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Mediterranean Diet: All You Need To Know

Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet has its unique fandom among all other diet plans. It has been here for quite a long time, and people from various parts of the globe are following it. 

The diet has been ranking as the top one by the US News for consecutively 4-years. After marking a hat-trick last year in Best Diet Overall, the Mediterranean stood 1st this time too.  

The diet, which didn’t move an inch from its slot in the last four years, must have something incredible in it. Let’s discuss the qualities of the Mediterranean diet, which differentiate it from other diet plans. 

There is a common saying, “Mediterranean diet is not a diet, it is a way of living a way of activity of the people living in countries around the Mediterranean sea.” The countries may include France, Greek, Italy, Spain, and the list goes on. The people living in these particular regions of the world usually have a highly active lifestyle with a healthy eating habit. That’s the core of this diet plan.

Mediterranean Diet Pyramid

Several diets out there have pyramids exhibiting the quantities one can take in order to follow a particular diet plan. For convenience, Oldways has brought a Mediterranean diet pyramid in collaboration with Harvard School Of Public Health and World Health Organization.

According to the Mediterranean diet pyramid, it chiefly emphasizes plant-based meals. The plant origin regimes include mainly vegetables and fruits. In addition to it, whole wheat, nuts, legumes, beans, and olive oil (preferably unprocessed ones) are also allowed to consume. 

While seafood and fish are allowed twice a week and the regimes such as dairy items, eggs and poultry are moderately allowed. 

Sweet tooth, there is a piece of bad news for you. The Mediterranean dietary pyramid does not allow sweetness that often. So, you can have them occasionally. In addition to the sugary meals, red meat is prohibited too, and one cannot have it that frequently. 

Analysis Of Mediterranean Diet

Macronutrients allowed in the diet are capable to proffer lot of quintessential elements for survival. The diet is low on calories and high on fundamental supplies. 

  • Calories 1,527
  • Total Fat – 29%
  • Saturated Fat – 5%
  • Trans Fat – 0%
  • Total Carbohydrates – 50%
  • Sugars – 20%
  • Fiber – 32 g
  • Protein – 18%
  • Sodium – 1,368 mg
  • Potassium – 3,351 mg
  • Calcium – 418 mg
  • Vitamin B-12 – 2.8 mcg

There is another aspect of this diet plan, and it is an indentation of activity. In other words, a moderate workout or a walk is recommended to achieve full flash benefits of Mediterranean diet. US News recommends two and half hours of moderate-intensity exercise per week for an adult. 

History Of Mediterranean Diet

A lot of people among us follow the Mediterranean diet but ever we thought about who discovered it and why it was discovered. Thanks to Mayoclinic for introducing the origin of this diet plan.

The Mediterranean diet, discovered in the year 1960. Back at that time, scientists observed less prevalence of cardiovascular disease among the people living across the Mediterranean sea. Especially the areas of Greece and Italy. 

Why You Should Adapt Mediterranean Diet?

Easy To Follow

US News reported it as the easiest diet while ranking it #1 in Best Easiest Diet To Follow. As going into details, the site described some tricks, which can be beneficial to adhere to it for a more prolonged time.

First of all, its ingredients are convenient and within everyone’s reach. Secondly, it is full of delicious regimes. Although few items such as fish and seafood are allowed a couple of times in a week, you are not cutting them off from your life. So, it still has a variety of foods to enjoy. Another thing about the Mediterranean diet is it can be cost-effective too, and you can design it according to your budget.

Lowers Risk Of Cardiovascular Diseases

It has remarkable achievement in minimizing the risk of heart diseases and death related to it. There are many theories out there regarding the mechanisms through which it affects heart health. Many researchers think it lowers the lipid profile and prevents the development of thrombosis. All of these factors are assumed to beneficial to protect the endothelial lining of vessels. Thus, it lowers the risk of Cardiovascular disease (CVD). 

There are numerous researches to prove the beneficial effect of the Mediterranean diet on the heart. Here is one that was published back in the year 2013 in the New England Journal of Medicine. It was a randomized control trial focusing on the 7,400+ diabetics who were prone to develop heart diseases in the future. After indentation of the Mediterranean diet, there was a significant reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease. 

Lowers Risk Of Diabetes

Another perk of the Mediterranean diet is it halts the manifestation of Type 2 diabetes. The diet helps far way better than the low glycemic index diet or a low carb diet to manage diabetes mellitus. Similar to the heart, a search engine is full of studies proving the fact, the Mediterranean diet is beneficial for diabetes.

In one of the randomized control trials of 400+ individuals, researchers exhibited a lower prevalence of diabetes in people following the Mediterranean diet. In the study, they observed volunteers for consecutive 4 years (55 to 80 years of age). Later, it found those who were on the Mediterranean diet had a 52% lower risk of manifesting type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Effective To Lose Weight

Its another and profoundly famous quality is its ability to shed pounds in a span of few days. But the thing which most of us don’t know is it helps excellently to sustain long term changes in weight.

According to the 2018’s research published in NCBI, those who adhered to the diet for a long time have a remarkable reduction in fat content. The study involved approximately 32,000 candidates who were observed for a span of 5 years. After keen observation, it ruled out the diet has an impact in maintaining lower weight and fat content of body for a long time.

One more thing, a regular exercise or walk can be a good addition to reduce weight.

Good For Brain Health

Another remarkable effect of the Mediterranean diet is its quality to promote brain health. Researchers show that it is effective in hampering the progression of cognitive and memory impairment. 

According to the Kraith Fog, the brain demands more oxygen than others. Therefore, better oxygenation of the brain can have a profound effect on promoting brain health. 

Even some researches prove the fact Mediterranean diet minimizes the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. According to the study, Mediterranean diet is not only associated with lower risk of AD but also mortality. 

Effective Against Cancers

As the diet is low on carbs and filled with healthy foods it works tremendously to halt the progression and development of cancer. According to one older yet helpful study, the Mediterranean diet helps lower the risk of cancers because of its high fruit and vegetable intake and limited consumption of red meat. Another study published a few years back supports the same ideology. According to it, the Mediterranean diet is beneficial against breast cancer and colorectal cancer.

Reduces Inflammation

Here goes another good effect of the diet of the people living around the Mediterranean sea. It is quite beneficial in reducing inflammation and its hallmarks. So, as a consequence, it helps in preventing many diseases either directly or indirectly.

Harmful Effects

Mediterranean diet has fewer risks and very less harmful effects on human health. Apart from low iron and calcium levels, which can lead to anemia and low bone density due to lagging of red meat and dairy product, respectively, there are not any other hazardous side effects of this diet plan. These two are reversible with some minor supplement to maintain your serum iron and calcium levels.

Foods Prohibited In This Diet

Foods that are usually not allowed in the Mediterranean diet are:

  • Processed ones such as oils or meat 
  • Refined grains
  • Sweetened carbonated drinks
  • Foods with an increased sugar content

We hope you find this information useful. Please concern your doctor before starting a new diet because they can best guide you according to your body needs.

Written by HealthRadar360

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