Mediterranean diet - Benefits, allowed and forbidden foods

Mediterranean diet - Benefits, allowed and forbidden foods

Mediterranean diet - Benefits, allowed and forbidden foods
Mediterranean diet - Benefits, allowed and forbidden foods

The combination of health and delicacy is really hard to find. Meals on weight loss diets are often boring and with the same combination of ingredients over and over again. The Mediterranean diet is the solution to this problem; In addition to its health benefits, this type of diet combines spices, even allowing sporadic wine and sweet dessert.

The basis of the Mediterranean diet is to combine food in a way that is not only gastronomically tasty, but also meets the rules of  healthy eating  . If you take 5 minutes, you will understand - what are the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, how to make it and what foods are allowed and forbidden.

How is the Mediterranean diet made?

In the Mediterranean diet, the foods that should predominate are vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains and pseudo-grains,  nuts  , olive oil, spices and roots. They should make up about half of the total food.

In second place in the Mediterranean diet are meats high in  Omega-3  : wild salmon, sardines, tuna. As well as seafood are allowed. Dairy products and cheese are foods that should go in a lower proportion, approximately 15% of the total daily calories can come from this type of food.

The touch of the Mediterranean diet is that red wine is allowed in moderation. In addition to high quality red meat and sweet dessert is allowed once a week. This is one of the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, which I like the most - you don't have to be completely strict when you do it.

History of the Mediterranean diet

The term Mediterranean diet was first used by the American nutritionist and nutritionist Ansel Keys in the 1940s  (1)  . In the 90's this diet flourished and today remains one of the most popular diets in the world.

It is not originally designed as a diet for weight loss, but is adapted to the eating habits of the inhabitants of northeastern Spain, southern France, Portugal, Greece and other countries that surround the Mediterranean. Unlike other diets such as the  ketogenic diet  (which is born as a treatment in medicine), the Mediterranean diet stems from the social habits of European countries.

Mediterranean diet - Species by country

There are different types of Mediterranean diets depending on the region and therefore the foods available. The types of Mediterranean diet can be divided into zones: in the Italian should predominate wholemeal pasta and red meat, in the Spanish fish meat and brown rice. While in Greek they are seafood, cereals and pseudograins.

It is important to know that this type of diet originated during the post-war European period. At that time, they were forced to adjust their resources. Italians, for example, call the Mediterranean diet "cucina povera" or the poor man's cuisine in Spanish.

Years later, the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet were confirmed. In fact, the proportions of macronutrients:  carbohydrates, proteins and fats  are really similar to those recommended by international organizations. (FAO, WHO).

Mediterranean diet - allowed and forbidden foods What can you eat?

Mediterranean diet - allowed and forbidden foods

The foods that should predominate in the Mediterranean diet are:

  • Vegetables and fruits (tomatoes, broccoli, pumpkin, apple, grapes, eggplant, peppers)
  • Whole grains and pseudo-grains (brown rice, buckwheat, brugol wheat)
  • Olive oil
  • Legumes (beans, lentils, beans)
  • Nuts (almonds, walnuts, peanuts)
  • Seafood (wild salmon, sardines, tuna, seafood)
  • Spices (oregano, mushrooms, cinnamon, mint, thyme, tarragon)

Foods that can be consumed in moderation are:

  • Dairy products (cheese, milk, yogurt, butter)
  • Kefir
  • Wine (1 glass per dinner)
  • red meat
  • Chicken
  • Eggs

The foods forbidden in the Mediterranean diet are:

  • Sugars and refined flours
  • Processed foods (snacks, chips, industrial cookies)
  • Processed meat products (sausages, pate, salami)
  • Fast food
  • Sugar soft drinks

Benefits of the Mediterranean diet

The following is a list of the benefits of the Mediterranean diet:

  1. Lose weight in a healthy way
  2. Lower risk of cardiovascular disease
  3. Less anxiety and stress
  4. Less chance of developing Alzheimer's disease
  5. Regulate cholesterol
  6. Less chance of cancer
  7. Less autoimmune and inflammatory diseases

1. Lose weight in a healthy way

Studies from more than 10 European countries have found a link between reducing obesity levels and people following a Mediterranean diet. (5) This is one of the advantages of consuming large quantities of high quality vegetables, lean meat and fats.

2. Lower risk of cardiovascular disease

A study that collected 5 years of research states that one of the benefits of the Mediterranean diet is the reduction of the risk of cardiovascular disease. According to this report, the effects of this type of diet are to reduce the likelihood of heart attack by up to 30% and reduce mortality by 7%. It is believed that the main reason for this fact is due to the high contribution of  healthy fats  .

3. Less anxiety and stress

The rule of allowing a glass of wine for dinner and dessert from time to time makes a person relax and can maintain this type of diet for long periods of time. In fact, it is one of the methods to control  cortisol levels  .

4. Less chance of developing Alzheimer's disease

One of the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, which has been confirmed, is a significant reduction in the likelihood of developing Alzheimer's disease and dementia in the elderly. This has only been confirmed in those who have been on this type of diet for long periods of time. (5)

5. Regulate cholesterol

The benefits of the Mediterranean diet for cholesterol regulation have been confirmed. (5) Eliminate saturated and trans fats from processed foods and switch to healthy fats such as olive oil; this is the basis for  lowering cholesterol  .

6. Less chance of cancer

Another benefit of the Mediterranean diet, which arouses more curiosity in the scientific community, is the lower probability of cancer. In a study that analyzed data from more than 1 million people. The results confirmed significant differences in the likelihood and mortality of cancer in these people with greater adherence to this type of diet. (5)

7. Strengthening the immune system

The last of the benefits of the Mediterranean diet is the improvement of the endothelial system. This is associated with a lower likelihood of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. The increase in the synthesis of endothelial precursors was confirmed only in 4 weeks of adherence to this type of diet. If your goal is to  strengthen the immune system ,  you should try this diet.

CONTINUE

  • The Mediterranean diet combines nutrition with gastronomy. The basis of this type of diet is the combination of healthy fats and spices with foods of high nutritional value.
  • The foods allowed in the Mediterranean diet are: vegetables, fruits, fish and seafood, whole grains, vegetable fats and spices.
  • To a lesser extent, dairy products, red meat and chicken are allowed.
  • Desserts with honey and a glass of wine are sporadic.
  • The foods banned in the Mediterranean diet are: refined flours and sugars, soft drinks, meat and processed foods.
  • The benefits of the Mediterranean diet have been proven by the scientific community. They range from significantly reducing your chances of cancer to losing weight in a healthy way.

REFERENCES:

  1. Primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases with a Mediterranean diet. Source
  2. Is there even a Mediterranean diet. Source
  3. Mediterranean diet. University of Navarre. Source
  4. Health benefits of the Mediterranean diet: Update of research over the last 5 years. Source
  5. The health benefits of the Mediterranean diet. Source