We all want to be healthy and fit, which means we may need to change our eating habits and lifestyle. Many people who want to lose weight and all of us who need to lower our risks of diabetes or heart disease, therefore we must first look at our nutrition. In other words, to sustain our health, many of us may need to turn to a new diet. Websites are full of promises for the “perfect diet,” but which one is really the best? The answer may surprise you! Do you like nuts, whole grains, fish and olive oil? Then get ready to adopt the world’s healthiest diet, also known as the Mediterranean Diet! True to its name, the diet adopts the food and meal preparation methods of areas like France, Greece, Italy and Spain.
What to Eat
Unlike other diets, the Mediterranean Diet isn’t about forbidding all of your favorite foods. You’re still allowed to eat foods in moderation. The diet relies on fruits, nuts, plant-based foods, and whole grains. You have a world of foods to enjoy, which makes it easier to plan meals.
The basis of the Mediterranean Diet includes
- Meals with veggies, nuts whole grains, olive oil, herbs, and legumes
- Fish two times a week
- Yogurt and cheese in moderation daily
- Eggs and poultry every two days or weekly
- Red meat occasionally, limiting to 3 oz portions at a time
- Limited sugary drinks, sodas, candy and sweets
You also need to drink plenty of water and limit alcohol usage. The diet requires no more than 5 oz per day for women and two glasses per day for men. Following these dietary guidelines will let you unlock the key to health and longevity.
Enjoy Multiple Health Benefits
A report in the Annals of Internal Medicine surveyed diet’s effects more than 10,000 women aged 50-60. Researchers wanted to study how their diet affected their health over the course of 15 years. The results of the study were astonishing! They showed middle-age women on a Mediterranean-style diet were 40% more likely to live past age 70. Not only that, but these women were also less likely to have chronic illness, physical or mental problems compared to others who consumed a less healthy diet. The diet of the women consisted of fish, whole grains, plus low amounts of red and processed meat. Ladies, the Mediterranean Diet is what can really help you now and even more later in life.
Those who follow the Mediterranean Diet can also reduce risk of heart disease, cancer and other conditions. Recently, the International Journal of Cancer published a study about women who follow a Mediterranean diet. They found that the women had a lower risk of developing an aggressive type of breast cancer. The cancer, known as estrogen-receptor-negative, often has a poor prognosis. The study followed 62,573 women in the Netherlands as they tracked their diets for 20 years. When 2,231 women in the study developed breast cancer, scientists saw post-menopausal estrogen-receptor-negative breast cancer occurred 40% less in women who had a diet similar to the Mediterranean Diet. The Mediterranean Diet also has been shown to reduce risk of heart disease, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Diet and Depression
NOt convinced yet? How about some more reasons to eat like a Mediterranean? The diet is believed to decrease depression and dementia. This year, the diet underwent the first clinical trial for depression. Australian professor, Dr. Jacka, studied 67 men and women who suffered from depression; they also reported having an unhealthy diet. Most of the subjects were taking anti-depressants or attended therapy regularly. Dr. Jacka had half of the participants follow a moderated diet based on the Mediterranean Diet . She also required that they meet with a nutritionist. During the study, they were to grade their feelings on a depression rating scale. The end of the study showed that those who consumed according to the Mediterranean Diet had significant decreases in depression while only 4% of those with the unhealthy diet showed signs of decrease.
Rather than embracing a trendy new diet, think about trying a diet that has worked for generations of people. With all of these amazing benefits plus the ability to still eat good food, what could be better?