Mediterranean diet in the world “med diet is known as” since the 1960s, Spain, Italy, the diet of people living in countries such as Greece and Turkey is a model of the kind of diet. Researchers say that people who follow the Mediterranean diet have less health risks than Americans. Numerous studies have addressed that the Mediterranean diet can help with weight loss, prevent heart attacks, reduce the risk of stroke, and prevent type 2 diabetes and premature deaths. Considering these reasons, we will examine what is the Mediterranean diet, which does not have much rules, draws attention with its flexible structure and delicious content.
What is the Mediterranean diet?
Mediterranean diet is a type of diet formed based on the foods consumed by countries that have a coast to the Mediterranean daily. The Mediterranean diet does not have strict rules like many other diet plans. It does not interfere with the feeding times, variety and number of meals. It only selects products to be eaten carefully. However, the Mediterranean diet has a very rich structure in terms of food. In the Mediterranean diet, where vegetables and seafood come to the fore, there are red meat, poultry products, dairy products, red wine, cereals, nuts and any raw, unprocessed product.
There is no single way to apply the Mediterranean diet. Mediterranean diet is a form of diet that is very easy to apply as long as only food is paid attention to. In addition, the Mediterranean diet requires people to lead an active life and exercise daily.
The only point you need to be aware of when applying the Mediterranean diet is food. Below we list the foods that can be eaten safely while applying the Mediterranean diet:
What to Eat: Vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, breads, fish and seafood, olive oil, spices and herbs.
What you need to eat in a controlled way: Poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt.
From time to time you can eat: Red meat.
What You Should Not Eat: Sweetened beverages, sugary drinks, processed meat products, refined grains, refined oils, and other processed foods.
Mediterranean type nutrition is shaped by foods that are abundant in the cuisines of the countries around the Mediterranean, and these foods stand out with their health benefits. For example, omega-3 fatty acids found in fish products such as salmon, sardine and tuna in the Mediterranean diet are essential for the body and brain and reduce the risk of many diseases.
In another example, it is observed that green leafy vegetables, one of the most important elements of the Mediterranean diet, have a positive effect on blood clotting and bone health with the vitamin K they contain. Olive oil, which we can see as a fixture of the Mediterranean diet, is another important source since it can both act as an antioxidant and reduce bad cholesterol.
Water is the main beverage of Mediterranean cuisine. The Mediterranean diet is also a mild diet for 1 glass of red wine a day. However, it would be more correct for people with alcohol problems to avoid drinking wine. Coffee and tea are on the Mediterranean diet, provided they are sugar-free. High sugar juices should not be consumed too much.
It is Weak in terms of Processed Foods
The nutrients and ingredients closest to their natural state, olive oil, lentils and broad beans, fruits, vegetables, unrefined breakfast cereals and small amounts of animal products form the basis of this diet. Unlike sugary and processed foods in western countries, there are no syrups, preservatives, flavors in the Mediterranean diet. Natural sweeteners such as honey are often used for sweetening requests.
Another remarkable part of this diet besides herbal foods is the abundant consumption of fresh fish, cheese and yogurt. Healthy oils and healthy cholesterol can be taken from these products. Fish such as sardines, anchovies are frequently preferred in this diet.
Although most of the people around the Mediterranean are not vegetarians, heavy meat products and dishes are not very preferred. In this way, it becomes easier to lose weight, improve cholesterol and take omega-3 fatty acids.
It Helps you Lose Weight
If you want to lose weight without hunger and want to maintain a healthy weight level throughout your life, the Mediterranean diet is for you. This diet is both sustainable and naturally reduces fat intake, allowing you to consume nutrient-dense foods. In this diet, consumption of healthy fats is desirable and carbohydrates are restricted, but high-quality protein intake is also good.
Firstly, it is worth noting that the Mediterranean diet is not a strictly weight loss method. This is about gaining pretty healthy dietary habits. These habits regulate your weight and keep everything else that causes you to gain weight or even make you sick. In other words, the Mediterranean diet is useful not only for us, but for the whole family. It is useful to follow the basic principles of the food pyramid proposed by the WHO (World Health Organization).
The benefits of the Mediterranean diet are based on the substantial amount of healthy fat it provides. These are monounsaturated fats that come only from olive oil and fatty acids such as Omega 6. This diet does not contain animal protein as well as red meat. It is the richest diet in terms of antioxidants: it contains fruit, dried fruit, vegetables and legumes. It contains abundant fiber.
It is Good for Heart Health
Studies show that the traditional Mediterranean diet reduces mortality due to heart disease, accomplishing this with abundant omega-3 foods and monounsaturated fatty acids. The fact that olive oil is rich in alpha-linoleic acid shows that in many studies, the Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of cardiac death by 30% and decreases the risk of sudden cardiac death by 45%.
In another study, it was seen that the individuals who consume olive oil with sunflower oil can reduce their blood pressure much more than those who consume olive oil.
In this sense, olive oil is useful in lowering hypertension because it makes nitric oxide more available in the body, which allows the vessels to remain flexible and clean. Since the ones who follow the Mediterranean diet have high beneficial cholesterol levels, they do not cope with the problems caused by low cholesterol.
It Fights with Cancer
Many relationships have been found between the Mediterranean diet and cancer prevention, and this is because the balance between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids can be established, as well as the formation of an abundant fiber, antioxidant and polyphenol diet.
Herbal foods, especially vegetables and fruits, form the basis of the Mediterranean diet, which allows it to fight cancer in almost any way. Antioxidant ingredients prevent DNA damage and stop cell mutation, reduce inflammation and delay tumor development.
It is stated in many studies that olive oil can be a natural cancer treatment and reduces the risk of colon and intestinal cancer. It has a protective effect against cancer cells because it reduces inflammation, lowers oxidative stress and maintains blood sugar balance.
It Prevents and Treats Diabetes
Evidence suggests that the Mediterranean diet has anti-inflammatory properties, which is good in combating chronic inflammatory diseases. These ailments include metabolic syndrome and type-2 diabetes. Since the Mediterranean diet can control excess insulin, it has a preventive effect against diabetes.
This diet, which can manage blood sugar with healthy fatty acids, high-quality protein and low-sugar carbohydrates, provides more efficient burning of fats and offers a natural treatment against diabetes due to being rich in fresh products and oils.
Experts state that the classical Mediterranean diet is more fatty than the American diet, but poorer in terms of saturated fats. This diet includes 40% carbohydrates, 30% healthy fats and 30% quality proteins. This sensitive balance is sufficient to prevent weight gain and control hunger. In addition, insulin levels are also normalized and as a result, individuals are able to be comfortable, energetic and physically mobile.
It Improves Mood and Protects Cognitive Health
With the Mediterranean diet, Parkinson’s disease treatment can be provided, as well as good results against Alzheimer’s and dementia. These cognitive diseases occur as a result of the brain’s inability to get enough dopamine, and dopamine is an important hormone in body movements, mood management, and thought processing.
Healthy oils in olive oil and nuts fight anti-inflammatory ingredients in fruits and vegetables, age-related cognitive decline. These products prevent brain function damage caused by toxicity, free radicals, allergies, inflammations.
It Helps you Get Rid of Stress
The Mediterranean diet supports individuals to spend time in nature, provides good sleep and recommends eating healthy home cooked meals. In this sense, it eliminates stress and reduces inflammation. People living in this region love to spend time outside and in nature, they love to set up tables with their family and friends.
It should be noted that laughing, dancing, gardening and hobbies also occupy a large place in this lifestyle. Chronic stress kills quality of life and makes health worse.
Red wine has an important place in the Mediterranean diet and it is also known that consuming a small amount of red wine is a serious protector especially against heart diseases. Red wine is also thought to protect against obesity, hormone imbalances, fatigue, inflammation and weight gain.