The Mediterranean Diet: What is it and who really needs it?
Based on the cultures surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, the Mediterranean diet has become one of the most popular ways of eating. When you think of this diet, your mind may drift to the Italian or Greek styles of eating, which you are not wrong. But the Mediterranean diet holds a lot more than just cultural basis, there is scientific evidence behind the formulation of this diet and the reason each part is important. Not only will it help in losing weight, but this diet gives you an insight into proper nutrition.
To give you background into the Mediterranean diet, we will look into one of the most popular studies around nutrition and longevity, The Blue Zones study. The Blue Zones refer to areas where people live longer than the average life span. And the first blue zone to ever be discovered was Sardinia, Italy, right off of the Mediterranean Sea.
The people in Sardinia were socially isolated and had stuck to their pre-modern ways, not eating preservatives and living off local food. This is one of the reasons they were so healthy. We will dive into the information behind this incredible diet and who should implement the ideas in their own life, taking many of our recommendations from the Sardinians.
Mediterranean Style, Information and Science
The Mediterranean diet is an “of the land” style of eating. It incorporates whole grains, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruit and quality sources of meat. It requires a healthy dosage of fat, from sources like olive oil or avocado as well as fish. You will be happy to know an occasional glass of red wine is encouraged as well.
The do not list includes refined sugars, processed foods and excessive amounts of red meat. It also suggests cutting out refined breads, hence any bread that is not homemade. Really any food that has more than three ingredients is not a part of this diet and should be avoided.
A 2013 study showed the correlation between quality heart health and this diet. The participants incorporated more olive oil, seeds, nuts and vegetables in their diet over the course of five years, and it was proven that heart health improved over time.
Let’s walk through what a day on the Mediterranean Diet will look like: starting with breakfast you would eat two eggs, with a side of fruit and nuts and you could add some goat yogurt as well. For lunch choose a salad with an array of greens, like kale, spinach and arugula. You can top your salad with onions, sweet potato, bell pepper and cucumbers, and for your protein source add some smoked salmon or lean turkey breast. For the dressing, simply mix up some olive oil with lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
For dinner cook fish, like halibut or tilapia, or you could eat pork as your protein source. For sides, the world is your choice, any type of vegetables sauteed in olive oil works. Think butternut squash, eggplant, zucchini or brussel sprouts. You can add grains like quinoa or couscous and a glass of wine!
Some good snack options on the Mediterranean diet include: fruit, nuts, avocado on whole grain toast, a boiled egg and yogurt.
Weightloss and Health Benefits on the Mediterranean Diet
The Medditeranean diet is perfect for an array of people, but specifically those looking to lose weight, avoid disease and live a long healthy life. This diet helps you lose weight because you are cutting out the refined carbs that are not good for your body and cause you to take in excess calories.
Also, on the positive side, you are eating foods that make you feel good and energetic. Vegetables, fruits and lean meats are the perfect foods to fuel your body and give your brain the proper energy.
Lastly, the Mediterranean diet has been proven to provide amazing health benefits, as follows:
● Preventing heart disease and strokes. Keeping you agile.
● Reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s.
● Halving the risk of Parkinson’s disease.
● Increasing longevity.
● Protecting against type 2 diabetes.
This diet has already been listed as the number one doctor recommended diet of 2020, it gives you all the nutrients you need but also keeps you satisfied. Test it out if you have health issues or simply want to drop a few pounds and see the results.