4 Health Benefits of Mediterranean Diet
Since the beginning of the modern world, Italians have had a longer life expectancy than other western countries. How are they doing it, you ask? The Mediterranean diet.
The Mediterranean diet is inspired by people’s eating habits who live in the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. The discovery of the diet’s health benefits can be attributed to Ancel Keys, an American physiologist who travelled to southern Italy in the 1950s. Since then, the Mediterranean diet’s popularity has grown amongst people looking to live a longer, healthier life.
If that didn’t convince you, we’ve compiled a list of 4 health benefits of mediterranean diet.
1 Mediterranean diet lowers risk of heart disease
An endless number of studies have been conducted over the past 20 years showing the diet to lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. The main reason for this is the monounsaturated fatty acids found in extra virgin olive oil, which is consumed in high amounts on the diet. These fatty acids lower cholesterol accumulation in the blood, improve the lining of blood vessels, and can help prevent blood clotting.
2 Helps with weight loss
One of the main reasons most people change their diet is to lose weight. In a study conducted by the American Journal of Medicine, the Mediterranean diet was the most effective for long term weight loss. In the study, it was compared to the low-fat diet, a low-carb diet, and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) diet. It was found that overall, people following the Mediterranean diet lost between 4 and 10 kilograms after one year.
3 It helps control and prevent type 2 diabetes
In recent years, the Mediterranean diet has begun to be prescribed by doctors to patience’s who suffer from type 2 diabetes as the diet has proven to improve insulin levels. A study conducted by the Annals of Internal Medicine observed people with type 2 diabetes for four years and found that only 56% of those who consumed a Mediterranean diet no longer needed diabetes medication.
4 Protects brain function and reduces frailty
If you’ve always wanted to live a longer and healthier life, then the Mediterranean diet is for you. A study conducted by BMJ found that people who ate only a Mediterranean diet had cells that varied from those who ate diets heavier in red meats and dairy products. Those who ate Mediterranean foods had longer telomeres (the part of DNA located at the end of chromosomes), which are linked to a longer life. Another reason that those in the Mediterranean live a healthier life is that the diet has been shown to improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.
The proof is in the pudding with the Mediterranean diet, and there’s a reason why it was voted as the best diet for 2020 by a panel of 25 health and nutrition professionals. Remember to always consult your doctor before making any significant changes to your diet.