When looking for a healthier diet, it is common to search for different types of diets to achieve a short-term goal. However, it is possible to lead a life without restrictions on meals and still see results. Known as the Mediterranean diet, this food proposal encourages the consumption of all food groups.
But calm down; that doesn’t mean everything is released! The Mediterranean diet emphasizes healthier foods, which guarantee benefits for the body; that is, it is a food organization for you to change your lifestyle and still achieve your goals.
If you are interested in the subject, see below a little more about the Mediterranean diet, its characteristics, foods, and the advantages of adopting this style!
Discover The Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet is a food style that emerged in the 1950s after studies by researcher Ancel Keys. When analyzing the habits of countries in the Mediterranean Sea region (Greece, Italy, southern Spain, and southern France), it was possible to verify that people from the places above consumed a lot of fat.
Adopting a diet makes it possible to change your lifestyle and improve your metabolism, so you will have more energy and healthy habits and still maintain well-being with a balanced diet.
It’s important to remember that the Mediterranean diet doesn’t tell you what to eat and what to avoid. It encourages the consumption of natural, wholesome, and healthy foods to keep the body in harmony and balance.
The Mediterranean diet is characterized by being a healthy type of diet that emphasizes natural and fresh foods. The menu includes foods such as:
- Olive oil.
- Whole grains.
- Among others.
It is based on the flavors and traditions of the Mediterranean region. Thus, industrialized and ultra-processed foods are left aside, not least because the objective is to create more awareness of meals and reduce the risk of degenerative diseases, cancer and diabetes.
It is common to lose weight when adopting the Mediterranean diet, as it will naturally improve metabolism, which promotes weight loss. However, it is worth noting that to achieve this goal, combining food with physical exercise is necessary.
There is no basic consumption guideline, therefore, to be successful with the Mediterranean diet, seek support from a nutrition professional to eat well and with quality!
Here are ten food groups that may be on your menu if you follow the Mediterranean diet:
An option rich in monounsaturated fatty acid, olive oil helps increase HDL (good cholesterol), so it’s a great choice that favors heart health!
Mainly responsible for providing energy to the body, whole foods are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. In addition to gradually releasing energy for the body, it is possible to fight constipation with foods from this group. We have:
- Brown rice.
- Oats and derivatives.
- Whole meal flour (and foods derived from it).
- Whole meal pasta.
Other foods that provide energy for the body, whole grains, are also sources of fiber, vitamins, nutrients, and minerals. However, it is essential to emphasize that, in the Mediterranean diet, cereals must be of quality!
You can consume:
Herbs And Spices
A healthy diet also needs to be tasty! Herbs and spices ensure flavor and aromas, and most contain antioxidants. You must invest in the following:
Fruits And Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables cannot be missing, so invest in the following options:
- Green leaves.
- Roots and stems.
Legumes are great for lowering LDL (bad cholesterol), fighting constipation, and preventing cardiovascular disease. The Mediterranean diet has the following legumes on the menu:
It’s worth noting that legumes are great for improving metabolism and strengthening muscles, so make sure to include this food group!
Milk And Derivatives
Sources of calcium that help prevent osteoporosis, milk, and derivatives are essential items that cannot be missing from the Mediterranean diet. Here, you must consume:
- Natural yogurts.
- White cheese.
- Cottage cheese.
- Among others.
Sources of good fats, oilseeds help reduce cholesterol, have antioxidant action, and are still sources of vitamins. Consume the following options:
Fish are sources of omega-3, help reduce cardiovascular problems and still have anti-inflammatory action. You can invest in the following foods:
Finally, red wine is a permitted alcoholic beverage and should be consumed in moderation! If finished with balance, it is possible to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, for example.
Foods To Avoid On The Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet focuses on healthy foods, so the less processed, the better. Below are some options that should be avoided to maintain health, quality of life, and well-being.
- Ready-to-eat or frozen foods.
- Ultra-processed foods.
- Refined sugar.
- Meats with a high-fat content (bacon, sausage, and others).
- Refined grains.
- Fast foods.
- Refined oils.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of The Mediterranean Diet
To understand the Mediterranean diet with more caution and awareness, pointing out the advantages and disadvantages of adopting the dietary style is more effective than mentioning the benefits or harms. For that, see how this diet will work in your life!
Advantages Of The Mediterranean Diet
- Cardiovascular protection.
- Stimulates cognitive activity.
- Prevents the formation of tumors.
- Decreases the risk of chronic diseases.
- Improves mood.
- Economical and sustainable diet.
- They have no nutritional deficiencies.
- It helps in controlling body weight.
Disadvantages Of The Mediterranean Diet
- Some servings of food can be high in calories.
- Wine consumption needs to be moderate.
- Excessive salt (if you combine cheese with olives and derivatives).
- Medium difficulty in adapting to food.
Mediterranean Diet And Heart Health
Keeping your heart healthy is essential, so if you prioritize well-being and want to avoid long-term problems, it’s necessary to regulate your diet and incorporate good practices into your routine.
The Mediterranean diet is an ally in the fight against cardiovascular diseases, so much so that the discovery and definition of this dietary model took this point into account.
Also Read: Ketogenic Diet: What Is It? Find Out Here!