5 Health Benefits Linked to the Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet has long been touted for providing health benefits, such as reducing coronary artery disease and decreasing the risk of some cancers. Including fresh vegetables and fruits, legumes, and healthy fats into your diet can help improve your health in many ways.
Research shows that following a traditional Mediterranean diet significantly reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer, can help prevent or mitigate the problems associated with other chronic health conditions, and can offer all sorts of other benefits.
The key word, however, is traditional. The Mediterranean region is changing, with faster-paced lifestyles and more modern conveniences. These changes bring with them an increased prevalence of heart disease and cancer. To get benefits from the Mediterranean diet, you need to follow the traditional diet.
Here’s a quick rundown of the ways the diet benefits you:
The Mediterranean diet promotes heart health.
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States, even though a few lifestyle changes make most cases of heart disease easily preventable. Studies show that a traditional Mediterranean diet decreases death from coronary artery disease by 9 percent and lowers blood pressure, blood sugar, and triglyceride levels.
The Mediterranean diet battles diabetes.
The foods in a Mediterranean diet make perfect sense for a person with type 2 diabetes because the food choices lean toward being low-glycemic, which convert to sugar more slowly and therefore tend not to cause blood sugar levels to spike. The portion sizes in the Mediterranean diet can also make a significant difference in keeping total carbohydrate intake during the meal in check.
The Mediterranean diet helps fight cancer.
Specific staples of the Mediterranean diet have been shown to provide cancer-preventing and cancer-fighting benefits.
The Mediterranean diet can help you lose weight.
Obesity is an epidemic in the U.S. and is becoming a major health problem around the world. Therefore, weight loss is an important issue for many people (and perhaps you). If you want to lose some weight, the Mediterranean diet is the way to go.
Be forewarned, however: A Mediterranean diet isn’t a traditional diet or a quick fix. Rather, it’s a series of healthy lifestyle choices that can get you to your weight loss goal while you eat delicious, flavorful foods and get out and enjoy life.
The Mediterranean diet can help you age gracefully.
A Mediterranean lifestyle can help you feel and look your best. A diet high in nutrients, moderate activity, and lots of laughter with friends lets you enjoy the benefits of health!