Health has been one of the greatest concern for all the people around the globe. A healthy lifestyle is mostly associated with your eating pattern, or what we call as “DIET”. To achieve health-related goals, the community has developed different plans and methods over time, and the topic of our today’s discussion is one of those healthy eating plans, “The Mediterranean Diet”.
Mediterranean diet is a generic term, that is based on the eating way that the people in the Mediterranean region traditionally ate. It is not a single diet, rather it is an eating pattern inspired by the diet of Southern European countries, including France, Spain, Italy and Greece. Although this diet varies from country to country, however, this diet plan emphasises on plant foods, legumes, nuts, grains, beans, unsaturated fats such as olives oil and cereals.
The Mediterranean diet was first formally described by Ancel Keys, who observed that this type of diet was strongly linked with lower mortality risks and lower chances of getting heart diseases. That is why it is sometimes termed as “Heart-healthy diet”. Since then, many types of research are there to support the Mediterranean diet. Because if emphasises on limited intake of red meat, sweets and alcohol, the Mediterranean diet represents a healthy and appealing lifestyle. Some of the proven health benefits of the Mediterranean diet are listed below;
- Improved heart health: As it limits the intake of processed foods and permits the intake of red wine rather than hard liquor, so it helps in alleviating risk factors associated with stroke and heart diseases.
- Reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease: As this diet improves blood sugar level, cholesterol and blood vessel health, so reduces such risk.
- Reduced risk of Parkinsonism: Due to the high concentration of antioxidants present in the Mediterranean diet.
- Reduced risk of Type-2 Diabetes: Due to fiber-rich diet that prevents abrupt blood sugar levels.
- Increases longevity and keeps you agile
- Reduces chances of getting obesity and Cancer
The Mediterranean diet allows you to get several health benefits while at the same time offering you delicious and mouth-watering foods. You would love to know at this point that what foods to eat and what foods to avoid if you are following such a diet plan. We have got you covered, as you will see the list of such items below.
Recommended Mediterranean foods:
Generally, the diet should be rich in plant-based foods, however, eating seafood and fish is recommended at least twice a week.
- Fruits such as bananas, dates, grapes, oranges, apples etc.
- Legumes such as peas, pulses, chickpeas, beans, peanuts etc.
- Vegetables such as kale, onions, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, cucumbers etc.
- Tubers i.e. turnips and yams
- Nuts and seeds: hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, almonds, cashews etc.
- Poultry and eggs
- Fish and seafood
- Whole grains i.e. corn, whole wheat, whole oats, pasta etc.
- Olive oil and Avocado oil
- Water as the main drink
Foods to avoid:
You should avoid some foods and ingredients to stick to your Mediterranean diet plan. Foods that contain added sugar such as ice cream, soda etc. should be avoided. Moreover, refined grains, refined oils and processed meats are not recommended to consume. Trans fat found in margarine and products labelled as “low-fat” should be avoided as these are highly processed foods.