People from the Mediterranean region are said to be some of the healthiest people. While the diet plays an important role, their lifestyle may be the real secret to health and longevity.
Learn 6 secrets on why the Mediterranean diet may be the perfect “diet” for you too.
1. It Is A Simple, Healthy Way Of Eating
Eat mainly fresh plant-based whole foods – this means fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Consume fish at least twice a week, limit red meat, use fresh herbs and spices in place of salt, consume healthy fats like olive oil, and incorporate red wine in moderation, if you wish. It’s a flexible, long-term eating plan, not a quick fix diet.
2. The Mediterranean Diet Is A Way Of Life
Being physically active and eating with friends and family are also important cornerstones of the diet. South Europeans are known to take the time to share meals with friends and family. Lunches and dinners take often several hours and social connections and family ties are more important than anything else. People naturally do exercise and walk a lot.
3. It May Help In Preventing Chronic Diseases
This style of eating is filled with antioxidants, fiber, and healthy fats, which may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, it is said to increase life expectancy, prevent diabetes, obesity, coronary artery disease, Alzheimer and even cancer. Since its discovery in the 1950s by Ancel Keys, it is said to lack little nutritional deficiencies and help lower your blood pressure and cholesterol. Compared to The Western diet, it decreases the risk of many inflammatory autoimmune disorders.
4. It Helps To Reduce Weight
A recent study from Spain on the effects of a high-fat Mediterranean diet on weight and waist circumference found that it helped reduce body weight and abdominal girth in people after 5 years. The fat from extra virgin olive oil, nuts and seeds helps improve cell metabolism and communication in comparison with saturated fat from animal sources which only decreases cellular function.
5. It Provides A Healthy Balance Of Nutrients
It is not only the specific foods we eat that matters, but what combinations of foods we eat. The balance of nutrients, fiber, healthy fats, caloric count, and antioxidants in the Mediterranean diet is what makes this diet so healthy and allows to follow this diet long-term for most people.
The way of food preparation in this type of diet also contributes to its healthy benefits. The Mediterranean diet is, simply put rich in antioxidants and nutrients that offer a wide range of health benefits.
6. It Is Cheaper Than You Thought
Many shy away from adopting the Mediterranean diet believing it is too expensive to maintain, but the opposite may be true. This type of diet was born out of poverty as people in the Mediterranean regions relied on locally grown plants as their main sources of energy. Several studies observed the low costs of this type of diet, especially given the fact of prevention versus spending money on sick care.
A Basic Overview
The main characteristics of this diet are that it is high in fruits and vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. It is low in dairy and meat with fish and seafood rich in omega-3 fatty acids being the protein of preference. Most fat from this type of diet comes from olive oil as well as nuts and seeds.
Interested to find out more? Download my free 5-day “Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan” below.