Mediterranean diet despite its title is not really a diet, but the type of food, that typical for the inhabitants of the Mediterranean region
Mediterranean type of food has attracted attention of doctors and nutritionists in the second half of the last century, when it became clear that, despite the high fat content in the diet of inhabitants of this region, they have much lower rates of obesity and cardiovascular disease than the inhabitants of such Anglo-Saxon countries such as the U.S. , United Kingdom and Canada. At that time the development of these diseases primarily has been associated with an excess of fat in the diet. Then the so-called French paradox (above figures were obtained by comparison with indicators of disease among residents of the south of France) has initiated numerous studies of dietary habits of residents of the Mediterranean.
Impact on the health of the Mediterranean diet
Various studies show that people who adhere to the basic principles of the Mediterranean diet have the following advantages:
- significantly increases the likelihood of becoming a long-lived
- by 33% lower risk of cardiovascular diseases
- by 24% lower risk of cancer
- reduced likelihood of overweight and diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease
Scientists regularly attempted to identify some of the products that form the basis of the diet, to explain such a strong medical effect. On the role of wonderful product at different times pretend: olive oil, fatty fish and seafood, natural spices, red wine, plenty of vegetables and fruits, etc. Studies have confirmed a high level of usefulness of each of the products. But ultimately it was proved that the best result reached only if a person has adopted all the food habits of the Mediterranean diet
Principles of the Mediterranean diet
Despite the huge difference in culture, religion, ethnicity and food traditions in all 16 countries of the Mediterranean, scholars have identified the basic principles common to all of them:
Mediterranean diet foods
The basis of food are the carbohydrates with a low glycemic index (bread and pasta made from durum wheat, pasta; brown rice and other grains) and legumes (lentils, beans, soy beans, peas). Plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables: tomatoes, cabbage, potatoes, zucchini, eggplant, greens, onions, garlic, citrus fruits, grapes, persimmons, etc. For cooking is used virgin olive oil (for frying and for salads and other dishes)
In the food you can add large amounts of spices (thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil, marjoram, tarragon, etc.)
Regular consumption of oily fish and seafood
Meat can be eaten almost every day, but preference is given to poultry and eggs. Cheese and dairy products should be low-fat,
emphasis should be directed to dairy products (yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, goat’s milk) and feta cheese, mozzarella
It Is allowed moderate consumption of red wine, which contains significant amounts of antioxidants. its is usually drunk together with other food
Dietary habits of the Mediterranean diet
- Breakfast is hearty and consists essentially of carbohydrates. Dinner mostly proteinaceous and not so plentiful
- In food necessary to observe moderation
- Each meal contains vegetables. Fruits (at least 3 pcs per day) are used as a dessert after a meal or between meals
- The emphasis on the use of fresh local seasonal produce
- Sweets are rarely used and only natural (honey, jam). Preference is given to fruits.
- The food is prepared from natural products. The use of refined foods reduced to a minimum
- Active Lifestyle
- Nutritional balance
- Cereal, rice, cereals
- Fresh vegetables (tomatoes, eggplant, peppers) and fruits (grapes, persimmons, apples, peaches, pears)
- Olive oil and olives, and fatty fish
Fish and seafood, legumes, meat, poultry, eggs, cheese and low-fat dairy products
The Mediterranean diet is a fully balanced nutritional system. It is not surprising that diet is recommended by the World Health Organization, and not so long ago, it added to the list of intangible UNESCO World Heritage.
It should be understood that the Mediterranean diet is not a short term diet. This is power supply system. In the long term the diet will allow you to lose weight, and significantly reduce the risk of most diseases of the XX century. It is perfect for people wanting to qualitatively change their eating habits and lifestyle in order to maintain and promote health.