Health Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet

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Eating and the need for food are some of the most driving forces on this planet; every living being has one common goal, and that is finding food in order to ensure its survival. However, people have always been different from animals, plants, fish or insects in that they have a diversified taste for food and in that they cook it as well. But our intelligence hasn’t always been in our favor, because with all the health advice available at the moment, we still manage to overeat or to eat badly. That is why nutrition appeared, and it was a field which studied eating behaviors and tastes and trends in eating. Although we had access to any kind of food that we wanted, we realized it was also important to find out what are the best foods to consume. For some, the perfect combination is given by the Mediterranean diet.

The Mediterranean diet was first introduced to the public in 1945 by an American doctor living in Italy; his new diet was based on the eating habits and preferences of people living in the Mediterranean. This included countries like Italy, Greece, and Spain, as well as other countries in that area. The main aspects of this diet were the focus on vegetables and fruit over meats, dairy or bread. Thus, the Mediterranean diet put an emphasis on consuming olive oil, fruits, vegetables, legumes and cereals; it also encouraged a more moderate consumption of wine, fish and dairy products, and quite a low consumption of meats and meat products.

Although it seemed to have everything going for it, the Mediterranean diet didn’t catch on with people at first; it actually only began to be taken seriously and be adopted by people in the 1990s. There were, of course, many interpretations, and doctors created their own versions of the diet based on the food pyramid it presented. Although not all Mediterranean diets are similar to these choices, subsequent studies have shown improved health in those who followed it.

Because the Mediterranean diet puts a lot of emphasis on olive oil, researchers were forced to find out about it; what they discovered was not only spectacular, but interesting as well. Apparently, compounds in olive oil could actually help reduce the risks of coronary heart disease; it is also almost certain that it helps maintain cholesterol levels. Basically, olive oil can be considered a good anti-inflammatory and anti-hypertensive. What is interesting is that out of the many diets which were studied by scientists, only the Mediterranean diet actually showed instances of improving health and decreasing mortality. So whether or not you decide to follow the Mediterranean diet, you should definitely take our health advice and include olive oil in your daily meals.

Moreover, mainstream nutrition viewed the eating habits of Mediterranean inhabitants as a paradox, because even if they consumed larger quantities of fats, the instances of cardiovascular disease were much lower than in countries where they consumed the same amounts. There followed a number of medical studies, each focusing on one part of the diet, or on it as a whole, but the results were always pleasing. Although it was no miracle drug or something similar, this diet proved over and over again that its effects on the human body were beneficial. To this day, people still make the choice to live by the rules of this diet, not only for weight loss, but out of the desire to live and eat healthy.

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