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12
Dec

The Mediterranean Diet

Posted by Betsy

© duygu agar; www.sxc.hu

The Mediterranean diet has been thought to be one of the healthiest diets in the world. The inhabitants of the Mediterranean coast have enjoyed the delicious diet, relaxing diet and have engaged in regular physical activity. They don’t consider their eating habits as a diet plan, but it is their lifestyle.

Mediterranean diet has been research widely in the past 10 years. Studies have the shown that a diet rich in plant foods and healthy fats protects against the development of heart disease, metabolic syndrome, obesity, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and some type of cancer. Healthy benefits are not attributed to eating alone, but the entire package that includes physical activity and other lifestyle behaviors of the people along the Mediterranean coast.

What is a Mediterranean diet?
There is no single Mediterranean diet. Regions across Europe to middle-east Asia favor from this type of lifestyle. The foods are primarily plant based such as vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, nuts, olives and olive oil. Foods such as cheese, yogurt, fish, poultry, eggs and wine are also included. These foods are very high in vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. Most of the foods are fresh, seasonal and wholesome. There are hardly any processed foods. The foods are prepared in a simple manner and are rarely deep fried. Saturated fat, sodium, sweets and meat comprise of a very small portion of the meal plan and it is only occasional. The Mediterranean lifestyle includes regular physical activity and relaxed dining.

The Mediterranean diet has long been associated with a low risk of heart disease. Studies have shown that a Mediterranean type diet lowers the risk factor associated with heart disease such as lowering LDL cholesterol, increasing HDL cholesterol, lowering triglycerides, controlling blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

The PREDIMED study compared the Mediterranean diet to a low-fat diet and found that the Mediterranean type diet has more beneficial effects on cardiovascular risk factors.

In March 2011, 50 studies were analyzed and these studies linked Mediterranean diet to lower incidence of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is cluster of disease and risk factors that increase the likelihood of stroke and heart disease. These factors include high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, unhealthy cholesterol levels and abdominal fat. Mediterranean type diet is also beneficial in maintaining blood glucose levels within normal ranges for people with diabetes. Research has shown that being physically active and eating more natural, wholesome foods lead to weight loss.

The Mediterranean lifestyle is a model for good health. Choosing healthy foods and having regular physical activity contributes to long term good health for you and your family. This is an example of a very good lifestyle. Most produces found in the Mediterranean coast can be easily brought at a super market near you and you can enjoy the wholesomeness of the Mediterranean lifestyle in your city. Incorporate more natural foods, more physical activity and leisurely eating styles into your daily life to maintain your weight and preserve your heart health.

Category : Diet Reviews

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