Mediterranean Diet – Is It The Best Diet To Try? Do All The Benefits Add Up?

By September 18, 2015 Diets No Comments
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Tribal Connections is all about bringing the historical values of humans and foods into a proper place and understanding as a whole. We take the time to research and inform you on various diets, foods, supplements, health conditions and healing protocols.

Today we have a very special, prized, nearly looked-up-to diet around the world, the infamous Mediterranean diet.

The Mediterranean Diet – Is It For You?

The Mediterranean diet is a popular plant-based diet inspired by Greece, Spain, and Italy.

The diet primarily recommends eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, along with very generous portions of extra-virgin olive oil as well.

The strong antioxidant properties of olive oil may help reduce skin inflammation, and may play a role in decreasing the risk for heart disease.

Realistically, the Mediterranean diet isn’t intended for weight loss (and is much different than the Paleo diet) – it’s more of a lifestyle change than a prescribed weight loss diet. It may also be easier to follow though because its’ guidelines can be easily adapted based on your personal preferences.

Best Mediterranean Recipes and Meal Plans

The Mediterranean uses very simple diet guidelines based on the dietary and exercise habits of people living in Greece, Italy, France, and other places along the Mediterranean Coast.

Unlike typical diets, there are no suggestions for caloric intake or portion control. The diet primarily encourages those who follow it to eat foods like:

  • — Whole fruits and vegetables
  • — Nuts, seeds, beans, legumes
  • — Fish and poultry
  • — Extra-virgin olive oil

Sweets and desserts are even allowed, which makes it easier to avoid feeling deprived. In fact, its’ encouraged to eat a single serving of a dessert at a celebratory event, and a glass of wine is encouraged as well. In fact, a glass of wine with almost every meal is still a common custom in Mediterranean countries.

The fact that the Mediterranean Diet is so focused on plant foods is why it is considered one of the most success diet lifestyles. Research suggests that the Mediterranean diet may even prevent depression and stroke, and may help protect your brain from dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other similar diseases like breast cancer.

Clinical Studies

Although the Mediterranean Diet is not a weight loss diet, it still may lead to weight loss. Researchers studied the weight of 300 obese patients over a two-year period. Weight loss results from a low-fat diet, a restricted calorie diet, and a Mediterranean diet were observed.

The Mediterranean group lost about 10 pounds on average from when they started where as the low-fat group only dropped 3 pounds. Nobody was asked to exercise or change any other of their lifestyle habits, so the 10 pound drop was seen as significant.

Another study with metabolic syndrome patients at an Italian university hospital found some incredible results once patients were instructed to follow the Mediterranean diet. In two years, eating a Mediterranean style diet helped twice as many patients eliminate the symptoms of metabolic syndrome as those who ate a “healthy” diet.

In a 2013 review published in the Harvard School of Public Health, researchers noted that participants eating the Mediterranean diet experienced a lower number of cardiac events during their trial than a control group. Their results supported the notion that the type and quality of food eaten affects both weight control and overall health more than the caloric intake. Also New England Journal of Medicine revealed the positive effects of primary prevention of cardiovascular disease as well.

Lifestyle Changes

The Mediterranean diet isn’t just a diet though – it’s a lifestyle.

There may not be any rules about how much food you should eat, but you will get better results if you include two or three hours of moderate exercise each week. Choose activities that raise your heart rate, make you breathe harder, and activities that you actually enjoy.

In addition, research has shown that people living in the Mediterranean area who lived long and healthy loves were not the people sitting at desks all day. Instead, they were the people working in the fields, orchards, or vineyards, and they hiked, balked, or walked to get market supplies and produce.

One of the best aspects to the Mediterranean diet is that it is sustainable. People often find low-fat or low carb diets too difficult to follow for a length of time, but the Mediterranean diet is different.

This diet plan allows carbohydrates from quality sources, and there is no requirement to eliminate any food group, which is why the Mediterranean diet has long-term saying power.

If you’re looking to truly improve your health and want a plant-based diet that still has tasteful food, then the Mediterranean diet may be right for you.

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