The residents of Gateway Parks in Forney are an active group. The 2,000-acre master-planned community, located on the eastern side of the DFW
Metroplex and about 22-miles from downtown Dallas, is meticulously designed with a wide array of amenities including hiking trails and three pools. This community was built to encourage a healthy, stress-free lifestyle. This type of vibrant, “healthy” community is a part of a long-standing trend in the U.S.. For many, “eating right” was a motivation for one of the hottest dietary trends today – Mediterranean cooking.
Mediterranean Cooking Started Thousands of Years Ago
According to several sources, interest in the Mediterranean diet began in the 1960s with the observation that coronary heart disease caused fewer deaths in Mediterranean countries, such as Greece and Italy, than in the U.S. and northern Europe. Subsequent studies found that the Mediterranean diet is associated with reduced risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthy eating plans recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans to promote health and prevent chronic disease.
It is also recognized by the World Health Organization as a healthy and sustainable dietary pattern and as an intangible cultural asset by the United National Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
The website of the legendary Mayo Clinic notes that, “While there is no single definition of the Mediterranean diet, it is typically high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, and olive oil. The main components of Mediterranean diet include:
- Daily consumption of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and healthy fats
- Weekly intake of fish, poultry, beans and eggs
- Moderate portions of dairy products
- Limited intake of red meat
Other important elements of the Mediterranean diet are sharing meals with family and friends, enjoying a glass of red wine and being physically active.
The “Secret Sauce” of Mediterranean Cooking – Healthy Fats
The science behind the success of this popular diet goes back thousands of years to the earliest civilizations. Healthy fats are its foundation. Contemporary physicians and dieticians have discovered that saturated and trans fats contribute to heart disease. While the healthy fat found in the Mediterranean diet has the opposite effect.
Olive oil is the primary source of added fat in the Mediterranean diet. This providesmonounsaturated fat, which has been found to lower total cholesterol and low-densitylipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol levels. Nuts and seeds also contain monounsaturated fat.
Health experts also note that fish are also important to this diet. Fatty fish — such as mackerel, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, salmon and lake trout — are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat that may reduce inflammation in the body. Omega-3 fatty acids also help
decrease triglycerides, reduce blood clotting, and decrease the risk of stroke and heart failure. Wine, consumed in moderation, has also been credited with reducing heart disease and it is often included in a Mediterranean meal.
In addition to being healthy and delicious, this diet is simple to build meals around. Harvard Medical School created a graphic for a “Healthy Eating Place” and it can be accessed by clicking here. For some easy-to-prepare and mouth-watering Mediterranean recipes, just click here.
Push “RESET” in Gateway Parks
Getting daily exercise from either walking or training in a gym, swimming laps and eating healthy foods are all a part of a healthy lifestyle. However, another critical aspect of staying healthy involves reducing the stress of the modern-day world. This is where a home in Gateway Parks can play an integral part.
It is convenient to work and entertainment in Dallas. The schools are safe and exemplary for learning. And it has a small-town, neighborly vibe that is seldom felt these days. All of these factors can lead to health and happiness. Click here.