In recent years, the Mediterranean Diet has emerged as the diet of choice for wellness professionals and nutritionists for staying healthy and losing weight. While this diet has only recently gained popularity, it has been around for decades. In the 1950s, American researcher Ancel Keys introduced the world to the benefits of the diet followed by people in the Mediterranean (particularly southern Italy and Greece).
In 2010, UNESCO recognized the Mediterranean diet as an intangible cultural asset and WHO recognized it as a healthy and sustainable diet. A number of leading health organizations and experts have advocated this recently.
The American Heart Association and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2020-2025) have also endorsed the Mediterranean Diet as a way of eating that can help lower your risk of heart disease and improve other health problems.
A Beginner’s Guide to the Mediterranean Diet:
How it works
“The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating based on the traditional cuisine of the countries along the Mediterranean,” says Rihana Qureshi, nutritionist, strength trainer and founder of Get Fit with Rihana. “It combines the basics of healthy eating with traditional Mediterranean cooking methods and has been shown to prevent heart attacks, strokes and type 2 diabetes. There is no right way to follow this diet as there are many countries around the Mediterranean and each with their own style. But the Mediterranean diet typically consumes healthy proteins – mostly fresh seafood, poultry, and eggs, as well as leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and broccoli, and healthy fats like almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, and olive oil. Red wine can be consumed in moderation and very little meat and dairy products should be consumed. Also, one should avoid refined grains, processed foods, trans fats, and refined oils like soybean oil and seed oils. “
“Fish and olive oil are the main heroes of the Mediterranean diet. Olive oil offers monounsaturated fatty acidswhat was found lower total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels. Fatty fish are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat that can Reduce inflammation in the body. Omega-3 fatty acids also help Lower triglycerides, lower blood clotting, and lower the risk of stroke and heart failure, ”adds Qureshi.
“The Mediterranean diet with an emphasis on fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, legumes, olive oil and fish can help Weight loss and a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers. It is easy to follow as it allows for a wide variety of tasty foods and does not require calorie counting“Adds Prashant Sawant, Founder at Body Sculptor.
Since there are no specific guidelines to be followed in the Mediterranean Diet, this can be a little confusing for someone starting out and lead to nutritional deficiencies. “If this is not done correctly, the Mediterranean diet advertised on social media platforms can do more harm than good. Ideally, Work with a trained professional to create a diet plan That fits your lifestyle, ”says Simrun Chopra, Deep Health Coach and founder of Nourish With Simrun.