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The Mediterranean diet uses the basic concepts of healthy eating,adding a splash of flavored olive oil and other components dictated by the traditional cooking style of the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.
If you’re thinking about trying it out, know what does going on this diet mean, exactly?
This diet comes from traditional foods eaten in countries like Greece and Italy back in the 1960s. While most diets advocate eating vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish, and healthy fats, the Mediterranean uses subtle differences and variations that seem to make a difference in cutting the risk for heart disease. What Are the Actual Heart Health Benefits?
Research is proving that those of Mediterranean descent have a lower incidence of many deadly diseases and are very healthy. This diet helps in weight loss and seems to prevent type 2 diabetes, strokes, heart attacks, and premature death.
Research also shows that eating Mediterranean lowers the LDL cholesterol (the bad one), which is the one that contributes to clogging your arteries with fatty deposits. This diet is also associated with reducing the incidence of cancer, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. Women eating a diet supplemented with mixed nuts and extra virgin olive oil may have reduced risks of breast cancer.
What Foods Should You Eat?
Healthy Fats:The foundation of this diet. Consists of using olives, olive oil, avocados, and avocado oil.
Seeds and Nuts: Walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, Macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, etc.
Fruits:Bananas, apples, pears, oranges, grapes, strawberries, figs, peaches, melons, etc.
Vegetables:Cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, spinach, tomatoes, onions, carrots, Brussels sprouts, etc.
Tubers:Sweet potatoes, yams, potatoes, turnips, etc.
Legumes:Peas, lentils, beans, chickpeas, beans, etc.
Whole Grains: Brown rice, whole oats, buckwheat, whole wheat, corn, barley, rye, whole grain pasta, and bread.
Seafood and Fish:Sardines, tuna, salmon, trout, mackerel, oysters, crab, clams, shrimp, mussels, etc.
Poultry:Duck, turkey, chicken, etc.
Egg:Duck, chicken, turkey, quail, and more.
Dairy:Yogurt, Greek yogurt, cheese, etc.
Spices and Herbs:sage, basil, rosemary, garlic, mint, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper, etc.
Drink:Water, and lots of it. Coffee and tea, but stay away from sugar-laden beverages and fruit juices. This diet also includes a glass of red wine a day.
How Do I Start?
Pass on the butter:Try canola or olive oil, and use it in cooking. Dip bread in flavored olive oil, or try tahini as a spread or dip.
Eat nuts: Always have on hand for a quick snack. Choose natural peanut butter over the processed with fat kind. Try tahini, made out of sesame seeds, and use as a spread or dip.
Switch to whole grains and eat your fruits and vegetables:Eat those plant foods in the majority of your meals. Switch to whole-grain cereals and bread, and eat more whole-grain pasta and rice.
Eat more fish:Try and eat fish one or two times a week. Eat the fresh or water-packed fish. Grilled fish is good, avoid fried fish.
Low-fat dairy:Switch to lower fat dairy products, ice cream, and cheese. Drink skim milk instead of high-fat milk, low-fat cheese, and fat-free yogurt.
Eat less red meat:Substitute poultry and fish. It is that easy. Lean meat is okay if you have to have it, but keep portions small. Stay away from high-fat meats such as bacon and sausage.
Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet For Weight Loss!
The origin of the Mediterranean diet is historic eating and social patterns of the regions around southern Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Spain. Can you believe the fact that along with being a tasty way to eat, drink, and live, the Mediterranean diet is also a realistic and sustainable way to lose weight?The same is because it is one of the healthiest diets known to man as people living along the Mediterranean coast have indulged in ahigh-fiber diet of fruits, vegetables, quality fats, and proteins.Even though this cuisine was in regions like Italy, Greece, and Spain, it took over the world in the 1990s. A study proved that it can improve heart health, help lose weight fast, and clear up other health issues.
Many nutrition experts have expressed their views that Mediterranean food is one of the most heart-healthy ways of eating.This diet is loaded with anti-inflammatory foods which mainly comprises plant-basedfoods and healthy fats.The best thing about this Mediterranean diet is that it allows people to eat, drink and enjoy and at the back also takes care of heart diseases, metabolic complications, depression, dementia, cancer, type-2 diabetes, OBESITY, and Alzheimer's. The combination of healthy unprocessed diets with a positive lifestyleis the main reason the people from this region seem to be so happy and cheerful. To support this, Harvard School of Public Health stated that,” Together with regular physical activity and not smoking, our analyses suggest that over 80% of coronary heart disease, 70% of stroke, and 90% of type 2 diabetes can be avoided by healthy food choices that are consistent with the traditional Mediterranean diet.”
Main food items of the Mediterranean Diet
Majority of traditional dishes that are cooked in Mediterranean diet focus on the following as the key ingredients:
c)Herbs and spices
d)Nuts and seeds
e)Fruits & veggies(Spinach, kale, eggplant, cauliflower, artichokes & fennel)
f)Legumes & beans
g)Fish & seafood
h)High-quality pasture-raised poultry
i)Limited red meat
j)Plenty of water
1. Healthy Approach to Lose Weight
The approach to losing weight without being hungry and in a realistic way can surely be achieved by this diet. A Mediterranean diet is asustainable approachthat helps in losing weight by naturally reducing the fat intake as it focuses on the intake of nutrient-rich food.The main target approach of this diet is to improve an individual’s protein intake and considerably reduce carbs consumption. Further, the inclusion of fish and dairy products provide the benefits of omega 3s and probiotics. All the healthy fatty acids that are needed by the body to work and feel full, manage weight gain, control blood sugar, and improve your mood and energy levels are provided in the right quantities in this diet.
2. Low in Processed Foods & SugarAs pointed above, this
diet primarily consists of natural food items,i.e. close to nature. In comparison to the American diet, theMediterranean diet is very low in sugar and artificial ingredientslike high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, and flavor enhancers. To satisfy their sweet tooth, the focus is on the consumption of fruit or small quantities of homemade desserts made with natural sweeteners like honey. Though most of the Mediterranean aren’t vegetarians, rather than preferring red meats and heavier meals they go for fish. This proves to be very beneficial for those looking to lose weight and improve their cholesterol, heart health, and omega-3 fatty acid intake.
3. Helps You De-stress and Relax
Another important factor considered in this diet is a No Stressapproach. This diet encourages people to spend time with family and bond over home-cooked healthy meals, get good sleep, and enjoy natural scenic beauty which helps in busting stress.This is known to all that chronic stress can kill the quality of your life along with your weight and health. A further addition to this is the inclusion of love for and fascination with wine— especially red wine, which is considered beneficial and protective in moderation. Overall, the smart choice of healthy living helps you get relieved of chronic complications and diseases related to stress, such as those caused by hormonal imbalances – fatigue, inflammation, and WEIGHT GAIN!
4. Improves Heart Health
Religiously following the Mediterranean diet, which is rich in monounsaturated fats and omega-3 foodsplay a significant role in reducing all-cause mortality, especially heart disease. The main ingredient that is used for this diet which is responsible for improving heart health is olive oil. Olive oilis responsible for significantly decreasing blood pressure, along with lowering hypertension. Another protective element is that it helps combat the disease-promoting effects of oxidation and improves endothelial function. Keeping in mind that low cholesterol levels are worse than high sometimes people in the Mediterranean regions don’t usually struggle to maintain healthy cholesterol levels since they obtain plenty of it from healthy fats.
5. Might Help You Live Longer
A diet rich that is in fresh plant foods and healthy fatsis the shortcut to longevity. Monounsaturated fat, which is found in abundance in the Mediterranean diet, is associated with lowering the levels of heart disease, depression, cognitive decline, inflammatory diseases, and more. A Lyon Diet Heart Study showed that people who had heart attacks between 1988 and 1992 were either counseled to follow the standard post-heart attack diet advice, which reduces saturated fat greatly or told to follow a Mediterranean style. After 4 years, people who were following the Mediterranean diet experienced 70% less heart disease thus targeting longevity positively.
Thus, it is quite indicativethat you should take an initiative to make the Mediterranean diet a part of your weight loss regime if you want to reach your goals faster!
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