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why is the mediterranean diet so healthy

Amid all the superfoods and fad diets, one style of eating consistently comes out on top as the best: the Mediterranean diet. It earns first-place rights for its impressive roster of health rewards, including heart protection, weight regulation and cancer reduction. Pictured Recipe: The foods in a typical Mediterranean dietвfish, nuts, plant oils, fruits and vegetablesвhelp lower inflammation in your body, improve blood vessel function and reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes. All of these benefits serve to keep your ticker ticking and your mind sharp. Decades of research bears this out, too. Read More: What Is the Mediterranean Diet? Recipe to Try: This way of eating focuses on foods like olive oil, nuts, fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains and fish. Wine is part of the typical Mediterranean diet, too, but you should drink it in moderation. This style of diet can also include some dairy and poultry ingredientsвbut, like wine, these are usually limited. The Mediterranean diet places an emphasis on fresh, colorful eating and shuns heavily processed ingredients. Trust us, your plate will never be boring. Even better news: though "diet" is in the name, this plan is more of a holistic approach to eating that relies on real foods.

You won't be counting calories or macronutrients like you would with a typical "diet. "
Here are 3 reasons it's so healthy to eat Mediterranean. Recipe to Try: In a in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that people on a Mediterranean diet were far less likely to have a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular event than people who ate a low-fat diet. The study participants who ate a Mediterranean diet supplemented with olive oil or nuts saw their risk of cardiovascular disease drop by 30 percent. Recipe to Try: In a on younger women, those who most closely followed a Mediterranean diet had a lower body mass index (BMI) and smaller waist and thighs than those who adhered to the diet's style the least. This is likely because the diet is high in antioxidants and provides rich anti-inflammatory properties. It's also packed with fiber, a nutrient known for keeping you full. Recipe to Try: A of 18 studies in Frontiers in Nutrition found that eating Mediterranean was associated with less cognitive decline, reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease, and better memory and executive function.

Additional research in the journal Neurology likened the diet's effects to reducing the brain's age by five years. With all of these accolades, it makes sense that you may want to start a Mediterranean diet. Here are to help you get started and. Whether you decide to fully adopt the philosophies of the Mediterranean diet, or you think small, incremental steps are more your speed, every little bit can help you eatвand feelвhealthier. The great thing about eating this way is that you're sure to find many of your favorite foods are still available to you. Even better, you're bound to find many new ones you love. Keep Reading: The Mediterranean diet can be easily incorporated into the daily lives of anyone looking to eat healthy and varied meals, says dietitian and author of Susan Zogheib. n her book, she offers 10 helpful tips on sustaining the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle. Keep yogurt and fruit stocked in your refrigerator to eat on the go. When dining out, divide your meal in half. Do this the moment the plate hits the table and pack it up as leftovers.

Keep a supply of chopped vegetables. Celery, bell peppers, carrots, and cucumbers are perfect for dipping in hummus. Visit your local farmers market. This will keep your refrigerator stocked with locally grown, seasonal vegetables. Snack on a handful of nuts or seeds. Almonds, walnuts, or sunflower seeds are better choices in place of chips, cookies, or other processed foods. Enjoy fruit for dessert. You can even add a little sweetness with a drizzle of honey or sprinkle of brown sugar on top. Keep fresh fruit around the house and at work so you have a healthy snack on hand when your stomach begins to growl. P PSavor your bites. or while youre answering email. Cherish your time with family and friends at the dinner table. Get your family involved. PAsk children to help with food preparation. It allows you to spend quality time with one another. Avoid processed and refined foods. PMinimize, or better yet, eliminate your consumption of packaged foods and sweets. P Switch to whole grains. , such as barley, bulgur, couscous, faro, millet, oats rice, and, polenta, are a central part of the Mediterranean diet.

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