The Mediterranean diet has exploded in popularity in the last few years, and not just because following it makes you feel like you’re having dinner on a Greek island or in an Italian villa overlooking the Mediterranean. Adherence to this diet is associated with countless health benefits and is a sustainable and tasty way of eating.
One beautiful thing about the Mediterranean diet is that it is not really a diet in the traditional sense. Rather, it is a way of life that mimics the way people live in the Mediterranean region. Meals are enjoyed in the company of others, food is not excited in the parking lot, and physical activity is practiced every day.
Of course, food choices are also an important factor in this diet / lifestyle. Nutritious and dense and balanced is the name of the game when you build your Mediterranean diet. You will not find pre-packaged, fried, sugary or highly processed foods in Mediterranean dishes. Instead, you will find some stellar diet food stars such as:
- Olive oil
- Whole grains
- Fish, eggs, lean beef and chicken (not fried!)
So why adopt the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle? Here are 8 things that can happen to your body once you start living like those who live by the Mediterranean. Read on for more information on how to eat healthy, don̵
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women. And while some risk factors are completely out of your control – consider genetics and age as examples – others are completely modifiable.
Diet is a factor that can help your body fight the risk of heart disease if you choose the right foods. And following the Mediterranean diet has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease in various studies.
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From periodic fasting to keto to state-of-the-art juice cleansers, weight loss solutions are a dime. Unfortunately, while many of these diets will lead to weight loss in the short term, the effects will not be long lasting.
Adherence to the Mediterranean diet is associated with long-term weight loss and has even been shown to be more effective than a low-fat diet when people are trying to lose weight. For more information, see 5 weight loss benefits that people have experienced during the Mediterranean diet.
The development of Alzheimer’s disease is a common concern for many people of a certain age, especially. Rich in antioxidants, healthy fats and other nutrients that support brain health, the Mediterranean diet has been shown to be associated with a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Perhaps we can call the Mediterranean diet a pseudo fountain of youth. In a study published in Internal medicine of JAMA, greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet is associated with a reduced risk of early death due to cancer, cardiovascular disease and all causes.
The risk of stroke can be reduced simply by eating more olive oil, nuts, fruits and vegetables – AKA after the Mediterranean diet. In fact, after evaluating 25 studies, researchers found that greater adherence to this diet was associated with a reduced risk of stroke.
Bone health is something that everyone should think about, especially when they are younger and building bone mass. While focusing on bone-building nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D is crucial for bone health, following a Mediterranean diet may also offer some benefits, especially for certain specific populations.
One of the reasons why the Mediterranean diet can be so beneficial for bone health is that olive oil is a major part of this model. Because people who eat an Mediterranean diet enriched with olive oil on a daily basis have been shown to have more markers of bone formation, according to a study published in Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, the inclusion of this healthy fat may be one of the reasons why the Mediterranean diet is such a positive diet for building bones.
You can literally nourish your fertility with the foods you choose to eat. For people who dream of a little bundle of joy in their lives, following a Mediterranean diet can support their fertility.
Studies show that both men and women trying to conceive benefit from high adherence to the Mediterranean diet with results such as a higher clinical frequency of pregnancy and healthier sperm.
When eating for two, following a Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of having a baby with asthma, gaining weight during pregnancy and premature birth. In addition, because the Mediterranean diet promotes the consumption of high-fiber foods such as foods and beans, following this diet can also help combat some of the symptoms of constipation during pregnancy.
Sounds like this diet is right for you? Read these 9 things you need to know before you start the Mediterranean diet!