The Mediterranean diet originated during 1960 in countries around the Mediterranean Sea like Italy and Greece. It was carved out of the traditional foods that people of those countries consumed. One thing that has always stood out for the Mediterranean diet is that those consuming this type of diet have been found to be more healthy and disease-proof as compared to the people of other continents. This diet is characterized by the authentic cooking style of the countries around the Mediterranean Sea. But there is no specific manner to follow the Mediterranean diet. This article will focus on the food that is to be consumed in this diet and also lay down the benefits of adding a Mediterranean diet in your lifestyle.
When we talk about the Mediterranean diet, we first list out the essentials of the diet. In this diet food is divided into 4 types, which are-
- Food eaten regularly – it includes fruits, vegetables, seafood, extra virgin olive oil, bread, potatoes, spices, herbs.
- Food eaten moderately – it includes poultry products, eggs, yogurt, cheese. These foods are taken once or twice a week.
- Food rarely consumed – red meat has a high content of saturated fats which increase the risk of heart diseases and so, it is consumed very rarely.
- Food that is avoided – this category includes items like soda, candies, refined grains like white bread, refined oils and processed meat.
Apart from the edible items, the Mediterranean diet also focuses on the drinkable items. Red wine is one such beverage that is taken with every meal. However, taking red wine is completely optional. The Mediterranean diet emphasizes consuming water as much as possible. It is an essential part of the diet. Many households replace red wine with water in their dinners as well. Except these, tea and coffee are taken as refreshments. But one thing that should be noted is that high sugar content beverages are to be prohibited as they bring no good to the body.
BENEFITS OF THE DIET
One thing that distinguishes this diet from the rest of the diets is that the Mediterranean diet is extremely healthy for the heart. Many studies have been conducted that show the prominent effects of the Mediterranean diet in reducing the risk of heart problems. The discouragement to saturated fats and trans fats is the main reason as to why this diet is effective in heart problems. Another reason is that the food which increases the cholesterol level in the body is avoided. The effect of this diet on lowering down the risk of cardiovascular mortality is also promising. This was determined after conducting a detailed analysis of 1.5 million adults. Not only in heart and mortality problems, but the Mediterranean diet can also be helpful in reducing the risk of Alzheimer, Parkinson’s diseases, type 2 diabetes and even in premature death.
As far as women are concerned, the Mediterranean diet can help them in avoiding the menace of breast cancer. It is advisable to consume the Mediterranean diet with extra virgin olive oil and mixed nuts. Following such type of routine has shown significant results in delaying or avoiding breast cancer. It also assists in weight loss as heavy carbohydrates are not consumed and herbs and water are consumed in a good quantity. Owing to these vast implications, many organizations and agencies of the world encourage adults, kids and middle-aged ones to adopt this style of diet in their lifestyle.
Fruits, vegetables and healthy fats are the souls of the Mediterranean diet. These are consumed in large quantities in every Mediterranean house. Freshness is one of the main concerns of this diet. It has to be ensured that whatever they eat, it has to be fresh and pure. The people tend to consume the fruits and veggies within 3 to 4 days of it coming out of the farm. They believe that if fruits and vegetables are not consumed within 3-4 days, then they start losing their nutritional value. It is evident to consume as many healthy fats as one can. These fats include nuts, olives, pine nuts, and walnuts. This is why almost all Mediterranean houses use olive oil in their cooking.
Mediterranean diet is considered to be one of the most balanced and versatile diet forms. This diet focuses mainly on plant food rather than animal food. It is that diet that maintains the equality of taste and health at the same time. The balance of taste is superlative while the health parameter is prominent. People around the world are shifting from their old diet plans to this type of diet as it has a lot of offerings to give. On one hand, where it proves to be a remedy against a lot of chronic diseases, on the other hand, it helps in building up a stable and strong physique. So, if you are planning to take up the Mediterranean diet, you won’t be disappointed.