The Mediterranean diet first became interesting to researchers in the 1950s when it was observed that certain populations in the Mediterranean basin had better overall health, had fewer heart and metabolic diseases, and had a higher life expectancy than wealthier nations in the western world. The diet thus refers to the traditional food cultures of the countries that surround the Mediterranean, including Greece, Italy, Spain, Morocco, Egypt and Lebanon. The staples of the Mediterranean diet include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, seafood, nuts and legumes, and olive oil. Poultry, eggs, cheese and dairy products are consumed in smaller quantities.
The Mediterranean diet is emphasized as a “healthy eating pattern” in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). As you can see, there are no definite dietary rules, just general guidelines and principles to help you get the most variety out of your unique Mediterranean diet plan. In fact, research shows that the Mediterranean diet may even be associated with a lower risk of heart disease and stroke (. Furthermore, the Mediterranean diet includes more than just food; for this reason, it is often described as a way of life.
The Mediterranean diet promotes a variety of nutrient-rich foods, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and heart-healthy fats. While the results of the PREDIMED study were discussed, the findings are consistent with decades of observational and interventional research showing the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet. Several studies show that the Mediterranean diet can benefit brain health and even protect against cognitive decline as you get older. For this reason, the Mediterranean diet is often recommended to those who want to improve their health and protect themselves from chronic diseases.
Mediterranean diet is rich in flavorful ingredients, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and heart-healthy fats, and is equal parts delicious and nutritious. After heart surgery that required them to insert 2 stents, my heart doctor asked me to do the Mediterranean diet, which I didn’t know anything about. Although there are no specific rules for following the Mediterranean diet, there are many general guidelines you can follow to incorporate the principles of dieting into your daily routine. Over the five-year study period, the Mediterranean diet groups had a 30% lower relative risk of serious cardiovascular events than the control group.
Positive associations have been shown between the Mediterranean diet and a reduced risk of certain types of cancer, which is likely due to the high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients in this diet.