The Mediterranean diet is considered one of the healthiest diets around the globe. It is known to be adapted from the eating habits of Greece and Southern Italy, the countries neighboring the Mediterranean Sea. It has been observed that people living around these countries and neighborhoods have an extremely healthy lifestyle and low levels of heart disease owing to their diet. Although the Mediterranean diet is plant-based, it is not deprived of healthy fats. It has recently gained a lot of popularity due to its numerous health benefits.
A classic Mediterranean diet is composed of vegetables, fruits, pulses, grains and excludes highly-refined sugars, processed foods, carbs, or fatty meats. The required fat is usually obtained from extra virgin olive oil and nuts. Mediterranean foods inculcate olive oil instead of regular cooking oil, which is comparatively rich in monosaturated fatty acids which are capable of improving HDL “good” cholesterol. The diet includes a moderate intake of dairy products like cheese, milk, and Greek yogurt, additionally allowing a slight intake of alcohol in form of wine combined with a meal. A high-protein and fibrous meal of the Mediterranean diet can include Greek yogurt, granola, oatmeal, legumes, rice, eggs, or fruits. Fruits and nuts can also form a major part of daily snacks or desserts.
Like most diets, a typical Mediterranean diet also allows a high intake of fiber-like probiotics, which improves the number of good bacteria in our gut. A decreased consumption of red meat and processed food proves beneficial for losing weight and helps in lowering cholesterol levels. Many types of research have linked the Mediterranean diet with a healthy lifestyle as it reduces cardiovascular problems, obesity, diabetes, and certain cognitive impairments. A Mediterranean style of eating has additional benefits like improved blood sugar, lower risk of psychological disorders, and a reduction in heart strokes and Alzheimer’s. Moreover, it is found that the diet tends to ease inflammation in older adults by lowering the C-reactive protein.
A Mediterranean diet is a part of the Mediterranean lifestyle. Thus, the diet proves to be more beneficial when enjoyed in peace and in the company of your close ones. It allows you to resonate with your body’s hunger and makes you eat an apt amount of food until you are satisfied and simultaneously full. A person who decides to follow the Mediterranean diet must follow the lifestyle and adapt their eating habits as well. A faster and effective result is obtained when each meal of the diet consumed throughout the day is enjoyed and relished.