Mediterranean diet is the traditional diet of Mediterranean countries(Greece, Spain, Portugal, Southern Italy), their diet is primarily based on fresh fruits ,Vegetables, legumes, olive Oil, nuts, whole grains, moderate on dairy products (mostly cheese, yogurt), fish, white meat, and go easy on red /processed meats. Mediterranean Diet represents optimal health eating approach , there are evidences that it lowers the chance of heart disease, among which, olive oil plays a crucial role. Regular Mediterranean diet can lower the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and age-related brain disease. The following are the 6 benefits of Mediterranean Diet:
Fresh diet make-up :
First principle in Mediterranean diet is freshness. It consists mainly fresh foods and ingredients , low in fat, calories and sugar. For example : a typical Mediterranean diet salad is composed of spinach, cucumber, tomato , black olive and coat cheese, it is completely preservative and GMo free. Also in Mediterranean diet, there is no place for processed meat, all meats are freshly from sea or land.
Ideal weight management:
When you follow Mediterranean diet, you don’t have to count the calories or decide which staple food to choose. Mediterranean diet replaces bad fat with heart-healthy fat, for example, olive oil to replace butter, fish to replace red meat; fruits instead of sugary desserts, whole grains to refined white bread…. all these foods are low- carb and low- fat, in the long run , it will keep your weight at healthy level.
Power to fight cancer:
Plant foods, the cornerstone of Mediterranean diet, contain large amount of antioxidents, which can repair damaged DNA, treat inflammation and delay tumor growth. Another key ingredient is olive oil, it slows down the development of cancer and reduces oxidative stress, while promotes balanced blood sugar and a healthier weight.
Almost all foods in Mediterranean diet are beneficial for heart. Olive oil and nuts are rich in monounsaturated fat, it will reduce the “bad” cholesterol (Low Cholesterol Level). Fruits, vegetable and legumes supports strong arteries. Fish with Omega-3 fatty acids can lower triglycerides and blood pressure.
Protect mental health and prevent brain disease:
Brain functions best when body takes in enough healthy fats, like olive oil and nuts. Packed with antioxidants, fruits and veggies can effectively clean free radicals and inflammation in our body, which lead to impaired brain function. This is one reason why long term Mediterranean dieter have lower rates of Alzheimer’s .
Treat or prevent diabetes 2:
Following Mediterranean diet can help people with diabetes 2 . Mediterranean diet is rich in monounsaturated fat and fiber, both are able to lower the cholesterol and blood sugar in diabetics. When opting for unsaturated fats (olive oil, fish, nuts ), it will also have positive effect on insulin sensitivity.
Wonder how to jump start Mediterranean Diet? here are a few tips:
Stir fry vegetable in olive oil, ditch butter
Opt for whole grains rather than refined bread
Trade red meat for fish, at least twice a week
go skim milk or 1% milk