Mediterranean diet is well balanced combination of polyunsaturated fatty acids, vegetables, nuts, legumes, seeds and fresh fruit. This diet is following the example of Mediterranean cultures are which are associated with longevity and vitality.
What is Mediterranean diet ?
The Mediterranean diet is not a classic diet, but a diet that is mainly based on nutritional recommendations for monitoring dietary practice that people living on the shores of the Mediterranean.
Unlike most diets that focus on the prohibition of certain foods, Mediterranean diet focuses on what is allowed. Foods that are recommended to consume are tasty and most of people do not feel the need to return to old unhealthy diet.
Mediterranean diet provides regular physical activity and consumption of plant foods, fruits as dessert, olive oil as the main source of fat, dairy products, fish and poultry, red meat in small quantities and wine in small amounts.
The Mediterranean diet and health
Mediterranean diet gained its popularity after scientists noticed fewer heart disease in countries such as Spain and Greece. Since then, there have be a lot of research and found that Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest in the world.
- Protects against heart disease. Olive oil is recommended because containing monounsaturated fats that are good for your heart. The latest research in this area has shown that consumption of olive oil is the secret why the Mediterranean diet is so healthy. This assist in suppression of the genes that lead to inflammation and the occurrence of hearth disease.
- Reduces the risk of cancer. Studies have shown that applying a few principles of the Mediterranean diet can contribute to reducing the risk of cancer by 12 %. One of the largest studies in this area, that involved 26,000 people found that only the use of olive oil reduces risk by 9 %. The introduction of two dietary changes, i.e. consuming less red meat and more beans, reduces the risk of cancer by 12 %. Separate studies have found that adding broccoli in your diet reduces risk of prostate cancer in men.
- Protects the brain. A four-year research at the Medical Center of Columbia University showed that people who practice the principles of Mediterranean diet have a 40% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease compared with those who do not follow the diet.
Mediterranean diet helps to reduce bad cholesterol in the body, control diabetes and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, protect against dementia and reduce the risk of Parkinson’ s disease.