now: Get real about your sugar intake!  Replace refined sugar snacks with a few Medjool dates or a piece of 70% dark chocolate.
Lean Protein To stabilize blood sugar, maintain lean muscle and optimize body composition, eat protein with every meal & snack!  Protein foods include meat, Greek yogurt, cheese, eggs, beans, nuts & seeds. Choose meats with lower amounts of saturated fat including fish, chicken and turkey. Start now: Substitute ground turkey instead of ground beef in your next recipe.
Good Fats Good fats such as avocado, coconut and olive oil and raw nuts and seeds, slow down the release of carbohydrates from our digestive tract to our blood, help maintain healthy cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation in the body.  Talk to your Naturopathic Doctor about an Omega 3 supplement. Start now:  Use olive oil for cooking and drizzle over food.  Some people in the Mediterranean are known to eat 8 tbsp of olive oil per day.  Their cardiovascular health is improved and their skin glows!
Fibre Fibre slows the sugar release, helping reduce blood sugar spikes, and binds and removes cholesterol from the body.  High fibre foods include vegetables, fruit, seeds (flax, chia, hemp), whole grains (brown rice, wild rice, whole oats, buckwheat, quinoa), beans and lentils, and fibre supplements such as psyllium. Psyllium fibre has been shown to reduce cholesterol and help maintain a healthy weight. Start now: Try chia pudding for your next breakfast!  It’s loaded with protein, good fat and fibre.
Antioxidant Polyphenols It’s all about eating from the rainbow.  The more rich in color your diet is, the more cardiovascular and anti-aging benefits.  The best antioxidants can be found in dark leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, berries, tomatoes, garlic and onions, green tea, dark chocolate and red wine.  Ah… the alcohol dilemma!!  1-2 glasses of organic red wine per week MAX can be part of a healthy diet depending on your individual health. Start now: Aim for 1 cup of berries and 1 cup of greens per day.  Sounds like a great smoothie recipe to me!  I love baby kale, mixed berries, peaches, 2 tbsp flax seeds and my favorite protein powder. Our goal is to inspire healthy lifestyle changes that are doable, feel great, and dare I say… fun?  We want our patients to age awesome… enjoying energy and optimal health at all ages.