The Mediterranean diet relied on traditional foods that people used to eat in countries like Italy and Greece in 1960, the researchers noted that these people were healthy compared to Americans and had a low risk of developing many lifestyle diseases.
Several studies have now shown that a Mediterranean diet can cause weight loss, and help prevent heart attacks, strokes, type 2 diabetes and early death.
There is not a single right way to follow the Mediterranean diet, as there are many countries around the Mediterranean, and people may eat different foods in each of them, here we will learn about the Mediterranean diet.
What is the Mediterranean diet?
The Mediterranean diet includes fresh products, some healthy fats and oils, mainly a Mediterranean diet that means eating the way traditionally people in the Mediterranean region eat.
The traditional Mediterranean diet includes a large portion of fresh products, whole grains and legumes, as well as some healthy fats and fish.
General guidelines for this diet recommend that people eat: a wide variety of vegetables, fruits and whole grains, healthy fats such as nuts and seeds and olive oil, moderate amounts of dairy and fish, very little white meat and red meat, and a few eggs.
The American Heart Association notes that the Mediterranean diet contains a high percentage of calories from fat, and although more than half of the calories from fat come from monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil, the diet may not be suitable for people Those who need to limit their consumption of fat. They need to limit their consumption of fat.
The rules for following the Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet stresses some basic rules that must be followed if you decide to follow this diet, namely:
- -Eat mainly vegetable foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts.
- -Replace butter with healthy fats, such as olive oil.
- -Use herbs and spices in place of salt to add flavor to foods.
- -Reducing red meat, which should not be consumed more than once a month.
- -Eat fish and poultry at least twice a week.
- -Enjoy meals with family and friends.
- -Get a lot of exercise and regular exercise.
- -Mediterranean diet and healthy fats
The focus of the Mediterranean diet is not on reducing total fat consumption, but rather on making wise choices about the types of fats you eat. The Mediterranean diet does not encourage saturated fats and hydrogenated oils, both of which contribute to heart disease.
The Mediterranean diet is characterized by olive oil as the main source of fats. Olive oil provides monounsaturated fats, a type of fat that can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels when used instead of saturated or trans fats.
Virgin olive oils also contain the highest levels of protective plant compounds that provide anti-oxidant effects. Omega-3 fatty acids, which can be obtained from fish, are associated with lowering triglycerides, reducing blood clotting, reducing sudden heart attacks, improving blood vessel health and helping to reduce blood pressure.
What should you eat during this diet?
If you decide to follow the Mediterranean diet, you should know some basics about the foods you should eat and which foods you should avoid.
During this diet it is possible to eat some foods, such as: vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, bread, herbs, spices, fish, seafood and extra virgin olive oil. You should be moderate in eating poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt, and you should limit your consumption of red meat.
Although the control of foods belonging to the Mediterranean diet is partly controversial, due to the presence of some differences between the foods of the Mediterranean countries, the diet that has been settled and examined by most studies is a high system in healthy plant foods and relatively low in animal foods.
However, it is advised to eat fish and seafood at least twice a week,
and the Mediterranean lifestyle diet also includes regular physical activity.
In the Mediterranean diet you should base your diet on:
- -Vegetables: tomatoes, broccoli, turnip, spinach, onions, broccoli, carrots, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, etc.
- -Fruits: apples, bananas, oranges, pears, strawberries, grapes, dates, figs, melons, peaches, etc.
- -Nuts and seeds: Almonds, nuts, hazelnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
- -Legumes: beans, peas, lentils, legumes, peanuts, chickpeas, etc.
- -Whole grains: whole oats, brown rice, barley, corn, whole wheat, whole grain bread.
- -Fish and seafood: salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, shrimp, shellfish, etc.
- -Poultry: chicken, ducks, turkey, etc.
- -Eggs: chicken, quail, and duck eggs.
- -Dairy products: cheese, yogurt, etc.
- -Herbs and spices: garlic, basil, mint, rosemary, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper, etc.
- -Healthy fats: extra virgin olive oil, olives, avocado and avocado oil.
What should you stop taking?
During this diet you should completely refrain from:
- -sugar-sweetened drinks, added sugars, processed meats, refined grains, refined oils, and other processed foods.
- -These unhealthy foods and ingredients should be avoided:
- -Added sugar: soda, candy, ice cream, and more.
- -Refined cereals: white bread, pasta made with refined wheat, etc.
- – Unsaturated fats: which are found in margarines and various processed foods.
- -Refined oils: soybean oil, cottonseed oil, etc.
- -Processed meats: like hamburgers and hot dogs.
- -You should read the food labels carefully if you want to avoid these unhealthy ingredients.
Benefits of the Mediterranean diet
If you are looking for a heart-healthy eating plan, a Mediterranean diet may be right for you. Research has shown that a traditional Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease, as this diet is associated with a lower level of low-oxidized low-density lipoprotein / LDL ), Which is likely to lead to buildup of sediments in the arteries.
A meta-analysis, an analytical methodology designed to systematically evaluate and summarize the results from a number of individual studies leading to an increase in the sample size of the study, for more than 1.5 million healthy adults, that a Mediterranean diet was associated with a lower risk of heart and also overall deaths.
The Mediterranean diet is also linked to a lower incidence of cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. Women on the Mediterranean diet supplemented with virgin olive oil and mixed nuts may reduce their risk of breast cancer.
For these reasons, if not all major scientific organizations encourage healthy adults to adapt to the eating method of this system for the prevention of major chronic diseases.
A 2013 University of Barcelona study also showed the relationship between the Mediterranean diet and cardiovascular health.
The study relied on more than 7,000 Spanish participants, many of whom were overweight or smokers or diabetics, but had been following a healthy Mediterranean-style diet rich in healthy fats such as olive oil or nuts, for nearly five years.For diabetics
After a comprehensive follow-up, the researchers finished the study early after noticing a sharp improvement in participants’ health, and the results showed an absolute reduction in health risks and a 30% decrease in cardiovascular disease among these individuals at risk.
The health benefits of the Mediterranean diet are clear from a medical perspective, and although weight loss is not the primary intent of this diet, it happens automatically after eating more vegetarian foods and reducing sugar and red meat.
The high fiber content, from the many whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes of the Mediterranean diet, will help you feel full for a longer period, and reduce the chance of overeating, enabling you to gain additional benefits such as healthy digestive system and effective weight management.
The Mediterranean diet can also be beneficial for type 2 diabetes, by helping to lower blood glucose levels while promoting good HDL cholesterol.
The downsides of this system
There are few negatives that threaten to follow a Mediterranean diet, because it mainly includes eating healthy foods in moderation, one of the few negatives that some face is that they forget that exercise and social aspects are a part that mainly contributes to making the Mediterranean population enjoy good health, it is certain The entire Mediterranean lifestyle is important.
Those who want to follow this system should look at this with more attention, so they must be physically active, share meals with other people, and enjoy life.