Mediterranean diet is one of the most popular diets in world. It is followed by many people who prefer healthy lifestyle and has plenty of benefits for your body and well-being. Does it also help you lose weight? We will explain this in the article.
Have you ever been on holiday in Greece, Italy or Spain? Put the healthy food of these Mediterranean countries on the table: lots of legumes, olive oil and fish, a glass of red wine. That's not only tasty, you can also lose weight with it and will be less likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease and perhaps even Alzheimer's disease. That is why the Mediterranean diet is in the top on the list of most healthy diets.
In the early sixties, various studies showed that people living around the Mediterranean Sea were less at risk of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. This was due to their healthy lifestyle: they were relaxed, took the time to eat, often grew their own vegetables and herbs, had a lot of exercise, and they ate enormously healthily. This is how the 'Mediterranean diet' was born.
Nowadays, the Greeks, Italians and Spaniards also eat too much fast food and too little fibre and fruit. So they too would do well to embrace the traditional Mediterranean diet again.
What does the diet consist of?
Actually, it is not a diet at all. It is a healthy and pleasant way of life. Rule number one is: exercise more, every day. And we're not only talking about half an hour of fitness or jogging, but also about walking, cycling and taking the stairs more often.
Furthermore, the Mediterranean diet has all the elements of a healthy diet, plus a dash of fragrant olive oil and a glass of red wine. The vast majority of what you eat every day consists of vegetable foods, such as fruit and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and vegetable oils. Butter or margarine for frying is replaced by olive oil and salad dressings with mayonnaise make way for oil and lemon juice based dressings. Instead of salt, fresh herbs make dishes tasty. Red meat? No more than once a week, preferably less. Poultry at least twice a week and fish at least twice a week.
A traditional Mediterranean diet contains a lot of fruit, vegetables, pasta and rice. The Greeks, for example, eat very little red meat, but do eat fruit and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants about nine times a day. These antioxidants capture dangerous molecules (free radicals) and render them harmless. In this way, antioxidants combat ageing of all the cells that make up the body, and thus also numerous degenerative diseases.
Nuts are also indispensable in the Mediterranean diet. Although they are rich in fats (about 80 percent of their calories come from fat), they are mainly unsaturated and therefore healthy. Because nuts provide quite a lot of calories, you shouldn't eat mountains of them; a handful a day is enough. And don't pick nuts with a sugar or honey coating or with a lot of salt, just pure nature.
Although you see white bread and white pasta almost everywhere in Mediterranean countries, the cereal products of the Mediterranean diet are made from whole grain cereals and contain very few unhealthy trans fats. The bread is not spread with butter or margarine or covered with cheese and meat products, which contain saturated fats and trans fats. Bread is usually eaten 'bare' or sprinkled with some olive oil.
The Mediterranean diet does not focus on less fat, but on eating less unhealthy and more healthy fats. No saturated fats and trans fats, because they increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Olive oil is the main source of fat in this diet; it is rich in monounsaturated fat, which helps to reduce bad LDL cholesterol (which forms plaque in the blood vessels).
Extra virgin and virgin olive oil are the least processed and contain the most antioxidants. Both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (in other vegetable oils and some nuts) contain the healthy linolenic acid (an omega 3 fatty acid). Omega 3 fatty acids reduce the number of triglycerides in the blood, help prevent the formation of blood clots, reduce the risk of a sudden heart attack, keep the blood vessels healthy, and help keep the blood pressure balanced. Avocados are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, as are fatty fish such as mackerel, herring, sardines, trout, tuna and salmon. That's why the Mediterranean diet contains a lot of fish!
How healthy or unhealthy alcohol is has been under discussion for years and that is why alcohol consumption is generally discouraged. This is a pity, because although drinking too much is certainly unhealthy, according to some researchers moderate alcohol consumption can indeed reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and contribute to cognitively healthy longevity.
Those who follow the Mediterranean diet are therefore allowed to drink red wine in moderation: women are allowed to drink one glass a day (just like men over 65) and men under 65 can drink two glasses a day. No more than that, because otherwise you increase the risk of various diseases, including some types of cancer. If you find it difficult to limit yourself to one or two glasses, if you have a family history of alcohol addiction or a heart or liver disease, it is better not to drink alcohol at all. And bear in mind that some people suffer from migraines when drinking red wine.
Research has shown that the traditional Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Indeed, a recent analysis of more than one and a half million healthy adults showed a link between healthy Mediterranean diets and a reduced risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease, from cancer, from Parkinson's disease and from Alzheimer's disease.
Not surprisingly, therefore, many doctors and major health organisations recommend healthy adults to follow a Mediterranean diet in order to stay ahead of chronic diseases.
Losing weight with the Mediterranean diet
Also with the Mediterranean diet you have to pay attention to your calories. If you eat lots of super healthy nuts and leftovers soaked in olive oil, you won't lose weight. But this way of eating makes it a lot easier to keep a healthy weight. Vegetables, fruit, whole-grain products and legumes contain a lot of fibre and they provide a long lasting feeling of fullness. The proteins in fish and poultry also make you feel satiated. Moreover, the diet does not contain 'fast' sugars, such as found in white bread, cakes, pastries, soft drinks and sweets. These sugars give a peak in blood glucose, which gives you an extra energetic feeling. But that peak drops very quickly, which gives you an extra need for sugar and makes you snack.
interesting #women #men #loseweight #stayfit #getinshape #20-35 #35-50 #50