What is the Mediterranean Diet?
The Mediterranean diet is based broadly on the traditional foods that people living in countries like Italy and Greece used to eat back in the 1960s. Unlike diets, such as Keto and Paleo that restrict certain types of foods, the Mediterranean diet focuses on a healthy pattern of eating plant-based foods and not meat-based foods. A Mediterranean plan may include whole grains, vegetables, antioxidant-rich fruits, spices, herbs, and legumes, a very healthy way to eat.
Olive oil and fish are also important in the Mediterranean diet. Olive oil provides monounsaturated fats that help to lower cholesterol levels. Fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, and herring, contain omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fats that help to reduce inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids also reduce the risk of heart failure and stroke, reduce blood clotting and decrease triglycerides.
Mediterranean Food List
- Feta Cheese
- Yogurt, etc.
Fish and Seafood:
- Sardines, etc.
Herbs and spices:
- Pepper/ Sea Salt
- Nutmeg, etc.
Fats & Nuts:
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds, etc.
- Turkey, etc.
- White Beans
- Chickpeas, etc.
- Pears, etc.
Healthy Facts of the Mediterranean Diet
Prevent Heart Diseases
The Mediterranean diet helps to prevent cardiovascular diseases, including stroke, heart attacks, and coronary heart disease. Healthy fats found in fatty fish, olive oil and nuts are the main reason for these heart-health benefits. For instance, omega-3 fats help to lower bad cholesterol (LDL Cholesterol) and raise good cholesterol (HDL Cholesterol), improve insulin resistance and reduce inflammation.
The Mediterranean diet can be good for increasing brain power as well as preventing cognitive decline and dementia. The diet also helps to reduce the risks of Alzheimer’s disease and depression. The carotenoid antioxidants present in various fruits and vegetables have been linked to improved mood and optimism.
As a plant-based diet, the Mediterranean diet helps to fight cancer by providing antioxidants, protecting DNA from damage, delaying tumor growth, reducing inflammation levels and stopping cell mutation. Studies show that the diet contains high levels of antioxidants from various plant foods. Antioxidants are compounds that help to prevent oxidative damage and reduce inflammation in the body. In addition, the Olive oil the diet is believed to be a natural cancer treatment and decreases risks of developing bowel and colon cancers. The Mediterranean diet helps to lower the risk of gastric cancer, colorectal cancer, and breast cancer.
Mediterranean Food and Weight Loss
Studies show that a Mediterranean diet produces greater weight reduction results than low-fat diets. It also helps to reduce the buildup of belly fat. It is easier to lose weight with the diet since you to eat a higher volume of plant-based that contains fewer calories.
Although there’s not a specific defined Mediterranean diet, you should be eating fruits, vegetables and healthy fats, multiple times per day; unrefined whole grains and legumes at least once a day and fish, seeds and nuts multiple times a week (see the Mediterranean food list) . Mediterranean cuisine is a delicious and healthy way to eat. Try to switch to this style of eating today.