Lifestyle

What You Need to Know About the Mediterranean Diet

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The Mediterranean Diet is based on the traditional foods that are typically consumed by those living in countries that border the Mediterranean Sea, like Italy and Greece. Research into the healthiest people and cultures in the world pointed experts towards those who followed a particular diet common to those living in these areas. They found that people who followed this type of diet were exceptionally healthy, and have an exceptionally low risk of a number of diseases. Check out what we have gathered about the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, and see if it’s right for your lifestyle. 

Key Components

This diet incorporates the basics of healthy eating by consuming fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains while limiting unhealthy fats. This diet emphasizes eating primarily plant-based foods, rich in whole grains and nuts. Butter is replaced with healthy fats like olive oil and avocado. For flavor, food is seasoned with herbs and spices as opposed to large servings of sodium. Fish and poultry are emphasized over red meat, and a glass of red wine is often accompanied with your end-of-the-day meal.

Benefits

Rich in unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, this diet is one of the best out there for helping prevent major chronic diseases, like heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. The diet allows for great flexibility, while still adhering to a core structure of food that contains all the good nutrients and none of the bad. In fact, studies have shown that those who eat a Mediterranean diet with high levels of olive oil and nuts lost more weight than those on a low-fat control diet. Thanks to the high levels of fruits and vegetables you eat, you’ll get a nice blast of healthy antioxidants that are great at preventing chronic diseases, keeping you fit and healthy.

Can the Mediterranean Diet lead to weight loss?

The Mediterranean diet wasn’t designed for weight loss, it is simply the traditional way of eating for many cultures around the world. However, it just so happens that it is one of the most overall healthy diets for keeping your weight in check. Most people would be turned off from the increased amount of fat consumed, thanks to the nuts, olive oil, and fatty fish, but these fats are actually extremely good for weight loss and heart health. A study published in The American Journal of Medicine found that those who followed the Mediterranean diet lost as much as 11 pounds more than low-fat dieters.

Cons

Just because the Mediterranean Diet is higher than normal in healthy fats, it does not mean it is a free-for-all in fats. You still need to be conscious of how much fat you are taking in. Another aspect of the Mediterranean Diet that may be tough for some people is the fact that it requires some preparation. This isn’t a diet that makes it easy for quick, on-the-go meals, you’re going to have to put spend some time in the kitchen preparing the bigger meals each day.

Photo by Caroline Attwood on Unsplash

Mediterranean Diet in a Day 

Breakfast: Greek yogurt topped with berries

Snack: Handful of walnuts

Lunch: Salmon and greens with olive oil and vinaigrette drizzle

Snack: Handful of olives and feta cheese

Dinner: Pasta with red sauce and sautéed shrimp

For many, the Mediterranean Diet satisfies cravings for wholesome food, while being incredibly effective in helping you achieve your healthiest self. While this plan is not perfect, it is easily one of the most effective and satisfying diets out there, and it certainly could make a positive impact on your health.

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