The number of obese people in the United States is growing, especially in Hispanic residents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the number of states in which at least 35% of residents are obese has almost doubled since 2018. Out of nine, there are now sixteen states that have at least less than 35% of its obese residents.
Combined data from 2018-2020 shows that they are 22 states with a prevalence of obesity equal to or greater than 35% among Hispanic residents.
The CDC notes that being overweight and obese increases the risks of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer (endometrial, breast and colon), hypertension, dyslipidemia, stroke, liver and gallbladder disease, sleep apnea and respiratory problems, osteoarthritis and gynecological problems (abnormal menstruation, infertility).
Mediterranean diet to control weight and promote health
The Harvard School of Public Health notes that research supports the use of the Mediterranean diet as a healthy eating pattern for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, increasing life expectancy and healthy aging.
Harvard also notes that when used in conjunction with calorie restriction, the Mediterranean diet also can contribute to weight loss.
The Mediterranean diet is a primarily plant-based eating plan which includes the daily intake of whole grains, olive oil, fruits, vegetables, beans and other legumes, nuts, herbs and spices. Animal protein is eaten in small amounts, and fish and shellfish are the preferred protein.
Kathy McManus, Director of the Nutrition Department and Director of the Dietetics Internship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital shares via Harvard Health 8 changes to follow the Mediterranean diet:
1. Change the fats you use now for extra virgin olive oil.
2. Add whole wheat bread or other whole grains to food.
3. Begin or end each meal with a salad.
4. Add more and different vegetables to the menu.
5. Eat at least three servings a week of legumes.
6. Eat less meat and eat more fish, two or three servings a week.
7. Eliminate sugary drinks. Replace sodas and juices with water.
8. Eat fewer desserts that are high in fat and sugar. Opt for fruit.
Example of a 7-day Mediterranean diet plan according to Medical News Today
Breakfast. A fried egg, whole wheat bread, avocado and roasted tomatoes.
Lunch. Two cups of leafy greens with cherry tomatoes, olives on top, and olive oil and vinegar dressing. Whole wheat pita bread and 2 ounces of hummus.
Dinner. Whole wheat pizza with tomato sauce, roasted vegetables and low-fat cheese.
Breakfast. A cup of Greek yogurt and half a cup of fruit.
Lunch. Whole wheat sandwich with hummus or avocado and roasted vegetables, such as eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, and onion.
Dinner. Baked fish with vegetables and olive oil.
Breakfast. A cup of whole oatmeal with cinnamon, low sugar fruits, an ounce of walnuts or almonds, dates and a touch of honey.
Lunch. Spiced Boiled Beans, a Cup of Green Leafy Vegetables with Tomato, Cucumber and Feta Cheese and Vinaigrette
Dinner. Half a cup of whole wheat pasta with tomato sauce, olive oil, roasted vegetables and a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese.
Breakfast. Scrambled egg with peppers, onions and tomatoes; Accompany with a quarter of avocado
Lunch. Anchovies roasted in olive oil on whole wheat toast with a little lemon juice and 2 cups of green leafy salad and tomato.
Dinner. Two cups of boiled spinach with a little lemon juice and artichoke boiled with olive oil, garlic powder and salt
Breakfast. A cup of Greek yogurt with cinnamon, a chopped apple and grated almonds; you can add a touch of honey.
Lunch. A cup of quinoa with bell peppers, dried tomatoes and olives. Roasted chickpeas; you can top with a little avocado or feta cheese.
Dinner. A serving of grilled sardines with a little lemon juice and two cups of cooked green leaves, with tomato, cucumber, olives, lemon juice and Parmesan cheese.
Breakfast. Two slices of whole wheat toast with soft cheese, such as ricotta cheese or goat cheese, blueberries and figs.
Lunch. Salad of cups of mixed lettuce with tomato and cucumber and a portion of roasted chicken with a little olive oil and lemon juice
Dinner. A cup of whole wheat couscous and vegetables baked in the oven with olive oil and herbs.
Breakfast. Whole oatmeal with cinnamon, dates, and berries; you can add a little honey.
Lunch. Stewed zucchini, pumpkin, onion and potato in tomato sauce and herbs.
Dinner. A serving of fish and salad with two cups of leafy greens such as spinach, tomato, olives, and olive oil.
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