For years it has been said that we should eat as the French, Spanish and Greeks do. Their diet is low in saturated fats and cholesterol and high in antioxidants. Research has shown that this diet not only reduces the chances of strokes and heart attacks and lowers cholesterol levels and blood pressure, but also boosts brain power. Here are the top five reasons why we should adopt and be inspired by the Mediterranean diet.
A Mediterranean diet is full of fresh fruits, vegetables, fish and lean meats. It rarely contains anything reconstituted or that is considered junk or fast food and it rarely involves cooking with something that has come out of a packet. This way of eating means that obesity rates in southern Europe are far lower than in other areas of the world, namely America where junk food is king. There cannot be a diet better than one that allows you to eat yummy foods and also has the potential to help you lose weight. Yet the Mediterranean diet falls into this special category.
No food is off limits
Because of the healthy attitude people in the Med have about dieting, they do not declare any foods off limits either. If they fancy a bit of chocolate, or the odd cake, they won’t deny themselves as they know that 99 per cent of the time they eat very well. Because of this, their diet is varied and interesting, and they never crave anything because if they fancy it they will eat it. It is far better to eat this way than embrace every expensive fad diet going, which will simply leave you hungry and desperate to binge on unhealthy food.
Mediterranean food is cheap
Although the price of food has gone up recently, it is still far cheaper to eat fresh, seasonal produce than anything in a packet that is marketed by the diet industry. Fresh veg, meat, fish and nuts are readily available and, because you are not shelling out for the fancy packaging, can be far more reasonable than a ready meal or packet food.
Helps prevent diseases
Studies have shown that a diet based on fruit, vegetables, fish and nuts can help prevent Parkinsons and Alzheimers diseases and reduce the chances of strokes and heart attacks as well as lower cholorestol levels and blood pressure. There are so many vitamins and minerals packed into these foods that they help the body function at its maximum effectiveness and prevent it becoming ill by helping it fight off any disease – even cancer. The Mediterranean diet is also very high in fibre, which keeps the digestive system in check and can help prevent diseases such as bowel cancer, which more than 16,000 people died from last year in the U.K.
Helps you look younger
The Mediterranean diet is extremely low in refined sugars and the only sugars present are from fruits and are completely natural. In recent studies, scientists have blamed sugar for damaging skin and say it could be as bad as sun beds and smoking when it comes to premature ageing, as it breaks down the collagen and elastin within the skin. The Mediterranean diet, however, is full of vitamins, minerals and anti-aging antioxidants, which all help keep the skin bright and youthful.