The Mediterranean Diet started back in 1950’s. Imagine a diet that is started over 60 years and still has relevancy now. Wouldn’t we all love to have that type of long-term relevancy for anything we did in life. It is a diet that based out of Italy and Greece and countries near the border of the Mediterranean sea. But what is the Mediterranean Diet and just how good is it for you?
The diet consists of plant-based foods such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, beans, seeds, herbs, and spices. It also contains fish and unsaturated fats like Olive Oil.
The ins and outs of the Mediterranean Diet
One of the key things in the this Diet is that it contains minimal red meat. There have been studies that have been shown that it is linked to a healthier heart and improved brain health. It is even a recommended diet by the American Heart Association. Why? Because it fits their healthy diet pattern which consists of:
- Fruits, Vegetables, whole grains, beans, and legumes.
- fat free dairy products, fish, chicken, nuts, and non-vegetable oils
- Limits add sugars, beverages, sodium, highly processed foods, saturated fats, and fatty and processed meats.
There is a parallel to what the American Heart Association recommends as a healthy diet and to the Mediterranean Diet. This Mediterranean Diet style of eat can play a huge role in preventing heart disease, stroke and reducing the risk of obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. There’s even some evidence in studies that a Mediterranean diet that is rich in Olive oil can remove excess cholesterol from arteries.
Standing the test of time
While fish and chicken is fine but red meat is not recommended in the Mediterranean Diet. Wine can be consumed in moderate amounts and fruit is more suitable for natural sugars then sweets in this type of diet. The Mediterranean Diet always ranks high as one of the best diets annually by the U.S News and World Report. And it is one of the most recommended diets by Top Dieticians and many health organizations.
There was a nurses health study following 10,670 women of ages 57-60 years old which observed the dietary effects of aging. In this study healthy aging was determined by living past seventy and having no chronic disease such as Parkinson’s Disease, Cancer, Lung Disease, Kidney Disease, etc.
The study showed that women who followed a Mediterranean Diet eating pattern were 46% more likely to age healthfully. Increased intake of plant foods, whole grains, fish moderate alcohol intake and low intake of red meat were believed to contribute to this finding. That might make sense why the Mediterranean Diet is one of the most recommended diets by health organizations all over the world.
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