- The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest eating plans available, and it can aid weight loss and blood sugar control.
- Lean foods, healthy fats, and fruits and vegetables are all part of the Mediterranean diet, which minimises sweets and red/white meat.
- A Mediterranean diet meal plan allows you to enjoy red wine in moderation.
- Set out below, are benefits of the Mediterranean Diet.
What is a Mediterranean diet?
Following a Mediterranean diet means eating in the same way that people in the Mediterranean region have done for centuries. The Mediterranean diet is common among nutritionists not only because of its numerous health benefits, but also because of its versatility and ease of implementation. To see if you think it is for you, you can refer to the ‘7-day Mediterranean Diet Plan ‘in the link below.
Whole, plant-based foods, heart-healthy fats, and seafood, which make up the majority of meals in Mediterranean regions like Greece and southern Italy, are given emphasis in the diet.
Furthermore, the Mediterranean diet is more of a way of life than a transient diet. It has been discovered that people who practise it for a long time have lower rates of chronic disease and have a longer life expectancy.
If you want to give this balanced, common diet a try, there is a meal plan to get you started, as well as more information on some of the long-term benefits of adopting the Mediterranean diet at the end of this post.
What to eat and drink on the Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet does not require calorie restriction or specifically prohibits certain food classes. However, there are several requirements to follow in order to get the most out of the possible health benefits.
TIP: Choose foods in their least processed form, such as steel-cut or even fast oats, rather than instant oatmeal packets, which also contain added sugar.
Healthy fats (olive oil, nuts, seeds, and avocado)
Whole grains (barley, bulgur, quinoa, millet, steel-cut oats, brown rice, amaranth, and
Eat/drink in moderation:
Wine – red wine has a higher concentration of the heart-healthy antioxidant resveratrol than white (no more than one 5-ounce glass a day for women, two glasses a day for men).
Foods with added sugars, such as pastries, sodas, and sweets/candies
Pizza dough containing white flour
Refined oils, which include canola oil and soybean oil
Food for Thought
Meat eaters aren’t the only ones that profit from the Mediterranean diet. By substituting protein-rich plant-based foods like lentils, quinoa, tofu, chickpeas, and hemp seeds for beef/pork/lamb, you can easily turn a meat dish into a satisfying vegetarian meal.
6 health benefits of the Mediterranean diet
1. Cancer Prevention
Lower risk for certain cancers: The Mediterranean diet has been linked to a lower risk of a variety of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative disease, diabetes, and cancer, especially breast and colon cancer. Reductions in inflammation, oxidative damage, metabolic syndrome, and weight are among the pathways responsible for these effects. Observational and clinical studies indicate that the Mediterranean diet is beneficial for cancer prevention, both primary and secondary.
Meat, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, potatoes, fruits, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), moderate quantities of wine, and reduced consumption of red meat make up the Mediterranean diet. It restricts the consumption of processed foods and refined sugar. It is an easy and attainable aim to follow this dietary pattern.
2. Diabetes Management
According to some doctors, the Mediterranean diet is one of the safest ways to regulate blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes.
Researchers found that when the Mediterranean diet was compared to low-carb, low-glycaemic index, and high-protein diets, the Mediterranean diet increased blood sugar the most for people with type 2 diabetes, and when combined with a low-carb diet, contributed to greater weight loss.
According to research, eating a Mediterranean-style diet will lower the risk of having another heart attack. A Mediterranean diet consists primarily of fruits and vegetables, fatty fish like sardines, and wholegrain cereals, with small quantities of meat and low-fat dairy products.
Reduced risk of cognitive decline: According to a 2017 report, elderly patients who ate a Mediterranean diet were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of cognitive impairment as they aged.
Memory, vocabulary, and visuospatial awareness were all improved when people followed the Mediterranean diet. Eating fish, in particular, was linked to a lower risk of dementia.
According to researchers, following the Mediterranean diet for a year increased “healthy” gut bacteria by 7% thus lowering bacteria linked to harmful inflammation in elderly patients. Researchers also concluded that these positive results were due to an improvement in dietary fibre and related vitamins and minerals.
6. Weight loss
Several studies from the last decade or so have shown that eating a Mediterranean diet is linked to a smaller waist circumference, a lower risk of weight gain, and can help with weight loss when combined with caloric restriction. This is most likely due to the focus on whole foods rich in satiating fibre and fat.
Potential downsides of the Mediterranean diet
When it comes to possible drawbacks, the Mediterranean diet isn’t linked to many, but if you consume a lot of fish, you might want to keep an eye on mercury intake.
Salmon, shrimp, pollock, and canned light tuna are all low-mercury seafood choices. Furthermore, if you have dietary restrictions such as gluten intolerance or Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) that necessitate a low-FOODMAP diet, seek advice from a nutritionist or doctor before embarking on a new eating plan.