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Is the Mediterranean Diet Healthy?

by Marissa on July 14, 2017

Is the Mediterranean Diet Healthy?

Because I often get questions like “Is the Mediterranean Diet healthy?”, I’ll be spending some time posting here more often about different diets, or ways of eating. I believe that no one diet works for everyone because we all have different biochemical make-ups. That said, the more you’re informed, the better you can piece together a way of eating that works best for you. The only way to know what works for your body is to experiment and listen to what it says to you. 

The Mediterranean Diet is ranked #2 on US News’ Best Diets, but that doesn’t mean free reign to eat unlimited pasta. The hallmarks of a Mediterranean Diet include omega-3 fatty acids and few saturated fats, which make this way of eating highly anti-inflammatory. 

Considered one of the healthiest diets in the world, the Mediterranean Diet is based on the thousands-of-years-old food, customs and dietary traditions of the Mediterranean region. The people who inhabit the region have some of the highest life expectancies and lowest rates of heart disease, cancer and diabetes in the world which may be attributed to food and lifestyle. 

The most noteworthy aspect of this diet is that it contains no processed or refined foods and is rich in natural foods like fruit, meat, wild fish, legumes, nuts, dairy (especially from goats), oils, vegetables and whole grains. Food is eaten seasonally and extra virgin olive oil is consumed in abundance. There is also a focus on leisure time, nurturing relationships and physical activity. Overall, the lifestyle is relatively low stress. 

Meat, wine and coffee are consumed in moderation. Lemon and fresh herbs are used to season food. 

Is the Mediterranean Diet healthy | Marissa Vicario Health Coach

Should you follow a Mediterranean Diet? 

This way of eating, or “eating pattern” as some call it, is highly sustainable and more like a lifestyle than a diet because it also includes non-food factors. There is no prescriptive number of calories to eat and instead relies on intuition. Cooking at home and shopping locally is best, but you will find many options when dining out.

Restaurants like Barilla in New York City are promoting health and wellness through a nutritionally balanced Mediterranean food experience by cooking with fresh healthy ingredients to bring out the flavors and highlight the health benefits of each dish.

Always when dining out, beware of portion sizes and opt to share large entrees. 

What are your thoughts on the Mediterranean Diet?

  

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