The Mediterranean diet is how we call the eating habits people in countries surrounding the Mediterranean sea have. It’s not a diet per se, which means that there are no specific dishes and amounts you have to eat during a concrete lapse of time, it’s more like a lifestyle. A lifestyle that improves your health through the food you eat and helps you lose weight. But it also incudes physical activities and how these people live meals and spend time eating with their familes and not rushing. Take a look to the Mediterranean diet basis and learn more about its benefits.
According to the American Heart Association “people who follow the average Mediterranean diet eat less saturated fat than those who eat the average American diet”. The association supports this diet because “more than half the fat calories in a Mediterranean diet come from monounsaturated fats (mainly from olive oil)” and this kind of fat doesn’t raise blood cholesterol levels the way saturated fat does. The American Heart Association has established the following characteristics as been part of the Mediterranean diet:
- A high consumption of fruits, vegetables, bread and other cereals, potatoes, beans, nuts and seeds.
- Olive oil is an important monounsaturated fat source.
- Dairy products, fish and poultry are consumed in low to moderate amounts, and little red meat is eaten.
- Eggs are consumed zero to four times a week.
- Wine is consumed in low to moderate amounts.
The Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Accredited Provider, Oldways, defends the Mediterranean diet and assures, according to medical studies that this eating habits help lengthen your life. It also improve brain function, defend you from chronic diseases, fight certain cancers, lower the risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels. Oldways says that medicine has proved that the Mediterranean diet protects from diabetes, aid weight loss, keeps away depression, the Alzheimer’s disease and even Parkinson’s disease. It improves rheumatoid arthritis, eye health, fertility, helps breathe better and reduces the risk of dental disease.
Oldways, with the Harvard School of Public Health and the European Office of the World Health Organization, introduced the classic Mediterranean diet in 1993 and did a food pyramid showing the hierarchy of the different foods in these diet that still is accurate today. And it establishes some steps to accomplish the Mediterranean lifestyle:
- Be more active to live a healthy life, eating good food isn’t enough.
- Cook and enjoy meals with your family and friends because it contributes to good health.
- Eat whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, herbs, spices, nuts and peanuts, and healthy fats such as those found in olive oil everyday.
- Eat fish and seafood at least twice a week as sources of omega-3.
- Eat yogurt, cheese, poultry and eggs but in reasonable portions.
- Eat less often red meats and sweets.
- Drink one (if you are a woman) or two (if you are a man) glasses of wine per day. And drink water as often as you can throughout the day.