The Mediterranean diet is a constantly praised nutrition plan that many recommend, but why is it particularly healthy?
The Mediterranean Diet
A Mediterranean diet is typically characterized by having a particularly high consumption of vegetables & fruits and a moderate consumption of proteins. The diet consists mostly of fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains, and a large reduction of animal-based products such as dairy, eggs, chicken, fish, beef and pork.
It also encourages the replacement of salt with herbs and spices for food flavoring, and replacing butter and margarine with healthier options, such as canola oil and olive oil. It also recommends moderate drinking of red wine.
Diets in many developed countries such as the UK and the US, unfortunately tend to be comprised of foods full of saturated fats, such as pies, pastries, pizza, burgers and fries. The Mediterranean diet focuses more on monounsaturated fats, like plant oils, oily fish, nuts and seeds.
So Why is it Healthy?
According to nutrition studies, the Mediterranean diet helps improve heart health. It has been linked to lower levels of “bad cholesterol” or “low-density lipoproteins” (LDLs), which is are more likely to form deposits around your artery walls.
This buildup is what usually causes high blood pressure and even a heart attack or a stroke. A major study has shown that the diet is linked to a reduced overall mortality risk as well as mortality through cardiovascular issues. Many studies have also found a correlation between the diet and reduced risk of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and cancer. However, it is important to note that correlational links do not necessarily prove a causational link. More studies are needed in order to determine that the Mediterranean diet directly causes reduced disease risk, but it wouldn’t hurt to try it.
The diet also helps with your digestive health, as it includes a lot of fibre through its high intake of fruits and vegetables. Fibre helps the food make its way through your digestive tract, and can keep many digestive issues at bay.