Want to eat healthier but don’t know where to begin? If you want adopt the best eating habits, the Mediterranean diet might be the way to go, according to a panel of health experts.
In the U.S. News & World Report, health experts rated 41 diets. And for the second year in a row, the Mediterranean diet came out on top.
So, what sets this diet apart from the rest? To start, experts believe the Mediterranean diet is most likely to improve long-term health.
Not only is this eating style easy to follow, it’s a “nice example of the potential to love food that loves you back,” says Dr. David L. Katz. Katz is the founding director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center. He was also on the panel of health experts who evaluated the different diets.
So what exactly is the Mediterranean diet?
Eating Mediterranean means incorporating more plant-based foods, olive oil, whole grains, seafood, and lean protein. It’s associated with a list of health benefits. And experts agree it’s the best diet for healthy eating, diabetes, and heart health.
Here Are 5 Health Benefits of Eating the Mediterranean Diet:
1. Improve Heart Health
Numerous studies show the Mediterranean diet is linked to a lower risk of heart disease.
“The diet has been associated with a lower level of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol – the ‘bad’ cholesterol that’s more likely to build up deposits in your arteries,” the Mayo Clinic reports.
Furthermore, in another study from the Warwick Medical School, people who consumed olive oil experienced significantly lower blood pressure compared to those who consumed sunflower oil.
2. Enhance Brain Function
Fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats (including olive oil) are known to promote brain health and fight cognitive decline. So, incorporating Mediterranean foods into your diet improves memory and acts as a natural treatment for neurological disorders.
In fact, studies show eating a Mediterranean diet lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s.
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3. Help Prevent Cancer
According to the European Journal of Cancer Prevention:
“The biological mechanisms for cancer prevention associated with the Mediterranean diet have been related to the favorable effect of a balanced ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids and high amounts of fiber, antioxidants, and polyphenols found in fruit, vegetables, olive oil, and wine.”
4. Reduce Obesity
Do you know why obesity rates are higher in the U.S. than other parts of the world? The reason is because most European countries advocate a traditional Mediterranean diet as part of their culture.
They limit their consumption of processed foods and refined sugar. And they stick to healthy fats, olive oil, and a plant-based diet that promotes health and longevity.
5. Promote Longevity
Heart disease is currently the leading cause of death in the U.S., and cancer comes in a close second. Studies show that monounsaturated fat (the type of healthy fat found in olive oil) is linked to lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and cognitive decline.
The Lyon Diet Heart Study was the first study to demonstrate the heart health benefits of the Mediterranean diet. Participants in the study experienced a 45% lower risk of all-cause death compared to the group following the traditional low-fat diet.
Eat The Mediterranean Diet for Health and Longevity
If 2019 is your year to transform your health, the best place to start is by changing your eating habits.
Unlike many other diets that are very restrictive and often provide short-term results, the Mediterranean diet is easy to follow, nutritionally balanced, and seriously delicious!
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All included information is not intended to treat or diagnose. The views expressed are those of the author and should be attributed solely to the author. For medical questions, please consult your healthcare provider.
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