The Benefits of a Mediterranean Diet

The Benefits of a Mediterranean Diet

You’ve probably heard of it, but maybe you never really understood what the Mediterranean diet was. Or perhaps you’ve just wondered what makes the Mediterranean diet so healthy? Here’s the rundown on one of the best diets that won’t take you too far out of your comfort zone.

To begin with, the Mediterranean diet is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, fish and olive oil. Foods like these provide thousands of micronutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that can help protect against many health conditions like cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. The Mediterranean Diet also includes low amounts of meat, dairy and saturated fats, and moderate alcohol consumption.

The Mediterranean diet comes from countries like Italy and Greece, and it isn’t just a diet to them; it’s a way of life. It’s been around for a long time. Those living in the Mediterranean coastal area have had similar eating habits for thousands of years. They enjoy many plant foods and regularly eat foods high in monounsaturated fats, such as avocado, fish, canola and olive oils.

So are you ready to begin your Mediterranean diet? First off, make sure to eat plenty of plant foods, limited amounts of meat and sparse amounts saturated fats. Minimally processed and fresh foods are also emphasized.

A typical meal would include lots of vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, olive oil, whole grains, pasta, and cereals. Fish, poultry, eggs, and low-fat dairy foods would be limited. And there would very small amounts of meat. Don’t forget your glass of wine! Cheers!

Here are some recipes to get you started:

Greek-Style Spaghetti Squash

Mediterranean Grilled Chopped Vegetable Salad with Feta

Tomato with Feta and Herbs

Greek Sandwich with Feta Vinaigrette

Mediterranean Pasta Toss

Greek Tuna Skewers for Two

Mediterranean Kabobs

Cucumber & Yogurt Salad

Scientists have conducted many studies over the years on the Mediterranean diet, and more often than not, the results are very positive. A study published in journal BMJ showed that healthy people who followed a Mediterranean diet had a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Another study published in The New England Journal of Medicine showed that a restricted-calorie Mediterranean diet could be even more effective for weight loss than a low-fat diet.

But it isn’t just the diet that’s helping. Physical activity is also a crucial component, and it’s something that those living near the Mediterranean are very familiar with. So before you decide to completely revamp your diet, remember that you need to exercise if you want to see results.

Around The Web