Many leading health institutions and professionals prescribe the Mediterranean diet. Cultures surrounding the mediterranean sea- mainly Greece, Crete, and Southern Italy influence the diet. Health benefits include reduced risk for chronic disease and healthy aging.
This is not a weight-loss diet but rather a good health diet. Hence, studies suggest that individuals following a Mediterranean diet have a lower risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain types of cancer.
What Can You Eat on a Mediterranean Diet?
The dishes are full of color and flavor. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds make up the bulk of the diet. Poultry and fish are limited to about twice a week. Red meat to a few times a month.
In addition, the diet encourages whole grains. The low-fat and low-sugar versions of dairy products are preferred. Red wine, olive oil, herbs, and spices are also part of this diet.
There are no specifics on portion. As a result, it is very easy to misinterpret the diet. Many let it revolve around bread, cheese, wine, and olive oil. This is not ideal, as many of the benefits associated with this diet are connected to its high fruit and vegetable content.
Why is it Healthy?
First, fruits and vegetables are nutrient-rich, low-calorie, and packed with fiber. As a result, the variety and density of nutrients leave little room for nutrient deficiency. Soluble fibers and prebiotics found in plants help promote a healthy gut. Insoluble fibers promote healthy circulations and control levels of LDL cholesterol.
Second, healthy fats from olive oil, nuts, and fish are plentiful. These fats promote healthy blood vessels, brain, and nerve development. Limiting red meat, and other dairy products also promote healthy blood vessels.
Lastly, red wine in this diet should be limited to ~5 ounces per day. Small amounts of alcohol have potential benefits to circulation. However, red wine is not recommended for individuals with a history of alcoholism, addiction, or medical conditions.
Should I go on this Diet?
To summarize, this diet may be right for you depending on your goals. However, recognize what makes this diet healthy and favorable. It ’s about the plant-based food- the fruits, the vegetable, the legumes, and the nuts. These options are typically low in calories and packed with nutrients. However, even if you do not adopt this diet you should still eat more fruits and vegetables.