t is no secret that eating healthy is good for you. However, what type of diet should you be following? Mediterranean diet has been proven to have many health benefits. This blog post will look at the top 5 benefits of a Mediterranean diet and how it can help improve your overall health!
What Is Mediterranean Diet?
While there is a keto diet, there is also a Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet is a healthy eating plan made up of nutritious and seasonal ingredients, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts, and olive oil.
In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that people who followed a Mediterranean diet over five years had a 30% lower risk of heart disease.
People who follow this kind of diet eat mostly fish and healthy fats, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. They also get regular exercise daily. It is believed that many people experienced weight loss on the Mediterranean diet. People lost about 14 pounds in a year.
There are various different versions of the Mediterranean diet that include a variety of vegetables, fruits, or grains depending on what is readily available where you live.
Benefits Of Mediterranean Diet
There are several benefits the Mediterranean diet can offer you.
Lower Your Risk For Heart Disease And Stroke
The Mediterranean diet is known for its ability to lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. It’s one of the best diets for reducing blood cholesterol levels, which in turn lowers your chance of cardiovascular problems.
Improved Blood Pressure
The Mediterranean diet has been shown to improve your blood pressure readings, lowering the risk of stroke and heart disease.
Improve Insulin Sensitivity
Research shows that eating a Mediterranean-style diet can increase insulin sensitivity in people with type II diabetes or metabolic syndrome. Insulin is crucial for regulating fat storage, so improving insulin sensitivity should help reduce your risk of cardiovascular problems.
The Mediterranean diet emphasizes healthy fats and proteins, which promote satiety. The high fiber content in the diet can help you feel full for longer periods of time, thereby reducing your appetite. Along with this satisfaction from food comes a sense of control over overeating, which may be helpful if weight is an issue.
The Mediterranean diet is also linked to reducing depression. Many nutrients found in this diet can help with mental health, such as omega-3 fatty acids and folate.
Help You Live Longer
Adopting a new lifestyle like this one can lead to increased life expectancy because of the benefits it brings in the form of reduced diabetes risk, heart disease risk, and depression.
The Mediterranean diet can reduce inflammation in the body, which is a powerful aid for all sorts of chronic diseases. For example, according to recent studies, this type of diet may even be able to help with arthritis and asthma.
There are many benefits the Mediterranean diet can offer you many benefits if you decide that it sounds like something worth trying out!
How Do You Start The Mediterranean Diet?
The first step is to eliminate refined sugar, flour, and processed foods from your diet to start the Mediterranean diet. Replace these with whole grains that are high in fiber to help slow digestion rates.
Next, you should limit animal fat intake and replace it with plant-based fats like olive oil or canola oil for cooking as well as eating raw nuts, seeds, and legumes for snacks. Lastly, add more vegetables and fruit into your diet because they are low in calories but high in fiber.
Think of the Mediterranean diet as a way to eat healthy on the go, so if you're out with friends and want something sweet or salty, have some nuts handy instead!
Mediterranean Diet Breakfast Ideas
Breakfast is a great opportunity to get in your vegetables! Try some eggs with roasted tomatoes and arugula. Or enjoy an oatmeal bowl mixed with fresh or frozen berries, nuts, and seeds for a fiber-packed start to the day.
Mediterranean Diet Lunch Ideas
For lunch have grilled chicken on top of brown rice with a side of sautéed vegetables and roasted red pepper. Or, if you're craving something more traditional, enjoy an Italian-style sandwich such as panini (toasted sandwiches) filled with grilled chicken, artichokes, or fresh mozzarella cheese on whole wheat bread!
Mediterranean Diet Dinner Ideas
For dinner, have a bowl of soup with a whole wheat roll or enjoy some grilled shrimp on top of a bed of rice and fresh vegetables. You can also have a sandwich for dinner by making it with whole wheat bread, grilled chicken, or tuna salad.
Mediterranean Diet Dessert Ideas
If you're craving something sweet after your meal, try some fresh fruit such as watermelon, strawberries, bananas - they are all low in calories and high in fiber! You can also have roasted nuts like almonds or walnuts or nut butter with whole grain crackers.
The Best Time To Eat
Breakfast and lunch should be eaten within one hour after waking up; a light dinner (less than 500 calories) around six hours later.
Stay away from eating for at least two hours before going to bed. Breakfast should not exceed 250-300 calories, while the main meal of the day should be 600-800 calories.
Mediterranean Diet Food List
The following are the best food choices for the Mediterranean diet:
- Meats and poultry, fish in moderation.
- Olive oil, canola, or other vegetable oils.
- Nuts, seeds, and legumes (such as beans).
- Fresh fruit and fresh vegetables
- Whole grain breads such as wheat or whole rye bread, pita bread, tortillas and pasta.
- Red wine in moderation.
- Cheese (in small quantities)
- Fats from plants such as avocados and extra virgin olive oil.
- Dairy products, especially skim milk or low-fat yogurt.
- Berries in moderation (stay away from sugary berries).
The following are the worst foods for this diet:
- Processed foods, fast food, deep-fried snacks (such as French fries), butter, and margarine.
- Sugar-added beverages such as soft drinks or sweetened iced tea.
- Coffee with sugar and cream.
- Red meat, butter, and margarine.
- Processed foods with hydrogenated oils or trans-fats.
- Non-dairy creamer (or creamers in coffee).
- Potato chips and other deep fried snacks such as corn chips.
- Biscuits, croissants, donuts, cookies from a bakery.
- Products with hydrogenated oils or trans-fats such as french fries, deep-fried chicken, and other fast food snacks.
- Processed cheese foods (such as pizza) and processed meats such as bacon, sausage links, hot dogs.
- Ice cream.
Mediterranean Diet Tips
Below are some of the best tips we can share for your Mediterranean diet.
- Keep meals simple. Focus on hearty dishes, filling and high in nutrients instead of complicated recipes with lots of ingredients. The time you would have spent tracking down the five different spices used to flavor your dish can be better spent enjoying a healthy meal.
- Use olive oil as often as possible for cooking or flavoring food. Olive oil is a healthy fat that contains antioxidants and vitamin E, which are important for heart health and brain function.
- Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. Go for a mix of colors to maximize your intake from the full range of nutritional benefits they offer. Blueberries, broccoli, apples, peppers – whatever you like!
- Include legumes in your diet regularly. They’re high in protein and fiber and can help keep blood sugar levels stable because they contain less sugar than meat.
- Eat a variety of whole grains and other complex carbohydrates, such as oats, brown rice, quinoa, and barley. Try to limit processed foods high in sugars or that are high on the glycemic index - they’re not good for your health!
- Add more fresh vegetables to your healthy diet by eating them raw or cooking with lots of garlic, onion, mushroom, and tomato sauce. These ingredients add flavor without adding too many calories to the dish.
- Avoid white flour, white sugar, and other refined sugars. Instead of bread, use whole wheat or rye instead for your main dish and save the white flour to make a homemade dessert occasionally.
- Understand that it is okay to enjoy fatty foods in moderation, such as dark chocolate, full-fat dairy products like milk and cheese, avocados, and coconut oil.
When you think about the Mediterranean diet, remember that it focuses on a healthy lifestyle with good food choices rather than just one particular item. All diets have pros and cons, and choosing the one that best suits your lifestyle is the most important factor.
This way you can enjoy an abundance of tasty dishes and get in some exercise at the same time!