If there’s one in-vogue diet we can truly get behind, it’s the Mediterranean diet. Based on the diet and lifestyle of locals in the Mediterranean region, this way of eating has been touted as one of the healthiest diets on the market. Rich in whole grains, fresh vegetables, healthy fats and lean fish, this diet encourages people to eat healthful, natural foods and leave the processed alternatives on the grocery store shelf.
When it comes to the benefits associated with this diet, the proof is in the pudding (which you should only having in moderation!). Long-term adherents of the Mediterranean diet boast long lifespans and countless other health and wellness benefits, all of which demonstrate just how worthwhile the diet can be for steadfast followers.
Abundant in Nutritional Perks
It goes without saying that consuming a diet rich in a variety of nutrient-dense foods offers a host of health perks. Followers of the Mediterranean diet enjoy a diet rich in nutritious, colorful produce, such as spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, fennel, lemons and mushrooms. This produce is overflowing with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which work to safeguard your body against disease. Additionally, fruits and veggies promote hydration, are low in calories and varieties like apples, bananas, bell peppers and spinach are high in fiber, keeping your body performing at its peak.
The Mediterranean diet is also exceptionally heart-healthy due the high intake of foods with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, like olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocado and seafood. Adequate monounsaturated fat consumption is strongly correlated with a reduced risk of heart disease and can improve blood cholesterol. Polyunsaturated fats are essential fats, meaning they’re necessary for vital bodily functions. This type of fat builds cell membranes and aids in muscle movement, blood clotting and staving off inflammation, highlighting the importance of embracing a diet that includes these morsels.
With an estimated 160 million Americans classified as overweight or obese, finding a lifestyle that naturally lends itself to weight maintenance is of critical importance.The Mediterranean diet is one such lifestyle choice that has been linked with long-term weight loss. It’s thought that this is due to the diet’s low intake of refined carbs, high intake of quality foods and less restrictive approach (red wine and dark chocolate are even allowed!).
The Mediterranean diet is about more than simply what one eats. Making choices to prioritize socialization, get regular exercise and limit stress are just as important as nutrition. Additionally, by prioritizing mainly fresh, seasonal food, there is little chance of your meals getting boring or repetitive, and it’s unrestrictive style also lends itself to plenty of flexibility when ordering in restaurants. Focusing on each of these components can help followers improve every facet of their daily lives, which is why the Mediterranean diet is considered more of a lifestyle choice than a diet.
Besides the health benefits associated with eating a diet chock-full of fresh, whole foods, the Mediterranean diet is valuable in just about every conceivable manner. So ditch those fad diets once and for all and try an eating plan that’s attainable, sustainable and incredibly delicious.
Check out our Mediterranean meal planning ideas for some tasty Mediterranean recipes to get you started.
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