Is it worth it to change to the Mediterranean diet? Is it as healthy as it is touted to be? The answer is yes, you should change to it and it is as healthy for you as they say it is.
The Mediterranean diet is basically a diet that includes healthy wheat products, white meat and healthy oils. It advocates for products such as whole wheat breads, chicken and fish rather than beef, whole, healthy vegetables and lots of nuts. It also recommends that you use plant based oils and fats like olive oil and rapeseed oil rather than animal fats.
Mediterranean Diet Health Benefits
So what are the health benefits of being on this diet?
There are several, and all of them lead to a healthier lifestyle.
The first and most important benefit is that you reduce your risk of being stricken with anything heart related. It lowers your risk of stroke, it lowers your risk of heart attack and heart disease and it also contributes to healthier vessels which reduces your chances of getting a blood clot. It does this because it eliminates risk factors for heart disease such as red meat and unhealthy fats, and it also recommends red wine which i9s good for the heart.
It reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. The Mediterranean diet is rich in fiber. Fiber slows down digestion which in turn means that there is less risk of swings in blood sugar.
It improves brain performance especially if the fish of choice is fatty. Fatty fish is one of the best sources of omega-3. Omega 3 is well known for improving brain function.
Although not yet explained, seniors in the Mediterranean region and those from other countries who are strictly on this diet seem to be at less risk of developing muscle weakness.
Because one of the general principals is that you eat in moderation, overweight people have a perfect chance in this diet to lose some weight.
Many people want to go on this diet but they may find it difficult to get the kind of ingredients that are required. First, if you live near an organic vegetable store, you will definitely find vegetables there that are recommended in the diet. Second, there are tips you can use to make your diet more Mediterranean.
1. Don’t strip fat out of your diet
Fat is necessary for you to remain healthy. The thing is to know which fats are good for you and which are not. So long as you stick to healthy fats like olive oil, you should be good. Remember that a central part of the Mediterranean diet is olive oil.
2. Eat as many vegetables as you can
The Mediterranean diet offers you a wide variety of vegetables. Even if you cannot find the particular ones that are recommended, eat whatever vegetables you can find. The idea is to get as much fiber as you can. Even upping the amount of tomatoes and carrots to your meals will make a difference.
Finally, the Mediterranean way is to eat meals with family and friends so gather everyone and get healthy together.
The Basics of Mediterranean Diet
Eat: Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, breads, herbs, spices, fish, seafood and extra virgin olive oil.
Eat in Moderation: Poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt.
Eat Only Rarely: Red meat.
Don’t Eat: Sugar-sweetened beverages, added sugars, processed meat, refined grains, refined oils and other highly processed foods.
Foods to Eat
You should base your diet on these healthy, unprocessed Mediterranean foods.
- Vegetables: Tomatoes, broccoli, kale, spinach, onions, cauliflower, carrots, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, etc.
- Fruits: Apples, bananas, oranges, pears, strawberries, grapes, dates, figs, melons, peaches, etc.
- Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, Macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and more.
- Legumes: Beans, peas, lentils, pulses, peanuts, chickpeas, etc.
- Tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, yams, etc.
- Whole Grains: Whole oats, brown rice, rye, barley, corn, buckwheat, whole wheat, whole grain bread and pasta.
- Fish and Seafood: Salmon, sardines, trout, tuna, mackerel, shrimp, oysters, clams, crab, mussels, etc.
- Poultry: Chicken, duck, turkey and more.
- Eggs: Chicken, quail and duck eggs.
- Dairy: Cheese, yogurt, Greek yogurt, etc.
- Herbs and Spices: Garlic, basil, mint, rosemary, sage, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper, etc.
- Healthy Fats: Extra virgin olive oil, olives, avocados and avocado oil.
Whole, single ingredient foods are the key to good health.