WHAT IS THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET?
The whole diet is based on the scientific observation that the populations among Crete, Greece and southern Italy have the lowest rates of chronic diseases, as well as one of the longest life expectancies.
The Mediterranean diet may help you lose weight, offer cancer prevention, diabetes management and most importantly brain & cardiovascular health.
It is very similar to every other “healthy” diet, since most other ones draw their inspiration from this diet. You will eat lots of vegetables, whole-grains, legumes and nuts, fruits, fish, some poultry & low fat dairy, tons of olive oil & herbs/spices, a few weekly eggs, and some wine. On the other hand you will restrict red meat, saturated fats, sweets, and processed foods.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF A MEDITERRANEAN DIET
A traditional Mediterranean diet consisting of large quantities of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, fish and olive oil—coupled with physical activity—can reduce your risk of serious mental and physical health problems by:
Preventing heart disease and strokes.
Following a Mediterranean diet limits your intake of refined breads, processed foods, and red meat, and encourages drinking red wine instead of hard liquor—all factors that can help prevent heart disease and stroke.
Keeping you agile. If you’re an older adult, the nutrients gained with a Mediterranean diet may reduce your risk of developing muscle weakness and other signs of frailty by about 70 percent.
Reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s.
Research suggests that the Mediterranean diet may improve cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and overall blood vessel health, which in turn may reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
Halving the risk of Parkinson’s disease.
The high levels of antioxidants in the Mediterranean diet can prevent cells from undergoing a damaging process called oxidative stress, thereby cutting the risk of Parkinson’s disease in half.
By reducing your risk of developing heart disease or cancer with the Mediterranean diet, you’re reducing your risk of death at any age by 20%.