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Five Reasons Why the Mediterranean Diet is a Healthy Choice in the 21st Century
If you are someone who has been searching for a solid diet, you may feel overwhelmed most of the time. In the 21st century it is nearly impossible for a person to turn on a television or open a newspaper without being bombarded with advertisements for a variety of different diet plans and products.
With the huge variety of diet plans, programs, supplements and aids on the market, it can seem nearly impossible to select a diet plan that will best meet your needs now and in the future. More importantly, it can be difficult to discern whether one or another of these various diet patterns is actually a healthy course to follow. In many cases, diets aren’t actually based on the fundamentals of healthy living.
As you move forward considering what type of diet plan or regimen will best serve your interests and improve your health in the future, you’ll want to take a look at the benefits that can be gained through the Mediterranean diet.
While there are multiple reasons why the Mediterranean diet is a healthy approach, there are five main reasons why the Mediterranean diet is a good choice.
1. The benefits of fruits, vegetables, fiber and whole grains
An important component of the Mediterranean diet includes regular consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. Medical experts and nutritionists universally agree that a person should eat between five and six servings of fresh fruits and vegetables (or steamed foods) on a daily basis.
People who adhere to the Mediterranean diet end up eating more than the minimum recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. As a result, nutritionists in different parts of the world have started recommending a Mediterranean-based diet to their clients. Similarly, doctors who consult with their patients about healthy eating practices often find themselves recommending the Mediterranean diet in this day and age.
In addition to fruits and vegetables, the Mediterranean diet includes healthy amounts of dietary fiber and whole grains. Fiber and whole grains have been shown to reduce the incidence of heart disease and some types of cancer.
2. The benefits of olive oil: avoid saturated fats
Some people have a fundamental misconception about the Mediterranean diet. These people have heard that the Mediterranean diet is high in fat. On one level, there is truth to the conception that the Mediterranean diet is higher in fat than other diet plans. A person following the Mediterranean diet gets about thirty percent of their daily calories from fat. (Most diets recommended calorie intake from fat at the rate of about thirteen to fifteen percent per day. However, these diets do involve ingesting animal fat.)
The vast majority of fat consumed by a person following the Mediterranean diet comes from olive oil. In other words, the fat in the Mediterranean diet isn’t the dangerous saturated fat that can cause disease, obesity, and other health problems. In fact, research has shown that there are a number of solid benefits to consuming olive oil, including a reduction in the risk of breast cancer incidence in women.
3. Dairy products in moderation
While moderate consumption of low-fat or fat-free dairy products may be beneficial in some cases, many people around the world rely on heavy creamers, eggs and other high-fat dairy products in their daily diets. The Mediterranean diet is low in dairy products. In fact, all dairy products included in the diet are low in fat. A person is considered an extremely heavy egg eater if they consume four eggs in one week.
4. Red meat in moderation
Very little red meat is included in the Mediterranean diet. When it comes to meat products, this diet is based on moderate amounts of lean poultry and fresh fish. As a result, people following the Mediterranean diet have lower levels of “bad” cholesterol and higher levels of “good” cholesterol.
Furthermore, thanks to the inclusion of lean and fresh fish in the diet, those who follow the Mediterranean diet enjoy the antioxidant benefits found in some oils and fish products.
5. A well-balanced dietary pattern
Ultimately, the Mediterranean diet is gaining acclaim from experts and adherents around the world because it is a balanced diet plan. Study after study shows that a balanced diet that is low in fat and includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats helps ensure total health and well-being.
The Mediterranean diet is a complete regimen for a healthy life. By following the rules of the Mediterranean diet, a person can enjoy improved well-being, a reduced risk of certain diseases and, in many cases, a longer life.
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