Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet
Based on the dietary traditions of southern Italy, Greece and Crete circa 1960, the Mediterranean Diet has gained popularity in recent years thanks to a number of studies, which have linked it to better health. If you’ve been looking to trim your waistline and improve your overall well-being, learn why this particular diet makes a lot of sense.
Why You Should Consider it
A highly-sensible diet emphasizing fruits and vegetables, fish, olive oil, moderate wine consumption and other healthy fare, the Mediterranean Diet is ideal for maintaining a healthy weight. At the same, a growing body of research has shown that people who eat this diet exhibit fewer instances of chronic disease. Studies have also linked the Mediterranean Diet with a number of other health benefits, including:
- A healthier body fat index
- Reduced blood pressure
- Lower "bad" LDL cholesterol
- Decreased risk of heart disease
- Reduced risk of diabetes
- Reduced cancer risk
- Increased nutrition due to greater food diversity
- Fewer cravings due to feeling fuller
In addition to these major benefits, the Mediterranean Diet has also been linked to slower aging. In fact, researchers from Harvard Medical School found that people who ate this diet had longer cellular telomeres than people who ate a “Western” diet. Although more research is needed, this study indicates that a healthier diet can prolong the effects of aging, while also warding off potentially life-threatening diseases.
How to Incorporate it into Your Diet
Fortunately, you don't have to maintain strict adherence to the Mediterranean Diet to enjoy its many benefits. By incorporating just a few of the healthy foods found in the Mediterranean Diet food pyramid, you can make a noticeable impact in your overall health, while reducing your body mass and improving your overall well-being.