Research on the health benefits of The Mediterranean Diet is mounting. “There’s pretty good evidence that the Mediterranean diet lowers stroke risk and perhaps cognitive decline, and other vascular conditions. There’s growing evidence linking the Mediterranean diet to weight control,” Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian says. A major factor behind the benefits of this diet may be its influence on inflammation and oxidative stress, which is at the root of chronic disease. The diet also is relatively high in total fat, but more than one-half of the fat comes from monounsaturated fats; the saturated fat levels are low. In addition, the dietary pattern’s high intake of whole plant foods boosts fiber, mineral, vitamin, and phytochemical levels.
The Mediterranean diet is characterized by a nutritional model that has remained constant over time and space, consisting mainly of olive oil, cereals, fresh or dried fruit and vegetables, a moderate amount of fish, dairy and meat, and many condiments and spices, all accompanied by wine or infusions, always respecting beliefs of each community. However, the Mediterranean diet (from the Greek diaita,or way of life) encompasses more than just food. It promotes social interaction, since communal meals are the cornerstone of social customs and festive events. It has given rise to a considerable body of knowledge, songs, maxims, tales and legends.
The system is rooted in respect for the territory and biodiversity, and ensures the conservation and development of traditional activities and crafts linked to fishing and farming in the Mediterranean communities which Soria in Spain, Koroni in Greece, Cilento in Italy and Chefchaouen in Morocco are examples. Women play a particularly vital role in the transmission of expertise, as well as knowledge of rituals, traditional gestures and celebrations, and the safeguarding of techniques.
There are already many proven benefits to following a Mediterranean diet, and now we can add another one: a new study of the dietary habits of about 1,000 people found that the high levels of monounsaturated fats found in a Mediterranean diet may help your smarts by protecting against small vessel damage in your brain. That benefit may help slow cognitive decline as well as prevent strokes.
Past studies have found that following a Mediterranean diet can help lower the risk of heart and eye complications, control your weight, and help you live longer, so there are more than a few good reasons to eat like you live overseas. Read on for five staples of the Mediterranean diet you should be eating.
The Mediterranean Diet is one of the most powerful diet plans on the planet. If you have ever wanted to experience natural health and weight loss throughout your entire life, consider the most powerful heart-healthy plan.