What is the Mediterranean diet? Beneficial to health.
With the changing lifestyles healthy lifestyle is a challenge. So human has been looking around for new means going exercises, taking up different diet plans and etc to stay healthy and fit. With the change in lifestyle healthy eating is not anymore a choice it is more of a necessity now. but before taking up any such diet it is important to understand how a particular diet helps maintain a proper weight. But change doesn’t happen overnight so in order to get a considerable amount of change it is important to be determined and patient towards your diet.
What is the Mediterranean diet?
Mediterranean diet is more a lifestyle than a diet, as it also includes physical activities, exercise, and many more. But the food planning part of this includes fresh vegetables and fruits. The fresh and favorable foods form the basis of the Mediterranean diet. Mediterranean diet proves to be very beneficial for the body such as help in chronic disorders, diabetes, and many more. The Mediterranean diet works slowly so it requires patience. This diet covers 20-25% of fat. The Mediterranean diet is proven by various scientists to be one of the healthiest in the world.
What is the history of the Mediterranean diet?
The Mediterranean diet was used by people for a very long but was not very popular all over the world. Then in the year 1950s American scientist Dr. Ancel Keys conducted seven countries study – United States, Finland, the Netherlands, Italy, the former Yugoslavia, Greece, and Japan. He found out that people living near the Mediterranean Sea have already embraced this diet and lifestyle. Then thousands of tests have been conducted on this and results seems to support his findings.
What are the characteristics of the Mediterranean diet?
The Mediterranean includes wholegrain bread, Pasta, Rice, Couscous, Quinoa, Polenta other grains, and potatoes.
Mediterranean diet includes drinking a lot of water.
Fruits, legumes, nuts, vegetables, cheese, yogurt, and olive oil are included in the daily diet.
Sweets eggs poultry is allowed on a weekly basis.
Red meat is not much allowed In the Mediterranean diet. it is allowed only once a month.
Wine has to be taken in moderation.
What does the Mediterranean diet include?
In this diet, we focus on minimally processed forms of foods so that valuable nutrients including minerals, vitamins, fiber could be received.
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Some of the food items that are included in the Mediterranean diet are:
- Grains – Most food in this includes grain, vegetables and fruits. Focus in whole grains such as wheat, rice, oats, barley, corn, rye, etc.
- Vegetables – Vegetables are important for the body. Vegetables provide valuable nutrients to the body and raw vegetables are an important part of the diet plan and it also provides the same nutrients as a cooked vegetable and is a healthy snack option.
- Fruits – Another staple of the Mediterranean region are whole fresh fruits. But it should be noticed that fruit drinks do not have the same benefits as fruit juice. So it is important to understand that whole fruits are only beneficial.
- Olives and olive oils – Some of the central ingredients of the Mediterranean diet include olives and olive oil. Extra-virgin olive oil supports health promotion of fats, phytonutrients, and other vital micronutrients.
- Nuts Beans legumes etc – These are a great source of fibre, proteins, etc.. It should be part of the daily diet.
- Cheese and yoghurt – These are very commonly consumed by the people leaving near mediterranean sea. Consuming these are vital for bone and heart health. But it is important to use low fat or non-fat dairy products.
- Sea food – Primary source of healthy protein in the Mediterranean diet is seafood such as shellfishes and other seafood. It should be consumed once a week. Heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids can be found in various fishes.
- Meats – Mediterranean diet doesn’t include much meat n their plan. Meat is recommended to consume only once a month because red meat is typically high in saturated fat.
- Wine – Although wine can be taken regularly in the Mediterranean diet it should be consumed in moderation. which means it should not exceed 1-2 glasses of wine per day.
- Water – Lots of water is recommended in the Mediterranean diet. but as every individual have a different size weight lifestyle so their requirement of water intake may also differ accordingly.
What are the benefits of the Mediterranean diet?
Mediterranean diet helps in the improvement of various diseases such as:
- Cardiovascular diseases – Cardiovascular diseases are really common nowadays. A large portion of the Mediterranean diet includes nuts, legumes, whole grains, etc. which reduce abdominal fat, reduces cholesterol, lowers high blood pressure because it includes food that is low in saturated fats and high in fiber.
- Diabetes – Type 2 diabetes is a major problem that can be reduced using the Mediterranean diet because it includes seafood and fishes that are rich in omega- 3 fatty acids. such foods help control insulin levels and prevent the onset of diabetes.
- Depression, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease – Foods such as virgin-olive oil nuts and legumes help the functioning of the brain. As the human brain is made up of 60%fat so eating healthy fats helps in improving brain activities. Thus preventing or lowering Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. Food having Low saturated fat maintains the proper hormonal balance in the body thus helping depression.
- Weight Loss – In the Mediterranean diet, we consume more amount of fresh fruits and vegetable food with low saturated fats and et which are good for the body. Although, many nutritionists consider the Mediterranean diet to be a high-fat diet, which is a healthy fat. So you may not see the remarkable change in weight instantly when it comes to the Mediterranean diet but with time you can feel the difference.