benefits of a mediterranean diet
Imagine the sun-kissed islands of the Mediterranean, where the bounties of the sea are complimented by white meats, fresh vegetables, fruits, beans, cereals and cereal products. It is a long-held belief that the combination of these elements are essential to a healthy diet.
One of the key aspects is the inclusion of healthy fats. Olive oil, which is a monounsaturated fat, is most commonly associated with the Mediterranean diet but polyunsaturated fats are also present in nuts, seeds and oily fish.
We have all heard of ‘superfoods’, such as salmon, spinach and Broccoli which, individually, have their health benefits. But it is the combination of these foods, found in a Mediterranean diet, that combined make this such a healthy way to eat.
When you look at the diet we eat in the UK; processed foods such as bacon, hams and pies may be high in sugar, salts and fat, tinned vegetables, cakes, biscuits, fizzy drinks and microwaved meals for ease – there should be no surprise that we may be doing ourselves more harm than good.
As traceability has become more and more important in our supply chain over the past decade, where the production, processing and distribution of food can be tracked, then the opportunity for us all to follow a Mediterranean diet has become more accessible. Local farmers markets where the produce on offer will have been grown within a 100 mile radius and where the retailer will be able to tell you the process behind their production means the food on your table is fresh and may have only been picked a few days earlier.
Based on research, the Mediterranean diet can protect against the development of heart disease, metabolic complications, depression, cancer, type-2 diabetes, obesity, dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Researchers have also found that people who closely follow a Mediterranean diet may live a longer life and be less likely to put on weight.
If that’s not enough, then the plant-based foods of the Meditteranean diet, balanced with an abundance of healthy fats mean that they are also non-inflammatory, eradicating the bloated feeling you get eating a typical UK diet and allowing you to eat, drink and be merry to your hearts content.