The Mediterranean diet is the fusion between Greece’s, Italy’s and Spain’s style eating which one led to create this Mediterranean diet in late 1940’s, it promotes health and long life in people from many countries, like the UK and the USA.
The Mediterranean Diet is abundant in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and olive oil. It features fish and poultry over red meat, which contains more saturated fat. Red wine is consumed regularly but in moderate amounts.
In combination with moderate exercise and not smoking, the Mediterranean Diet offers a scientifically researched, affordable, balanced, and health-promoting lifestyle choice.
Components of the Mediterranean diet
- High quantities of a variety of vegetables, a variety of fruit, cereals and cereal products.
- Moderate quantities of fish, white meats, nuts, low-fat dairy produce, wine (2 units per day) with meals.
- Low quantities of: red meat, eggs, sweets and sweet desserts.
- A high monounsaturated fat (olive oil) to saturated animal fat (fatty red meat)
- Low amounts of added salt – in many cases, herbs can be used for flavouring in place of excess salt.
What are the measured benefits of the Mediterranean Diet?
- Scientists have compared the risks of developing heart and other diseases in populations that did and didn’t adopt the diet. People who had closely followed the Mediterranean Diet were found to have:
- Increased longevity – that is, a reduced chance of death at any age – due mainly to reductions in the chance of developing, having a recurrence of, or dying from heart disease or cancer. The results have been confirmed in UK and USA populations and represent a 20% reduced risk of death at any age.
- Reduction in the chance of developing type II diabetes, high blood pressure, or raised blood cholesterol, each of which is associated with cardiac and vascular disease, as well as other serious complications. And each of which may require permanent medication once developed.
- Reduction in the chance of becoming obese and that the Mediterranean Diet formed the basis for a balanced reduction in weight.
- Reduction in the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
In summary, the Mediterranean Diet is based on a traditional mix of foodstuffs eaten by peoples of the Eastern Mediterranean – particularly Crete and southern Italy.
High in fruit, vegetables, legumes and cereals. Fish and white meat mainly are eaten in place of red meat. Mono-unsaturated oils used in place of saturated animal fats. Moderate red wine intake with meals.
Reductions in risk of early death, heart disease, cancer and chronic conditions such as hypertension, high cholesterol and type II diabetes. Also, reductions in Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease risk. Adoption of the diet has proved a successful strategy for healthy weight reduction.