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The Mediterranean Diet

10 aspects of starting the Mediterranean diet

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If you want to change your eating habits, take advantage of the Mediterranean diet. Don’t miss reading this article. Here you will discover the basis of this diet.

Have you heard about the benefits of starting the Mediterranean diet? This cultural heritage undoubtedly has habits that can benefit us all.

This cuisine is famous all over the world and is considered by many to be the healthiest diet available.

If you are determined to change your eating habits, read on to learn how to start the Mediterranean diet.

The benefits of the Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet has become one of the most famous in the world. This is thanks to its many health benefits. Below we list the main ones:

1. Starting the Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of heart disease

A study conducted at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health concluded that women following the Mediterranean diet had a 25% lower cardiovascular risk twelve years later.

These habits are associated with lower amounts of bad cholesterol (LDL).

2. The Mediterranean diet can promote longevity

According to data from an investigation conducted by the  Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Athens Medical School, these eating habits have been associated with longer lifespans.

3. This diet can prevent cognitive decline

A 2015 study indicates that people who follow the Mediterranean diet show improvements in their cognitive functions.

Other researchers have found that good eating habits can slow down some of the changes that take place in the brain in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

4. The Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of cancer

In 2017, researchers found evidence showing that this diet can reduce the risk of cancer, especially colorectal cancer, or rectal cancer. They also noted a small decrease in the incidence of breast cancer.

How to start with the Mediterranean diet

The first step is to learn the basics of the diet, i.e. which foods make up this diet and make it one of the healthiest in the world.

Below we list them:

1. Olive oil is the preferred fat

Olive oil makes the Mediterranean diet rich in vitamin E, monounsaturated fatty acids, and antioxidants. It is used to flavor salads, fry, spread on toast, and anything else that may need fat, such as dressing.

If you are starting the Mediterranean diet, do not use butter, but replace it with olive oil.

2. Daily consumption of food from a vegetable source

Vegetables, fruits, legumes, and nuts consumed on a daily basis are full of minerals, vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. According to the food pyramid of the Mediterranean diet, all main meals should include:

  • 1-2 fruits
  • More than 2 servings of raw or cooked vegetables. Ideally, you should eat at least one raw portion every day.

3. Daily intake of grains

It is recommended that 1-2 servings of grains, whole grains, should be included in the form of rice, pasta, bread, couscous, or other types in each meal.

The carbohydrates in these foods provide the energy you need throughout the day.

4. Choose fresh and seasonal foods

Buying and consuming seasonal, local foods allows you to benefit from their nutrients, flavors, and aromas. Choose less processed foods that are preferably seasonal.

It is a useful choice that is also more environmentally friendly.

5. Moderate consumption of red meat

Due to the health problems caused by animal fat, it is recommended to consume processed and red meat in moderation. The Mediterranean diet is low in saturated fat.

6. Healthy daily consumption of dairy products

Daily consumption of yogurt and cheese is part of the Mediterranean diet. They are a  source of essential minerals,  such as calcium and phosphorus, vitamins and proteins of high biological value.

7. Eat fish twice a week and eggs 3-4 times

To start the Mediterranean diet, it is important that you reduce your intake of red meat and instead eat fish, as it is a source of omega-3 fatty acids. Also make sure to eat eggs, as they are a good source of protein.

8. Keep the consumption of baked goods and sweets very low

This does not mean that you have to completely eliminate sweets from your diet. However, remember that you must eat them in moderation. It is recommended that you do it less than twice a week.

9. Choose water

Water is a cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet and should be your primary drink. Wine is also part of the diet, but it is only healthy when consumed in moderation.

10. Get plenty of exercises if you want to start the Mediterranean diet

A good diet is not the only thing you need to stay healthy. Don’t forget to exercise on a regular basis to take full advantage of this diet.

As you can see, you have to make some changes in your habits to start the Mediterranean diet. Talk to a doctor or nutritionist if you have questions about it.

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