Health Benefits Of A Mediterranean Diet

Before transporting food across nations was possible, each country or region had its style of eating based on the local food supply. The Mediterranean diet is one of those diets. The diet comes from the local cuisine of the French, Italian, Greek, and Spanish Mediterranean areas. It limits red meat and includes meals containing fish, local herbs, olive oil, and fresh fruit and vegetables. It became popular when scientists discovered that people in the Mediterranean areas had a lower risk of heart attacks, type 2 diabetes, strokes, and premature death.

The Mediterranean diet contains healthy fat.

Some of the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet come from the higher amount of omega-3 fatty acids. That comes from the fatty fish and nuts in the diet. Why is it important to increase omega-3? You need a balance of omega-6 and omega-3 for the body to run properly. Right now, most Americans have too much omega 6 and not enough omega 3. Increasing omega 3 in your diet can boost heart health and reduce the risk of a stroke. It lowers the risk of a heart attack by 30%.

Cutting red meat can also bring benefits.

Fatty fish plays a more significant role in the Mediterranean diet than red meat. Meals revolve around plant protein sources, such as beans and whole grains. Butter is limited and replaced, in most cases, with olive oil. The desserts are lower in added sugar and get their sweetness from fresh fruit. Many cakes and baked goods use olive oil instead of butter or less healthy oil. Whole foods play the biggest role in the diet since it limits processed food.

The Mediterranean diet helps protect the brain.

The Mediterranean diet benefits the brain in other ways besides preventing stroke. It slows the progress of cognitive decline in seniors from diseases like Alzheimer’s. Scientists have used many of the dietary keys in the Mediterranean diet. They combined them with ones from the DASH diet to create the MIND—Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay—diet. The MIND diet makes berries the fresh fruit choice.

  • The Mediterranean diet is beneficial for weight loss. Eliminating sugar, fried, and highly processed food can help reduce weight by cutting calories. Obesity is the main cause of preventable death. It leads to many other conditions, including metabolic problems.
  • The high fiber content of the Mediterranean diet helps improve digestion and improves the gut microbiome. The improved microbiome and higher omega-3 play a beneficial role in mental health.
  • The Mediterranean diet contains many anti-inflammatories foods and few foods that cause inflammation. Red meat, processed meat, and food with added sugar can cause inflammation. They’re limited in the Mediterranean diet.
  • Part of the benefit of the Mediterranean diet comes from the Mediterranean lifestyle. Meals are more social and eaten with friends and family. People following that lifestyle have more daily physical activity.

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