Mediterranean diet, Mediterranean lifestyle


Nowadays, nutrition plays an important role in both the lifestyles of individuals, as well as, in the medical field. From the prevention of many diseases to diet therapy, the Mediterranean diet is becoming more and more accepted by doctors and patients as a beneficial long-term change in diet. Nutritionists and medical professionals believe that a Mediterranean diet, rich in micronutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, is extremely beneficial to health and, as several studies have shown, can be a good strategy for lifelong health

The Mediterranean diet encompasses more than a balanced and varied way of eating. It is also based on the principles of enjoyment of food and life, resulting in tremendous benefits in the overall quality of life. It is not a diet per se but encourages you to eat more of certain health-promoting foods. It doesn’t ban any specific food or ingredient, there is no fixed diet plan, and there is no tedious counting of calories.

The Mediterranean diet includes a simple plant-based cuisine, with the majority of each meal consisting of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and seeds, a small amount of nuts, and a heavy emphasis on extra virgin olive oil. Fats other than olive oil and red meat are rarely consumed. Sugar and processed foods are reserved for special occasions. Consumption of healthy, oily fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids is recommended, while consumption of eggs, cheese, yogurt, and poultry is reduced to smaller amounts.

All of these foods, along with moderate amounts of wine (an occasional glass of red wine is an acceptable part of the diet), can help you live longer and prevent chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The Mediterranean diet goes beyond cooking. It’s a healthy lifestyle that includes making time for and enjoying your daily meals. Eating more slowly and enjoying many small portions, as is common practice in the Mediterranean, also fills you up faster. And people who follow the Mediterranean principles report that they tend to be more active.

If you follow a Mediterranean diet, you can not only reduce weight in a healthy way, but you may also find it easier to maintain in the long term than, for example, low-fat diets. The reason is the high proportion of saturated fatty acids and fiber, which keep the blood sugar level in balance and thus prevents food cravings. It is a great way to combine exercise with losing weight and staying fit into old age.

Research suggests that adopting a Mediterranean diet can reduce cancer incidence by 40 to 50 percent and it lowers the risk of developing certain types of cancer, such as breast, prostate, and colon cancer.

Type 2 diabetes has become a widespread disease in which the blood sugar level is permanently elevated. The chronic metabolic disease is associated with obesity and unhealthy nutrition. Anyone who counteracts this in early adulthood with a balanced and health-promoting diet can prevent the development of diabetes in adulthood. The Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and benefits those who already have diabetes.

Classic Mediterranean foods such as olives, olive oil, omega-3-rich fish, and legumes, which are particularly high in monounsaturated fats, can counteract inflammation and oxidative stress and are a key component of heart health. The risk of heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular diseases is significantly lower in those who follow a Mediterranean diet. The diet pattern can lower bad LDL cholesterol and increase good HDL cholesterol.

The health-promoting properties of a balanced diet are well documented. For many residents of the Mediterranean region, this means a higher quality of life and longer life expectancy. This includes better physical, emotional, and social health. They have better mobility, vitality and less pain with increasing age and as a result have a significantly lower risk of becoming frail, which is an important measure of the quality of life of older adults.

A diet rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and antioxidant components can prevent and delay memory loss and dementia. The high concentration of antioxidants and phytochemicals appear to slow down brain atrophy. Alzheimer’s dementia is caused by protein deposits in the brain and the rapid loss of brain tissue. A diet rich in fish, vegetables, and olive oil can protect against these disease triggers and slow the progression of the disease.

In addition to the many physical benefits, there is also evidence that the Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of some mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety, stress, and other depressive symptoms. Several studies have shown that following the eating pattern is associated with a lower risk of depression, and that optimal nutrition can have wide-ranging positive effects on mental health.

Harvested fresh olives in the hands of farmer. Lesbos. Greece.

Typical of the Mediterranean cuisine is the use of olive oil. In addition to many useful polyphenols, this liquid gold also contains essential omega-3 fatty acids that the body can not produce itself and therefore has to be absorbed through the diet. The monounsaturated fatty acids in olive oil lower LDL cholesterol, which is the cholesterol that accumulates in the walls of the blood vessels and can cause arteriosclerosis and, as a consequence, a heart attack or stroke.

In addition, it increases the “good” HDL cholesterol, which ensures the removal of harmful vascular deposits and thus has a positive impact on the entire cardiovascular system. The antioxidants also known as anti-carcinogens protect cells from the aging process, slowing down the effects of ageing and staying fit longer to enjoy life to the fullest. It is also known that they have an anti-inflammatory effect and helps to prevent the occurrence of Diabetes.


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