Mediterranean diet: benefits and more

Mediterranean diet: benefits and more

The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating inspired by the traditional cuisines of the people in the Mediterranean regions, such as Greece, France, Spain and Italy. Doctors recommended it to promote better health.

The concept of the Mediterranean diet originated from Study of the seven countries in the 1960s, which found that people in Mediterranean regions had a lower death rate from heart disease. Decades of research have emerged since then, confirming the many health benefits associated with this diet. To date, it is one of the most widely evaluated dietary patterns in the scientific literature.

This guide provides an overview of the Mediterranean diet, including its benefits and risks, sample meal plan, shopping list, and tips for starting a Mediterranean diet.

Petro Karas / Stokes United

The Mediterranean diet is a dietary pattern that adopts general principles rather than a strict diet. It comes from a staple food for people in the Mediterranean regions.

The Mediterranean diet encourages eating a variety of foods, including plant foods. these foods included:

  • Seafood
  • Herbs and spices
  • healthy fats
  • all grains
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • Bean
  • legumes

Meat, like poultry, is a side dish, and seasonal vegetables are the main part.

Frustrating or limited foods on the Mediterranean diet include:

  • Foods with added sugar, salt, and saturated or artificial fats
  • refined oils
  • red meat
  • Processed meat

It also focuses on community when eating, connecting with others during meal time, and having fun conversations.

Regular physical activity is also part of the Mediterranean lifestyle.

Visit our center to read more about food, nutrition and diet.

Decades of research have shown that the Mediterranean diet is associated with a wide range of health benefits.

We know that lifestyle, including poor diet and lack of physical activity, big effects Heart health.

The Mediterranean diet is associated with reducing:

  • coronary heart disease
  • ischemic stroke
  • Diastolic and systolic blood pressure
  • Total Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)

a 2018 comprehensive review Meta-analyses have concluded that the Mediterranean diet consistently shows beneficial effects in the prevention of whole and specific types of CVD.

a Study 2021 They compared a low-fat diet rich in complex carbohydrates to a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil and found that the Mediterranean diet was more effective at reducing plaque buildup in the arteries, a major risk factor for heart disease.

Visit our center to read more about heart health.

Many studies reported that the Mediterranean diet is associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D).

Research has shown that the Mediterranean diet decrease Insulin resistance, a condition that impairs the body’s ability to properly process blood sugar. Insulin resistance often leads to the development of T2D and is associated with many other diseases. Insulin resistance often leads to the development of T2D and is associated with many other diseases.

studies too Pretending The Mediterranean diet can reduce hemoglobin A1C (hbA1C) and fasting blood sugar, the former being an indicator of long-term glycemic control.

Read more about type 2 diabetes.

Several studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet has beneficial effects on brain health and may also help protect against cognitive decline as you age.

a 2021 revision reported that adherence to the Mediterranean diet positively affected global cognitive performance in both elderly populations with cognitive impairment and non-disabled cognitive impairment, particularly in their short and long-term memory. In addition, the Mediterranean diet has shown a reduction in depressive symptoms, reduced frailty, and reduced length of hospital stay in the elderly.

a 2022 Clinical Trial It found that the “green” Mediterranean diet had the largest reduction in brain atrophy during the 18-month study period compared to participants who either followed a standard Mediterranean diet or a standard healthy diet. Both types of Mediterranean diet significantly reduced the shrinkage of the hippocampus, the part of the brain that deals mostly with memory.

The green Mediterranean diet includes:

  • Daily consumption of green tea
  • Walnuts
  • An aquatic plant called mankai – all of which contain beneficial compounds known as polyphenols

Visit our center to read more about the brain.

Research does not indicate any risks associated with the Mediterranean diet, but check with your doctor before making any important dietary changes.

There are 22 regions around the Mediterranean, so you will find differences in diet with different foods.

There are many variations of the Mediterranean diet.

While there is no specific food plan or menu to follow, the Mediterranean diet emphasizes consuming the following foods:

  • vegetables
  • the fruit
  • all grains
  • Bean
  • legumes
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • Monounsaturated fats, such as olives and extra virgin olive oil
  • Fish, poultry and seafood
  • Herbs and spices

You can also include some dairy products and eggs in small to moderate amounts. The product tends to be the main star of most dishes, with meat being a side dish.

In the Mediterranean diet pyramid, seasonal and fresh vegetables make up the bulk, followed by fruits, whole grains, beans and legumes, and then moderate amounts of seafood and poultry.

The Mediterranean diet allows you to combine fish and seafood at least twice a week. Check with your doctor first.

The Mediterranean diet encourages limiting the following:

  • Ultra-processed foods, such as fast foods
  • Saturated fat
  • trans fats
  • red meat
  • sugary foods
  • Processed meat
  • refined grains
  • refined oils

Below are examples of Mediterranean diet meal plans that you may want to try.

Feel free to adjust portion sizes and food options based on your needs and preferences.

  • breakfast: Steel-cut oatmeal with ground flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, and blackberries.
  • lunch: Large rainbow salad with extra virgin olive oil dressing and grilled chicken.
  • Dinner: Salmon with vegetables and quinoa.
  • breakfast: Chia pudding with plain fat free greek yogurt, walnuts and berries.
  • lunch: Zucchini Caprese Noodles And Grilled Chicken With Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, Cherry Tomatoes, Olive Oil And Red Wine Vinegar.
  • Dinner: Salad with tomatoes, red onions, olives, cucumbers, tuna, farro and feta cheese.
  • breakfast: Omelette with spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes and onions.
  • lunch: Lentil soup with vegetables.
  • Dinner: Mediterranean chickpeas and farro salad.
  • breakfast: Overnight oats with nut butter and berries.
  • lunch: Couscous and mixed beans salad.
  • Dinner: Grilled octopus with salad and boiled potatoes.
  • breakfast: Poached eggs with avocado on sourdough toast.
  • lunch: Zucchini boats stuffed with pesto, minced turkey, tomato, bell pepper.
  • Dinner: Grilled lamb with broccolini.
  • breakfast: Buckwheat with hemp seeds and apple slices.
  • lunch: Lentil salad with feta cheese, barley, tomatoes, cucumbers and olives.
  • Dinner: Mediterranean pizza made of eggplant, topped with vegetables and olives.
  • breakfast: Omelette with vegetables and olives.
  • lunch: Bulgur with feta cheese, red onions, tomatoes, hummus.
  • Dinner: Quinoa and salmon salad with black beans.

You may also like these snacks from the Mediterranean diet:

  • Dark chocolate – target 85% and above
  • Unsalted nuts and seeds
  • well boiled eggs
  • seasonal fruit
  • Vegetables and chickpeas
  • Greek Yogurt

Below is a sample shopping list to help you get started on the Mediterranean diet.

Vegetables, choose seasonal when possible

  • garlic
  • an onion
  • leek
  • Fresh or canned tomatoes
  • artichoke
  • asparagus
  • broccolini
  • beet
  • Pepper
  • Broccoli
  • cabbage
  • eggplant
  • zucchini
  • mushroom
  • Lemon is used regularly
  • berries
  • cherry
  • watermelon
  • avocado
  • olive
  • An apple
  • apricot
  • peach
  • wild Alaskan salmon
  • Oysters, such as crab, shrimp, and lobster
  • Bivalves such as oysters, clams and mussels
  • tuna
  • sardines
  • Small white fish, such as cod
  • lentil
  • black beans
  • chickpeas
  • Red beans
  • kidney pills
  • black beans
  • chickpeas
  • Pinto beans
  • white beans
  • barley
  • bulgur
  • quinoa
  • couscous
  • quinoa
  • Steel cut oats or oat groats
  • Freekeh
  • basil
  • bay leaves
  • parsley
  • Wild thyme
  • Mint
  • coriander
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • avocado oil

Unsalted nuts and seeds, preferably raw

  • Walnuts
  • Brazil nuts
  • cashew
  • chia seeds
  • pumpkin seeds
  • almonds
  • flaxseed

The Mediterranean diet is a flexible eating style whose concept stems from the people who live on the borders of the Mediterranean. The diet became the subject of intense research after an epidemiological study in the 1960s noted low amounts of heart disease in these areas.

The Mediterranean diet includes a wide variety of food groups, and you can modify them to meet your own needs and preferences. There is no set way to follow the Mediterranean diet – it is all about following the general principles.

Contact your doctor if you need to change your diet for health reasons.

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