Adopting the methods of the old world are the best remedy for modern ailments. This is precisely what the Mediterranean Diet Plan does.
This modern nutritional recommendation is inspired by the traditional patterns followed in Greece, South Italy and Spain. This popular modern diet plan is recognized by UNESCO as a cultural heritage of Spain, Italy, Greece, Spain and Morocco.
The Mediterranean Diet Principle
This diet plan was introduced in 1945 by Ancel Keys. It gained popularity only during the 1990’s. This diet plan originated from the Seven Countries Study.
The basic principle followed by this plan is regulated consumption of different foods. The proportions of legumes, unrefined cereal, fruits and vegetables are high. The consumption of fish, dairy products, wine, meat and meat products is moderate.
A modern version of this diet plan was presented by Dr. Walter Willer of Harvard University. This is the most followed plan. He recommends food patterns typical of Crete and Southern Italy. This diet plan also recommends regular physical activity.
The diet should be abundant in plant foods. Desserts should be replaced by fruits. The primary source of fat must be olive oil. Poultry and fish must be moderated in the normal diet. Red meat should be consumed as little as possible. Wine should be limited to small amounts.
In this type of diet, the typical fat percentage is between 25% and 35%. The saturated fat percentage is less than 8%.
The use of olive oil is a typical characteristic of this diet plan. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats like oleic acid. These fats reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. The antioxidants in olive oil regulate cholesterol. They are responsible for the reduction of LDL cholesterol. Olive oil has anti inflammatory properties. It is effective against hyper-sensitivity.
The Mediterranean diet reinforces healthy food habits of the older times. The biggest advantage with this diet lies in the fact that it relies on a plant based diet. The foods recommended in this diet are extremely low in saturated fat. On the other hand they are rich in dietary fiber and monounsaturated fatty acids.
This diet also recommends food that is high in salt content. This includes cheese, salted fish and anchovies. These foods have many health benefits when consumed moderately.
The slight amount of wine included in this diet also has a purpose. With wine, you have the advantage of flavanoids and powerful antioxidants.
Research to Prove Results
There are various studies to back the effectiveness of this plan:
- According to a review conducted in 2011, the Mediterranean diet is effective in against cholesterol level and blood sugar.
- Extensive research conducted over 10 years had some astounding results. This diet plan resulted in 50% lowering of early death rates.
- A study was published in the “Archives of General Psychiatry” recently. It revealed that this diet plan reduced the possibility of depression.
For maximum, the Mediterranean diet should be accompanied by a good exercise routine. Adopt a healthy lifestyle and let this diet plan work its wonders on you.