Mediterranean Diet: The benefits and the positive impact of the Mediterranean Diet.
In today’s world, eating is not only a requirement anymore; instead, it has turned into a hobby for a lot of people. They love to explore and eat all kinds of food, but the way the liking of food grew similarly diabetes and cardiovascular diseases are also growing at an alarming rate.
So for food lovers and also others those who want to eat healthily but not at the cost of eating bland foods the most appropriate diet is the Mediterranean diet. This group of foods is generally consumed by the people from the Mediterranean region such as France, Spain, Greece, Italy, and Northern Africa.
Nowadays various doctors are also advising diabetic and people with heart problems to shift to the Mediterranean diet.
Why is the Mediterranean diet so popular in today’s world?
According to a 2013 study performed by the University of Barcelona, the Mediterranean diet has a strong connection to cardiovascular health. They studied about 7,000 participants for five years those who were said to adopt the Mediterranean diet, most of them diabetic, smokers, or overweight.
This study resulted in the huge revelation of significant health benefits of the Mediterranean diet. Most of the participants were found to be absolutely risk-free after the processes, and some of them with high risk in cardiovascular disease had about a solid 30% risk decrease.
And as most people are inclining more and more towards a healthy lifestyle, now Mediterranean diet is becoming more popular among most individuals due to its health benefits and diversity.
The Mediterranean Diet
Now it is time to understand and know what the Mediterranean diet is, and then you will understand why the people living in the Mediterranean region live longer and more healthy lives. This diet is a healthy combination of plant-based products, whole grains, nuts, healthy fats and probably sometimes a glass of wine.
The Mediterranean diet is not something like a diet chart prescribed by a specialist; it is a whole group of food items. This diet has various options to choose from you just have to decide how many calories you need per day then you are all set to dive into this diet for whatever reason you want, to be it weight loss, heart problems, diabetes et cetera.
This diet generally consists of vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts, legumes, fruits, spices, herbs, olives, and olive oil. Although the Mediterranean diet is a plant-based diet, it’s not totally vegetarian, this diet consists of fish and seafood like a flavourful salmon or shrimp, at least three to four days a week.
Generally the Mediterranean diet refrains from all types of saturated and trans fats like red meat and processed foods, these are mostly reserved for special events and occasions.
Some people have a certain misconception about the Mediterranean diet as it is considerably rich in fats, such as olive oil, avocado oil, cheese, and avocado.
But this diet actually supports fat consumption, the healthy versions like polyunsaturated fat (particularly omega-3 fatty acids) found in fishes like salmon and some types of seafood, and monounsaturated fat found in olive oil. Poultry is not shunned out of this diet altogether, but it is consumed in extremely small quantities with veggies and whole grains.
The Mediterranean Diet Plan
The Mediterranean food is not something you can make in a rush; these foods take time, patience and love to prepare them. That is why a lot of people still avoid it knowing it’s exceptional benefits.
But food is probably the only thing which can make people bond together and come closer to each other. The love which goes into preparing this Mediterranean food certainly pays off with the hearty smiles from those who eat them.
But there are no fixed ingredients that could be categorized as Mediterranean ingredients, as there are so many countries and so many varieties. But Here is what the general Mediterranean diet says.
- Avoid trans fat: Processed foods and margarine.
- Avoid refined grains: pasta made of refined wheat, white bread et cetera.
- Avoid added sugar: table sugar, packed juices, candies, fizzy drinks et cetera.
- Avoid Refined oil: soybean oil, cottonseed oil et cetera.
- Avoid processed meat products : Hot dogs, Sausages et cetera.
This diet also advises people to avoid any packaged food item that says ‘low-fat’ or diet as they are highly processed and made in a factory. While you shop for Mediterranean food, never trust the labels, read the ingredients carefully then trust the item.
So it has been cleared what to avoid, now it’s time to actually plan what to eat.
If you are converting your regular diet to a Mediterranean one, then consider these unprocessed products,
- Vegetables: Brussels sprouts, Kale, spinach, onion, tomatoes, carrots, cauliflower, cucumber eggplant, zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms et cetera.
- Tubers: turnips, yams, beets, sweet potato et cetera.
- Fruits: oranges, pears, bananas, strawberries, apples, grapes, dates, peaches, figs, melons et cetera.
- Legumes : lentils, chickpeas, peanuts, pulses, Peas, beans et cetera.
- Nuts and seeds: walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, Almonds, et cetera.
- Whole grains: brown rice, buckwheat, corn, Bareilly whole grain bread, pasta, white oats et cetera.
- Spices and fragment herbs: Basil, garlic, parsley, mint, sage, Rosemary, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, thyme, oregano et cetera.
- Diary: yogurt, Greek yogurt, cheese et cetera. (moderate amounts)
- Seafood and fish: Salman, sardines, mackerel, eels, clams, mussels, crabs, scallops, tuna, shrimp, oysters et cetera.
- Eggs: quail, chicken, and duck.
- Poultry: Turkey, duck, chicken et cetera. (moderate amounts)
And lastly, Healthy Fats: olives, avocados, avocado oil, olives and extra virgin olive oil( if possible).
Including consuming solid food, drinks are also as important. The general Mediterranean diet does not offer a huge variety of drinks, as most of them contain added sugar. That’s why the common recommendation is always lots of water, and also a moderate amount of wine about one glass per day. Coffee and tea are also acceptable if adding extra sugar is avoided.
This is probably the most commonly avoided point included in the Mediterranean diet. If you are following the Mediterranean diet or if you want to, then you have to exercise as the diet chart includes this option. Dedicate just a little time from your daily schedule to exercises and workouts.
You will feel the difference in not only your weight but your health will considerably improve, your metabolism will become strong, and you will be able to digest the food consumed much faster than before. Your cardiovascular system will also improve due to this Mediterranean diet.
Here are Some popular Mediterranean dishes that you can try,
Humus, one of the easiest and delicious dishes classically made of chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, and salt. But nowadays people are reinventing by adding vegetables like onion, and herbs /spices like parsley and cumin.
Some other popular dishes are Fattoush Salad, lemon shrimp pasta, Cabbage Stuffed with Marinated Cod, and there are many more delicious and healthy combinations. (Mediterranean Diet)