The Mediterranean Diet is one of the healthiest in the world for a number of reasons. Year in, year out there seems to be no end to the number of diets that pop up.
You will often hear people saying ‘This is the best diet ever” or “This diet will change your life“. However, a lot of the time, these descriptions are hardly ever based on actual facts and are usually put out there by the people behind the diets or their marketing team. If you are interested in finding a diet that truly is good for you, you should give serious consideration to the Mediterranean Diet.
This diet, based on the eating habits of the people from that region, is often touted as one of, if not the healthiest diet in the world. Although that may seem like a bold claim when you consider how healthy people living in and around the Mediterranean Sea are and that they are able to maintain a healthy weight without really dieting.
If you are interested in the diet but are not convinced that it is as good as everyone says, this article will help you understand why it’s a big deal.
We are going to look at some of the most important reasons why this diet is considered the healthiest out there.
1. Low in Sugar and Processed Foods
As for following the Mediterranean Diet involves eating lots of ingredients such as whole cereals, vegetables, fruits, beans, peas and smaller portions of animal products, it does not include many processed foods and is low in sugar.
As well as the plant-based food, another huge part of the diet is fish (freshly caught in the Med). Along with a measured amount of yogurt and sheep, goat or cow cheeses which provide you with healthy cholesterol and fats.
2. Encourages Healthy Weight Loss
One of the main reasons why most people follow a diet is to lose weight. the great thing about the Mediterranean Diet is that the American Journal of Medicine found it to be the most effective for weight loss in the long run, particularly when compared to the ADA diet, a low carb diet and a low-fat diet.
It has been noted that people following the diet for a year could lose anything between 9 and 22 pounds. What’s more, with this diet you can lose weight in an incredibly healthy way, as it encourages weight management and naturally reduces your fat intake, because the diet consists of food high in nutrients.
3. Can Extend Your Life
This diet has also been linked to living a long and healthy life. This is because a large percentage of the world’s population with longer life expectancies live around the Mediterranean Coast and Sea.
The BMJ conducted a study that found people eating the Mediterranean Diet had cells that were completely different from people who ate diets consisting of more dairy and red meat.
It also found that those following the diet had longer telomeres, the parts of DNA found at the end of our chromosomes. Telomeres have long been connected as a key to having a longer lifespan.
4. Improves Your Heart Health
We all know what a big killer heart disease is, but one of the most incredible things about the Mediterranean Diet is that it can lower the risk of contracting it and even prevent it. This is thanks to the increase in omega-3 foods and mono-saturated fats, that are connected to reducing heart disease.
As well as olive oil, which contains ALA (or alpha-linolenic acid) which is another of the diet’s components that can help reduce the chance of cardiac death and sudden cardiac death by 30% and 45% respectively.
5. Improves Your Mood
If you are suffering from either mild or moderate-level depression or anxiety, switching to the Mediterranean Diet could help.
In a Journal of Psychosomatic Research study, it was found that people who ate a diet consisting of lots of legumes, nuts, olive oil, fresh fruit, and vegetables were happier than people who ate a diet consisting of processed foods, fast food, and desserts.
6. Protects Your Cognitive Health
As healthy fats found in nuts and olive oil, as well as anti-inflammatory fruits and vegetables help to fight cognitive problems brought on by aging, there could be a good reason to follow the Med Diet.
These chemicals can help to counter the dangerous effects of being exposed to inflammation, free radicals and toxicity from poor diets and can help to maintain the brain’s supply of dopamine.
Dopamine is essential for healthy thought processing, mood regulation, and body movements. Therefore, this diet could help prevent illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
7. Prevent Diabetes
The Mediterranean Diet could help people suffering from Type 2 Diabetes. According to research discovered in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
It followed a group of diabetes sufferers for four years and discovered that only 44% of the people who ate a Mediterranean Diet required medication in comparison to the 70% of people who were on a so-called ‘low fat‘ diet.