7 Benefits of a Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is not one of the so-called fad diets that are popular for a few years and then fade away. This is a diet that can be followed for a lifetime of healthy eating. It is touted as the healthiest diet in the world. It has been studied extensively and is backed by research that supports its benefits. Because it includes foods from all the major food groups, it offers dieters a well-balanced alternative diet program that has scientific evidence to back up its health claims. It emphasizes whole foods, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and healthy cereals. It is easy to understand and follow its approach to eating healthy, balanced meals that help fight disease.

This healthy diet is primarily based on the way of life and traditions of Greece and southern Italy. It became common knowledge in the 1950’s that people in those regions enjoyed lower rates of chronic illnesses that in any other part of the world. It was discovered that life expectancy was higher for the entire adult population. The scientific community noted that those who adhered to this diet enjoyed much better health outcomes. Many studies have concluded that because the Mediterranean diet is rich in health fats, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants it is known as one of the world’s healthiest diets.

It has been proven to help prevent many life-threatening diseases including coronary artery disease and autoimmune disorders. There are numerous health benefits to switching to the Mediterranean diet including improved cardio health and brain function. This diet encourages individuals to adapt to a style of eating that can help prevent major chronic diseases.

1. Helps Control Diabetes

Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in the world and health experts expect that in the next few decades one in three people will have the disease. Health professionals and educators are working to help patients recognize the value of early diagnosis and understanding of the risks associated with the disease. The American Diabetes Association recommends managing the A1 and cholesterol levels of diabetics. Health risks are less when the A1C levels are kept below seven percent.

People with Type 2 diabetes have successfully controlled their disease by following the Mediterranean diet. One study concluded that those on this diet were less likely to require diabetes medication to keep their blood sugar at healthy levels. The healthy food choices in this diet include those that are rich in monounsaturated fat and fiber, which have been proven to lower cholesterol and blood sugar in diabetic patients. The entire Mediterranean diet consists of whole grains, lean protein, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and olive oil. A 2016 study published in the American Journal of Medicine reported that diabetes patients who followed this diet lost an average of 9-22 pounds after a year or more. The study concluded that the Mediterranean diet is more effective than a low fat diet for losing and maintaining a healthy weight.