The Mediterranean Diet: A Lesson in Healthy Eating

        There are countless diets, and countless dieting agencies, on the market today. Having so many options to pick from makes it extremely difficult for us to come to a decision. However, there is a specific, delicious diet that everyone’s been raving about recently: The Mediterranean Diet.

        The Mediterranean Diet is primarily made up of plant-based foods and very lean proteins like fish and chicken. Eating such foods can actually lower your risk of cancer and keep you in great, healthy shape, sources say. Unfortunately, many people searching for the right diet tend to drift away from choosing the Mediterranean way of life; Most of the time, these people are hesitant to choose a dieting technique that is so new to the world. Some wonder if the Mediterranean Diet is worth all the hype.

        That’s what I’m here for, to see if this diet is right for you. Below, I’ll explain what the Mediterranean way of life consists of and I’ll give you all the benefits along with the facts. If you have any additional questions or concerns, you’re welcome to do a little of your own research, too. Let’s get started.

 

What should you eat on the Mediterranean Diet?

 

        The Mediterranean Diet is very specific when it comes to what foods you can and cannot put into your body. The diet actually emphasizes how good it is for us humans to eat heart-healthy foods like fish, nuts, and olive oil, while also encouraging us humans to stay away from foods like sugar, butter, and red meat. And, if you’re like me and crave red meat all the time, my suggestion for you would be to start in small ‘doses’ with this diet. If you let it creep its way into your life, you won’t have as much difficulty transitioning your eating habits over to the Mediterranean way of life.

First, let me show you the specifics of the diet, and then you can choose for yourself.

As far as grains go,

one to two servings is allowed for each meal. However, it is stated in the diet that only whole grain bread, pasta, and rice are allowed, so watch out for the white grains.

As far as vegetables go,

two servings per lunch and dinner meals are highly recommended. And, the vegetables must be of a variety of colors, if possible. Some of the most common Mediterranean vegetables consist of sweet potatoes, beets, kale, eggplant, and artichoke.

As far as fruits go,

they’re only ever eaten as a dessert while on this diet. Per diet instructions, one to two servings is allowed only after lunch and dinner meals. Specifically speaking, the Mediterranean Diet encourages fruits such as figs, apples, apricots, dates, and pomegranates to be eaten.

As far as fats go,

do not eat anything that is canned or processed. Instead, lean on heart-healthy fats such as nuts and olive oil. And, even though olive oil is a healthy fat to consume, try to limit your daily intake to about one to four tablespoons per day (this includes the amount of olive oil you cook with).

As far as meats go,

stick to proteins that contain omega-3-rich sources. Such sources consist of salmon, tuna, and anchovies. As far as red meat goes, try to stay away from it. Limit your intake to a few times per month, at max.

As far as dairy goes,

you can eat only low-fat yogurt, cheese, and milk. Specifically, you should only be eating three servings in total of dairy each week.

 

What are the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet?

 

I’m not going to go into a whole lot of detail here, I’ll just target the benefits and have a sentence or two back up each fact.

On this diet, your heart health will improve.

This mainly happens due to the fact that while you’re on the diet, you primarily consume foods with omega-3 fatty acids. Foods that contain these fatty acids are walnuts, fatty fish, and canola oil.

**If you didn’t know, omega-3 fatty acids lower the triglycerides in your blood,  in turn stabilizing your blood pressure and promoting good health for your blood vessels.**

On this diet, your penis performs better.

With erectile dysfunction being one of the major symptoms of heart disease, it’s no wonder the two (heart health and penile function) go hand in hand together. So, if your triglycerides are lower in your blood, your blood will tend to move faster and more efficiently, therefore allowing your penis to become erect.

On this diet, your brain ages slower.

Recent studies have proven that being on this diet can actually slow down the brain’s ability to age, therefore eliminating future brain issues such as Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, adopting this diet will increase your brain’s ability to have a better memory and a stronger attention span.

**Such healthy food choices do this by decreasing inflammation in the body. Scientists believe that decreased inflammation can lead to a lessened chance of nerve cell deterioration.**

On this diet, your vision can improve.

Many foods that are suggested to be in the Mediterranean Diet, such as oranges, dark leafy greens, sweet potatoes, and peppers, are great for your vision. Additionally, people who eat fish at least once per week have a greater chance of avoiding macular degeneration of the eye (otherwise known as vision loss).

**Health professionals actually claim that eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish and nuts, can protect the retinas within the eye from cell damage.**

On this diet, your colon cancer risk drops.

Health professionals claim that eating at least 90 grams of whole grains per day can lessen the risks of colon cancer. This is because the fiber within whole grains keeps you regular, which in turn minimizes your chance of having mutations occur in your digestive tract.

On this diet, your kidney function has the ability to improve.

Over the years, health care professionals have been monitoring the Mediterranean Diet and have come to the conclusion that strictly following it can cut your chances of having kidney disease by 50%.

**Doctors claim the Mediterranean Diet’s ability to reduce inflammation contributes to the body’s ability to reduce chronic kidney disease.**

 

Additionally, the Mediterranean Diet can help you lose weight (if you didn’t already know).

Well, that’s all for now.

 

By Jenny Lyn