The Health Benefits of the Meditteranean Diet

The Meditteranean diet is a nutritious way of eating that’s been shown to offer significant health benefits,  however, it has been used to describe non-Mediterranean-based diets that are rich in plant foods, low in red meat and saturated fat, and high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, with a small amount of fish and low to moderate amounts of dairy products.

This way of eating is rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and legumes while limiting your intake of meat and dairy, and limiting trans fats and processed foods. The Mediterranean diet is considered one of the healthiest and best diets for the prevention and treatment of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, and several other diseases.

Health Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet

Heart Health

The Mediterranean diet is known to have a lower incidence of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and metabolic syndrome than the American diet. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of cardiovascular risk factors, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity, that increase your chance of developing heart disease.

A large number of studies have looked at the correlation between the Mediterranean diet and heart health, and have consistently found that those who consume it are less likely to develop heart disease.

A healthy diet should include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fish; but the Mediterranean diet goes beyond that. It is rich in “good fats” such as nuts, seeds, olive oil, and fatty fish, and low in “bad fats” such as trans-fats, refined flours, and butter.

A healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and legumes, and low in saturated fat, but high in refined flours, will greatly reduce your risk of heart disease!

 

 

 

Cancer Prevention

The Mediterranean diet is rich in antioxidants – nutrients that have the power to reduce the risk of developing various types of cancer, particularly cancers of the digestive system.

Studies have found that people who consume a Mediterranean diet have lower rates of cancer than those who eat a typical American diet. This is likely due to the fact that a Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, while low in red meat and saturated fat.

A healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and low in red meat and saturated fat will greatly reduce your risk of developing cancer!

Weight Loss

Like every healthy eating plan, the Mediterranean diet is low in calories. However, unlike many other diets, the Mediterranean diet does not encourage you to certain foods. Rather, it encourages you to healthier options and to the portion sizes you consume.

This allows you to enjoy a variety of delicious foods while still maintaining a low-calorie intake, which can help you lose weight and keep it off.

Diabetes Prevention

Like many other dietary plans, the Mediterranean diet is low in carbohydrates. But unlike other plans, it is not strictly low in carbohydrates. It also includes a large amount of healthy fiber and complex carbs, which are not only non-caloric but can also help reduce blood sugar levels.

A diet low in sugar and high in healthy fiber can help prevent and treat diabetes.

Depression

The Mediterranean diet is associated with a decreased risk of depression. This is likely due to the fact that it is rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains while being relatively low in red meat and saturated fat.

A healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and low in red meat and saturated fat can greatly reduce your risk of developing depression!

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disease beginning with mild memory loss and possibly leading to loss of the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to the environment.

The Mediterranean diet is rich in good fats that have been shown to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Studies have found that diets high in saturated fat, trans-fats, and cholesterol have been associated with an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The Mediterranean diet is low in all three of these things.

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement

Studies have found that a diet high in proteins from plants and low in proteins from animals can help reduce the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

The Mediterranean diet is high in plant proteins and low in animal proteins. It is also rich in complex carbs and fiber, which can help regulate blood pressure and prevent the build-up of proteins called Lewy bodies inside the brain that are associated with this disease.

Respiratory Health

The Mediterranean diet is rich in good fats that have been shown to reduce the risk of developing asthma and other respiratory diseases.

Research has found that diets high in saturated fat, trans-fats, and cholesterol have been associated with an increased risk of developing asthma and other respiratory diseases. The Mediterranean diet is low in all three of these things!

Healthy Vision

Like every other diet, the Mediterranean diet is low in carbohydrates. But it is also rich in antioxidants, which can reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.

Cataracts are clouding of the eye lens, while macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness due to age.

Both of these conditions are linked to oxidative damage, which is a potential side effect of excessive exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun. Oxidative damage can also cause aging, cell damage, and vision loss.

Conclusion

Ultimately, the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle are good for your health. This is especially true if you’re suffering from any of the listed medical conditions. However, no diet is sufficient for all of these ailments in every case; some require additional intervention and/or supplements to help manage additional issues and prevent their recurrence. But the Mediterranean diet is a healthy way of eating that can be adopted by everyone, and we hope you will consider it as a tool to help improve your own health in some way, either directly or indirectly.

Leave a Comment