How Healthy Is The Mediterranean Diet?
How healthy is the Mediterranean diet is a question you would ask if you were interested in trying the diet. According to the Mayo Clinic, this diet is good for those who want to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. The guidelines of the diet are eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables daily, enjoying meals with family and friends, eating small portions of nuts and red meat and eating fish twice a week. The key ingredients used in the diet are olive oil, beans, whole grains, poultry and fish and fresh fruits and vegetables. The diet includes foods from the countries bordering the Mediterranean like Egypt, Syria, Greece, Spain, Italy, France, and others.
What makes the Mediterranean diet healthy for dieters? Below are some of the many reasons why it is one of the top rated diets by the American Heart Association.
- Eating several servings of fresh fruit and vegetables during the day and less red meat is a good step towards improved health. Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants good for promoting overall health in the body. At least seven to nine servings a day of fruits and vegetables should be eaten.
- The diet promotes eating fish twice to three times a week. Fish contains omega 3 fatty acids that reduce heart problems and boost the immune system.
- The Mediterranean diet eliminates fats that are bad for you: trans fat and saturated fats. Olive oil used in the diet contains mono-saturated fat that reduces LDL cholesterol. Another heart healthy oil used in the Mediterranean diet is canola oil.
- The diet stresses seasoning foods with herbs and spices instead of salt.
- Drink purple grape juice instead of wine as it has same effect. Limit wine to one glass per day red or white for men and women.
- Daily physical exercise like walking, biking, or running is important as part of the diet.
- Eat whole grains like whole wheat, rye, barley and corn. These are better than white bread.
- The diet focuses on small portions of good quality food throughout the day.
- Dessert is fresh fruit like apples, pears, and berries with a splash of lemon juice. A healthy choice for everyone on a diet.
Before starting on any diet, check with your doctor to see if it is a good option. The Mediterranean diet is a good choice for most active healthy adults to try.