The Mediterranean diet is much more than just a fad — in fact it’s based on the centuries-old eating habits those who live in the Mediterranean. In contrast to other diets, a Mediterranean style diet emphasizes the healthy options you should be eating all the time, rather than restricting the foods you eat and limiting your portion sizes. Foods like olive oil, fish, fresh fruits, veggies, yogurt, and whole grains are all staples in the Mediterranean diet. Check out three more benefits below that might have you considering a shift toward the Mediterranean lifestyle, regardless of your geographical location.
Reduce Your Cardiovascular Health Risks
One of the most frequently discussed benefits of Mediterranean style eating is a dramatic improvement in heart and circulatory health. This is no surprise, considering that the Mediterranean diet utilizes omega-3 rich healthy fats, fish and plant based proteins, rather than saturated fats, red meat, and heavily processed meats. These choices help to reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol, and reduce blood pressure, which are all integral steps in preventing heart attack and stroke.
Slow Down the Aging Process
The superfoods consumed in the Mediterranean diet can do good for your whole body by reducing age-related cell degeneration that can otherwise lead to osteoporosis, cancer, and a number of other serious conditions. If you want proof that this diet can help you live longer, take a trip to Ikaria, Greece, where it is not uncommon for residents to live well into their 90s and 100s. As an added bonus, the same nutrients that promote good health in Mediterranean dieters also help to nourish the skin and hair for a more youthful appearance in your later years.
Lose Weight and Keep It Off
Importantly, the Mediterranean way of eating is not about what you can’t have; it’s focused on the foods that will nourish the body most – meaning that you won’t feel deprived as you change your eating habits. This can be a great help as you try to lose weight, which you will then be able to keep off with the sustainable habits of the Mediterranean diet. Plus, the negative effects of junk food are actually lessened when you primarily eat foods that follow suit with Mediterranean style, so you can still splurge every once in a while when you just can’t get potato chips or a juicy steak out of your head.