We have all made declarations to eat better, be healthier and lose weight- it’s not shocking that this is the most popular New Year’s resolution. So while most of the US is under a blanket of snow today, we should remember that summer is around the corner, and that means one terrifying thing- bikini season!

One of the more popular strategies for long term weight loss is the Mediterranean diet. A new study from the Harvard school of public health has determined that this diet plan actually lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease. So is this the perfect diet to not only lose weight, but to make your heart healthier?

The study used 780 firefighters and determined that 35% of the subjects who strictly adhered to the Mediterranean diet had lower blood pressure, as well as decreases in cholesterol and blood sugar.  Firefighters were used in this study, as they are more prone to obesity and therefore high cholesterol.

The Mediterranean diet was first publicized in 1945 but it really took off the early 90’s. It is based on the traditional eating principles of places like Greece, Spain and Southern Italy. It is a diet high in nuts, fruits, vegetables, olive oil, and refined cereals. It is recommended that you have a moderate intake of dairy, like cheese and yogurt and meat.

Think Greek salads, grilled chicken, snapper, and lots of greens. So no need to skip the cheese just make sure you order the salad, and not only will you lose weight, but your heart will thank you for it!