Is Mediterranean Diet Good For You? What You Need to Know
Let’s face it. We all love to eat. We love it so much that sometimes we forget that too much is bad. Studies have shown that obesity and health complications have risen over the last decade because of the amount of food we eat and the sedentary lifestyles we live. Well, I mean most of us. Normally we put the blame on advertising and marketing for doing a good job selling glorious food, but we are also to be blamed for the success. Why, it wouldn’t be much if we hadn’t given in to the sales talk, would we?
Since the time we realized that we’re putting on more weight than we’re shedding, people have devised programs to lose the unwanted pounds. Aside from the required physical activities that need to be done, diet after diet after diet have been devised to suit the ever-changing needs of the always-hungry man. Some promise weight loss in a blink of an eye; while some, over a few weeks. But one of the most popular – and apparently effective – diets in town is the Mediterranean diet. Is it good? Is it bad? Read more to find out.
What is the Mediterranean diet?
According to some websites, the Mediterranean diet is a modern nutritional recommendation that is based from the traditional diet of people from Crete. In 2010, UNESCO recognized the diet as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Italy, Greece, Spain and Morocco because of its great contribution to the world. It consists of the following characteristics:
• High consumption of fruits, vegetables, bread and cereals, potato, beans, nuts and seeds.
• High consumption of virgin olive oil as it is an important source of monounsaturated fat.
• Dairy products, fish and poultry in little to moderate amounts, with as little red meat as possible.
• Eggs are consumed almost 4 times a week.
• Moderate consumption of wine.
• Traditional Mediterranean desserts during special occasions.
What are the health benefits to be gained from the Mediterranean diet?
The health benefits are credited to factors such as physical fitness, small portions, freshness, balance and pleasure in food. The high amount of vegetables and fruits in the Mediterranean diet has been shown to lower the risk of certain conditions such as heart failure and cancer, and lowers the risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
The high amount of dietary fiber has also contributed to healthy weight loss, with the proper physical exercise, of course. It’s helped people live a stress-free long life especially in the Mediterranean countries.
How will you follow a Mediterranean diet?
You don’t have to go to the Mediterranean to reap the benefits of this popular diet. You can, however, adopt the lifestyle that has contributed to their long happy lives. Mediterranean people love leisure dining. If you’ve noticed, they take their time eating food and drinking their wine. It’s one of their secrets; as the slower you eat your food, it gets more digested in your tummy. You only need to savor every morsel and taste of it.
You can follow the Mediterranean diet by simply making the right choices in food. When you go to the supermarket or to the grocery store, choose the foods that you know would help you inside and out. Vegetables, fruits, olive oil, a little bit of wine, fish and poultry. Surely it isn’t that hard to eat just that, is it?
The quantity of food should always be balanced with physical activity. That’s what they do in Mediterranean countries.
How much will it cost you?
Well, there aren’t supposed to be any large transactions needed for this diet. You don’t have to pay for a book or a coach. It’s supposedly free! All you need is a truckload of discipline, a trip to the market to buy the freshest fruits and vegetables, and physical activity.
But what are the disadvantages of following the Mediterranean diet?
There are some disadvantages in the Mediterranean diet. There’s always a bit of difficulty in getting the freshest foods such as fruits and vegetables especially during winter, unless you have a farm right at your backyard. The cost of fish and olive oil is also a matter than needs to be considered. It’s not a concrete diet plan such as South Beach or Atkins. And it also requires more time to prepare the meals when compared to meal replacement diet plans such as SlimFast and Jenny Craig.
It is always important to weigh the pros and the cons of the diet plan you are going to adopt appropriately before starting. As always, it’s best to consult a dietician so that you may be able to weigh the factors better before starting in this diet plan or any other diet plan today.
Like any other diet, it is important to remember that it should always be accompanied by light to moderate physical activity. This would help your body, really. Everything should be taken in moderation and always keep yourself focused on your goal and that is to live a healthy lifestyle minus the unwanted pounds. So yeah, it’s definitely worth a try, don’t you think?