Over the past decade, the Mediterranean diet has been increasing in popularity due to its many health and nutrition benefits. The diet is based on the traditional foods of the people who live around the Mediterranean Sea, such as in Italy, Greece, and Turkey. This diet is characterized by a heavy reliance on plant-based nutrition. This includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, whole grains, and spices. In addition, there is low to moderate consumption of eggs, fish, poultry, and dairy products.
The Mediterranean diet first began to make waves in the 1950s. This is when people recognized the prevalence of heart disease was lower in the Mediterranean region. Since then, it’s become an established dietary choice. Scientific researchers continue to study the diet’s specific nutrition and health benefits. It’s frequently recommended by top health organizations including the American Heart Association.
The following are six reasons the Mediterranean diet may be right for you:
1. It Boosts Brain Health
Eating a healthy diet such as the Mediterranean diet helps keep your brain sharp and clear. Studies have found that at age 50, individuals with the healthiest diets have about a 90% decreased risk of developing dementia when compared to individuals with bad diets.
2. The Mediterranean Diet Provides Healthy Fats
The Mediterranean diet limits consumption of sugary, fatty, and highly-processed beverages and foods. This means you won’t be consuming unhealthy fats. Instead, you consume more healthy fats like monounsaturated fats and Omega-3 fatty acids.
3. It Reduces Your Risk of Heart Disease
When you follow a Mediterranean diet, you’re reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease. Without taking into consideration exercise or calorie intake, just the diet alone can reduce heart-related incidents by up to 30%.
4. It Helps With Weight Loss
Although the Mediterranean diet isn’t meant for weight loss, it can help contribute to losing weight. It focuses on eating whole, clean foods such as fruits and vegetables. This can help keep you away from sugar, fatty, and processed options.
5. The Diet Decreases Your Risk of Stroke
Strictly following a Mediterranean diet can reduce the chance of stroke in women ages 40 to 77 by up to 20%.
6. It Can Manage Type 2 Diabetes
For individuals working to manage Type 2 Diabetes, eating a healthy diet, such as the Mediterranean diet, can improve blood sugar control. It can also protect against associated health complications resulting from the disease.
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