People are becoming more aware of how healthy eating can make a difference in your energy level, fitness, and appreciation for life. It’s happening everywhere, including Totowa, NJ. One diet people often ask about is the Mediterranean diet. They want to know if it has health benefits and whether they should choose it. The Mediterranean diet is loosely based on the food that people traditionally eat in countries that border the Mediterranean Sea.
The healthy fat, which includes omega-3 fatty acids, from fish and nuts in the Mediterranean diet gives it heart-healthy qualities. Studies show that people who followed a Mediterranean Diet lowered the risk of heart disease. Other studies showed that the Mediterranean diet could reduce the risk of stroke, death from a cardiovascular event, and the risk of heart attack by approximately 30%. Four things make this diet truly heart healthy. Less animal protein is used and meals are developed around beans, vegetables, and whole grains. Fish is the protein source at least twice a week. Olive oil substitutes for butter or other types of oil in food preparation. Fruit is considered dessert.
A recent review in 2016 looked at 12 studies that focused on whether the Mediterranean diet could slow the progression of diseases that lead to cognitive decline, such as Alzheimer’s. One diet, the MIND diet, a combination of the Mediterranean and DASH diet, proved to slow cognitive decline significantly. Instead of focusing on fruit in general, the MIND diet focuses on berries. As mentioned previously, the Mediterranean diet also reduces the risk of stroke.
The Mediterranean diet is a healthy way to eat. Like most healthy diets that don’t include processed or fried foods or foods with added sugar, the Mediterranean diet can help you lose weight. It also reduces the risk of abdominal obesity. It causes slow but consistent weight loss. The weight loss, reduced sweets, healthy fat and protein, and increased vegetables and whole grains in the diet also help prevent type 2 diabetes or manage it. A Mediterranean lifestyle includes more exercise, which is also beneficial for preventing and managing type 2 diabetes. A review of several studies found it reduced the risk of diabetes by almost 20%.
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