What is the Mediterranean Diet? Why does it have a history of promoting weight loss, heart and brain health, cancer prevention, and diabetes prevention and control?
Middle-aged women who follow a heart-healthy Mediterranean diet may live a healthier, longer life, a new study suggests. For the study, researchers evaluated the diet and medical records of more than 10,000 women.. The women were in their late 50s or early 60s between 1984 and 1986, and were free of major chronic diseases. About 15 years later, they again provided information on their diet and their health.
The Mediterranean diet is characterized by greater intake of [fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains] and fish; lower intake of red and processed meats; moderate intake of alcohol; higher amounts of [monounsaturated fats, mostly provided by olive oil from Mediterranean countries]; and lower amounts of [saturated fats]. Saturated fats are found in baked goods, fatty meats and other foods.
So what is the Mediterranean diet?
Fresh, healthy food. The staples of the Mediterranean diet include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, legumes, seafood, yogurt, olive oil, and small amounts of wine. Food should be eaten in season and locally grown, and Mediterranean dieters avoid processed food. The Mediterranean diet focuses on small portions of high-quality food. When food tastes delicious, a little is enough because your senses have been satisfied. And healthy fats like olive oil and nuts, which are staples of the Mediterranean diet, keep you feeling fuller longer than diets that restrict fat or forbid it altogether.