How To Apply Mediterranean Diet for Your Health
Most of us have heard that the Mediterranean diet is healthy. But what is the Mediterranean diet? Back before the nineteen sixties researchers have noted that people in countries like Greece and Italy were exceptionally healthy compared Americans. They were noted to have a lower risk for heart attacks, strokes, type two diabetes and lived longer. Numerous studies have consistently confirmed these observations. For thousands of years people along coast of the the of the Mediterranean sea have been following this dietary pattern.
How Do I Incorporate the Mediterranean Diet Plan for My Use
First of all one has to understand the basic principles of the diet. In general, the diet is composed of more plant based products and research have resulted in these general guidelines based on their findings. Graphically shown in the above Mediterranean Food pyramid.
- Eat: Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seed, legumes, potatoes, herbs, bread, spices, whole grains, virgin olive oil.
- Eat in Moderation: At lest 2 times per week, fish, poultry cheese and yogurt.
- Eat only Rarely: Red Meat
- Don’t Eat: Sugary beverages, food with added sugar, processed meat, refined oil, refine grains (eg: white flour) and of course processed foods or food made in the factory.
It is interesting to note that in the early evolution of the ubiquitous pizza in Italy had tomato sauce as the main toping with a variety of vegetables. My daughter and son in law went to Italy and immediately noted the difference of their pizza to the pizza’s in different countries.
How to apply the Mediterranean diet for your health? So we know as general rule the Mediterranean diet is high in plant foods, sparingly low in animal products and non-use of manufactured foods. One can adopt the general principles of this diet to what ethnic cuisines one is use to. If you want to learn more about Mediterranean recipes there several that you could find in the internet and you may modify it accordingly substituting locally available ingredients. Simply abide by what is suggested in the food pyramid.
Watch this Video
Yotam Ottolenghi visted the Greek Island of Crete made this video to show dietary habits of the locals. This one of the first places researches noted the benefits of the Mediterranean lifestyle.
Recent Studies Shows Added Benefits
Mediterranean diet has been credited in recent studies to help high blood pressure, control weight thus prevents metabolic syndrome and obesity, reduce certain cancers and Alzheimer’s disease. Overall it has shown to increase one’s life span.
Along with their diet the Mediterranean’s’ lifestyle also involves active physical activities, socializing with other people and enjoying life. “In the Mediterranean, the “eat and run” concept is unheard of. Stores close in the middle of the hot day, and people return home for a long lunch, during which they chew their food slowly and don’t watch TV or check their email.” The walk and ride their bicycles more than we Americans do. They also relax and visit with family and friends more.
Our dietary habits to a large extent are acquired. Much of these habits we developed in the families we grow up with and the food we were exposed to early on. For example foods like dried fish, anchovies and considered delicacies by some ethic groups but very repulsive for many of not used to it. I know of some folks of who abhor plant based foods because they were not exposed to it early on.
Fortunately, as human beings we are able to rationalize because we are able factor in risks and benefits of what we eat so that we are able to alter our lifestyle for our benefit. That being said we know habits are hard to break, acquiring taste for what is healthy takes time. I personally know because I have been in that struggle and have eaten and enjoyed many of the stuff that I knee were not healthy for me. Fortunately for me I have been exposed to myriads of people whose health have been devastated by poor lifestyle many of them losing their lives at an early age and I became determined I did not want to go the same road. This experience has lead me to this life time journey to develop a healthy lifestyle and in turn I am glad to share with all of you.
Life is a journey
Make creating a healthy lifestyle your life time journey one step at time. I promise no matter your age is or state health it would make a world of difference for the better for you, because I know it has done it for me.
Your fitness Doc