Six things you should know about a Mediterranean diet
By ESTHER MUCHENE | 2 months ago
A diet that emphasizes a plant-based eating approach rich in vegetables, fruits and whole grains, it is considered one of the healthiest diets by nutrition experts.
When choosing to go the Mediterranean way, you will have to limit or completely avoid red meat, dairy-with the exception of small amounts of organic yogurt and cheese, sugary foods and fats.
Embraced by countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, researchers have found that people living in those countries are generally healthy with low risk of contracting lifestyle diseases.
Encouraging a variety of nutrient dense foods, it is quite easy to enjoy a wide range of foods and flavors making it easy to meet your daily nutritional needs.
Whether you want to lose weight, lower your risk of a heart attack or achieve better blood sugar levels, here is what you need to know about this diet that is slowly taking over the health world.
1.It’s easy to follow
A diet will only work if you can stick with it. And true to that, this happens to be one of those.
With a variety of foods to choose from, it is appealing even for the fussy eater. The reason this is the case is because it comes packed with flavors requiring a few tweaks here and there.
For instance, you don’t have to completely eliminate pizza for good. Instead of having a meaty or sausage pizza, you replace that with a vegan option.
2.It promotes healthy heart
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A randomized clinical trial published in April 2013 in the New England Journal of Medicine, known as the PREDIMED study found that the Mediterranean diet is healthful in terms of reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
And here is why.
The fish will help lower blood pressure and triglycerides while the fruits and vegetables will help clean your arteries.
Greatly used in many recipes, olive oil and nuts will help lower your cholesterol.
3.Water is a must
By now you already know about the daily recommended amount of water you should drink per day. In this diet, water is your go to beverage.
Although you may enjoy fresh fruit juice, coffee and tea in moderation, you stay away from sugar sweetened drinks and opt for natural sweeteners.
If you enjoy the occasional bottle of wine or a few bottles of beer every day, you may be forced to take it easy.
Unless advised otherwise by your doctor, women should stick to a glass of wine and no more than two glasses for men.
5.No more milk
If you love milk, this will hurt. You will have to rely on food and other non-dairy sources like kale, sardines and fortified almond milk for your calcium.
However, you can consumer small amounts of cheese and yogurt.
6.Better mental health
According to researchers, there is a connection between the Mediterranean diet and improved mental health.
A 2018 study by Molecular Psychiatry found that following a Mediterranean diet is associated with reduced risk of depressive symptoms or clinical depression.
This was especially true for older adults who had fewer social interactions.
Another study also found that those who followed this diet rich in omega 3 from the fish, had less chances of getting Alzheimer’s or other cognitive problems in old age.
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