If you are looking to lose weight and have a healthy heart then the Mediterranean diet might be best one for you. It combines healthy eating, along with the very flavorful olive oil, some red wine and other foods that are the traditions in the various countries that border the Mediterranean Sea.
It is a fact that most diets created for heart health include the eating of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and do not allow for too many unhealthy fats. The Mediterranean diet allows for all that plus some other subtle variations in particular food items that really reduce the risk of heart disease.
Benefits Of The Mediterranean Diet
It is a fact that the people that live in the Mediterranean region have markedly lower numbers of heart disease and hypertension when compared to the numbers in the United States and other parts of the world.
Also, there is a lot of research that proves the effectiveness of the Mediterranean diet in reducing the risks of heart disease.
A study followed more than 1.5 million healthy adults and showed that those who followed the Mediterranean diet had a marked reduction in risk of death from heart disease, as well as, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans supports and recommends this diet wholeheartedly, as it is a healthy way to eat, maintain weight and keep the heart healthy. The other perk is that this is a diet that is suitable for the entire family, adults and kids alike.
What Is Eaten On The Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean Diet is mainly based on eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, fish (for Omega-3 fatty acids and Iodine), lesser portions of white proteins and very little red meat.
High fiber foods are also recommended, such as whole grains. A moderate amount of wine is allowed with the Mediterranean diet plan, and it is a fact that medical research proved a long time ago that moderate consumption of wine is good for heart health and prevents hypertension.
In contrast to many other diets, healthy fats can be consumed liberally, as long as the fat is unsaturated oil, preferably olive oil.
The other difference between this diet and others is there is no portion control, you can eat all allowed foods as much as you want. The key is to eat the right percentage from each of the food groups on the plan.
Since the Mediterranean region is a hot one, the people there drink lots of water, so this diet follows their example and stipulates at least 8 glasses per day.
Nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day is the recommended amount, and since American nutritional guidelines advocate six, this is a marked difference between the Mediterranean approach and our nutritional guidelines.
The consumption of that much fruit is definitely a plus as it contains a lot of fiber, which helps to keep you full and greatly aids in the digestive process, so it has detox benefits too.
Should You Try The Mediterranean Diet?
All in all this diet is very medically sound and based on the massive amounts of research that have been done it does work. It keeps you fit, healthy and prevents various diseases, the most important of which is the ones associated with the heart.
One word of caution about this diet is the fact that it allows for eating unlimited amounts of whole grains. This can be problematic as these are insulin triggers, meaning they raise blood sugar levels. Eating too much of these runs the risk of diabetes, especially for those with genetic risks of diabetes and those already overweight or obese.