The Mediterranean Diet has gained notoriety in recent years, thanks to studies that have linked it to trimmer waistlines and improved health. If you’ve been looking for effective ways to improve your physique and overall well-being, learn why this popular diet makes so much sense.
What Is the Mediterranean Diet?
Inspired by the traditions of southern Crete, Italy, and Greece circa 1960, the Mediterranean Diet emphasizes moderate wine consumption, fish, fruits, vegetables, olive oil and, other healthy fares.
When practiced regularly, this highly-sensible diet generally results in healthier weights. A number of studies also indicate that people who eat this type of diet tend to enjoy longer lifespans while exhibiting fewer instances of chronic disease.
Research on the Mediterranean Diet
Research has also linked this diet with other health benefits, including:
- Healthier BMIs (body fat indexes)
- Lower blood pressure
- Lower LDL “bad” cholesterol
- Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
- Lower risk of diabetes
- Improved nutrition due to enhanced dietary diversity
- Improved energy levels
- Fewer cravings
What About Aging & the Mediterranean Diet?
In addition to reduced instances of chronic illness, the Mediterranean Diet could also play a role in preventing premature aging. According to a study conducted at Harvard Medical School, people who ate so-called “Western” diets had shorter telomeres than people who ate Mediterranean Diets.
Compound structures at the end of chromosomes, telomeres appear to shorten in response to the damaging effects of aging. With this in mind, the Harvard study appears to suggest that a healthier diet could prolong the negative effects of aging, while also preventing life-threatening diseases.
How to Incorporate into Your Life
It’s not hard or expensive to incorporate this diet into your lifestyle. Start by replacing processed foods with plant-based foods, such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, and nuts. Limit red meat to no more than a few times every month. Replace butter with olive oil, and eat poultry and fish at least two times per week.
Fortunately, you don’t have to strictly adhere to the Mediterranean Diet to enjoy the benefits. By replacing traditional western cuisine with just a few of the foods found in the Mediterranean Diet pyramid, you can significantly improve your health, while also trimming your waistline.
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