There’s a good chance that you’ve heard of the Mediterranean diet. It is often touted as lowering the risk of depression, heart disease, and dementia.
Your doctor might even recommend it to you if you suffer from chronic illnesses like high blood pressure or heart disease.
There are various variations of the Mediterranean diet because of some modest differences in the traditional diets of many nations bordering the Mediterranean Sea.
A large portion of the Mediterranean diet consists of a plant-based eating regimen that calls for consuming olive oil, vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes, herbs, nuts, and whole grains each day.
Meaty products are consumed in lower amounts, with seafood and fish being the favored sources of animal protein.
In this article, we will be looking at some of the many benefits associated with the Mediterranean diet.
Benefits Of The Mediterranean Diet
The following are some of the benefits of the Mediterranean diet:
Helps In Weight Loss
The Mediterranean diet is often compared to a standard low-calorie meal plan for weight loss. It is packed with essential nutrients as well as super delicious.
It appears that the Mediterranean diet could lead to ketosis, a metabolic state wherein the body burns down reserved fat for energy when the availability of glucose is insufficient to do so.
This might result in weight loss along with consuming fewer calories overall as ketone-like compounds grow as a result of ketosis.
Mediterranean diets help to reduce visceral fat and body weight, but it can be challenging to maintain the same diet over extended periods.
It can also be challenging to get people to cut back on their meat-eating habits while on this diet, and because variables like diet quality, length of fasting, and protein intake can affect results.
Helps In Having Lower Amounts Of Insulin
Your cells can absorb glucose from the carbohydrates you eat thanks to the insulin hormone. Your sugar levels increase when you eat high carbohydrate foods, and to a lesser extent, protein.
When sugar levels rise, insulin intervenes in lowering them by supplying glucose to the cells to store as a reserve fuel known as glycogen or for energy.
However, high insulin levels in the body, which could occur when you consume excessive amounts of carbohydrates, can impede fat reduction.
A resistance to insulin leads to elevated blood sugar, which over time may progress to type two diabetes.
A Mediterranean diet helps you in maintaining lower insulin levels. Our bodies can easily access stored fat for fuel if our insulin levels are low.
If you have diabetes and are on medication, it’s crucial to discuss your Mediterranean diet specifics with your doctor because your medications might need to be further monitored more carefully.
Helps To Control Cholesterol Levels
People always associate high cholesterol with high-fat meals. As we’ve been told since childhood that a high-fat diet is bad for the heart and a low-fat diet is good, it’s a natural response.
Fat is not something to be dreaded, but rather sugary diets and processed carbohydrates are the actual causes of obesity and cardiovascular disease.
Many people who follow a Mediterranean diet have their HDL levels rise while their triglycerides and total cholesterol drop.
Sometimes individuals might experience an increase in their cholesterol levels while following a Mediterranean diet.
This is because those individuals may be suffering from some illness and therefore could have rapid weight losses, whether from water loss or body fat.
This might lead to a short-term, transient increase in their cholesterol levels, which will come down again with the help of a Mediterranean diet once they recover.
As a result, it’s commonly advised to hold off testing your cholesterol until 6 months after beginning a Mediterranean diet or until your rapid weight loss has stopped.
Improves Brain Health
The Mediterranean dietary approach to your brain’s cognitive function is known to improve your overall mental health, along with maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and quitting smoking.
As you get older, both your brain and body go through natural changes. There are certain ways you can employ to assist in memory loss and also reduce your risk of getting dementia or Alzheimer’s.
People who eat a Mediterranean diet have a lower risk of developing mental illnesses related to cognitive loss as they age, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
There’s a direct association between the lessened risk of Alzheimer’s and fish eating. Your brain benefits from those beneficial fats found in fish, too.
Since polyphenols could affect brain neurotransmitters that have the properties of antidepressants, Mediterranean diets may be excellent for people suffering from depression.
The ability of the brain to learn various new information, mend old connections, and make new ones is known as brain plasticity, which is also greatly enhanced by Mediterranean diets.
Improves Acne Induced By PCOS
Even if Mediterranean diets have been proposed as a potential treatment for skin problems and acne, genetics still have a significant role in this condition.
Although there is not sufficient evidence of less occurrence of acne because of Mediterranean diets, there has been an investigation into how this diet affects polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and hormonal balancing, in general.
Skin problems, acne, excessive hair, lethargy, hormonal imbalances, and insulin resistance are common symptoms for PCOS-suffering women.
The effect of a Mediterranean diet on acne, if successful, is vividly visible and even the outward manifestation of acne appears to diminish.
Furthermore, the Mediterranean diet has also been shown to help in fighting inflammation, which in turn helps to reduce the swollen and red pustules (the inflammation linked to acne).
Lowers The Risk Of Cancer
Despite the wide variety of risk factors in cancer malignancies, a key preventative measure continues to be a healthy diet, and the Mediterranean diet is one such diet.
The Mediterranean diet is often suggested as an additional treatment for people with certain types of cancer who are already receiving radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
One in ten Americans might receive a cancer diagnosis at some point in their lives. Cancer is the second most common cause of mortality throughout the world.
The Mediterranean diet, in particular, is a means of preventing major illnesses like cancer.
Increased adherence to this diet is also associated with a lower chance of dying from complications arising out of cancer.
Liver, stomach, lung, neck, head, and bladder cancer are few that can be significantly prevented from regularly consuming this diet.
May Help In Arthritis
The effects of your food intake on arthritis symptoms might be both favorable and unfavorable. Arthritis is an auto-immune condition that results in swelling and joint pain.
A Mediterranean diet might help people with arthritis minimize the risk of disability and fractures and experience less inflammation, as per the study.
The Mediterranean diet’s capacity to control inflammation results from it mainly consisting of anti-inflammatory foods like olive oil, fish, and berries, while restricting or avoiding pro-inflammatory items like most dairy products, sugar, and red meat.
Omega-3 acids, which have properties of anti-inflammation, are abundant in the Mediterranean diet and could help to ease the symptoms related to arthritis.
The Mediterranean diet also has many foods rich in magnesium, beta carotene, and fiber, all of which help to lower inflammatory markers.
May Help In Reducing Blood Pressure
Blood pressure may be lowered by eating a Mediterranean diet as several people worldwide appreciate how their blood pressure gets controlled after following this diet.
Altering one’s lifestyle along with eating the required amounts of Mediterranean cuisine is excellent for lowering the prevalence of hypertension.
It is essential to eat a diet high in healthy fats, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits since they include all the elements necessary for regulating blood pressure, and this diet are one of them.
This diet helps to make your blood arteries dilate and provide smooth blood flow.
Additionally, the high fiber content of vegetables and fruits keeps you full for a very long period.
May Help In Improving Heart Health
Following a Mediterranean-based diet may decrease your chance of having another heart attack.
Most essential dietary modifications that can support maintaining a healthy heart are naturally found in traditional Mediterranean diets.
A Mediterranean diet is high in wholegrain cereals, oily fish like sardines, vegetables, and fruits, with limited amounts of lower-fat dairy and meat, best known for heart health.
The substitution of monounsaturated fats like olive oil for saturated fats like butter is one of the diet’s more prominent features.
You could try basing your meals on starchy carbs like wholegrain pasta and bread while also eating lots of salads, which should include tomatoes.
Ensure you consume a range of protein sources, such as pulses, beans, and fish, rather than solely relying on meat.
Additionally, you should consume fewer items, like butter and dairy, in your diet. Also, increase your consumption of vegetable oils as they are a good source of unsaturated fat.
Among them, olive oil is the most well-known vegetable oil to be used in the Mediterranean.
Many people attempt to lose weight simply by fasting, but this is not something you can do indefinitely, and also, the plan is not sustainable. Therefore, you risk gaining weight back.
Because of the possibility of making you eat fewer calories, a Mediterranean diet could aid in weight loss.
This is especially true if you choose a well balanced diet and eat reasonable portions while following this diet.
The Mediterranean diet is an excellent form of practicing healthy dietary habits. The effectiveness of this diet in managing chronic illnesses is something most people need in current times.
Consult your medical team or your doctor before beginning a Mediterranean diet regimen if you’re considering it.
Any diet alteration could be risky if you have particular medical conditions or are using specific medications.
A medical professional might assess your medical background and offer advice.
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Alisha Matthew has been a practicing nutritionist since 2016. She holds a master’s degree in nutrition from the University of IOWA. She is a staunch believer in improving the human health index by educating people about nutrition and the importance of nutrition in leading a healthy and happy life. Her long-term goal is to keep educating people on general health and keep herself updated with the latest trends in the field of health.