Mediterranean Diet Revisited

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By Staff Reports

(DGIwire) You will often hear that the Mediterranean diet is a healthy diet.  Studies consistently find it healthier than the typical western style or standard American diet (SAD).  This is mainly because it contains more fresh whole foods and fewer processed and refined foods.

The Mediterranean diet, which is characterized by the consumption of fruit, vegetables, pulses (beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils etc.) grains, fish, olive oil and nuts, has consistently been shown to be beneficial to health in terms of a reduced incidence of chronic illness and a lower mortality rate.

Have you ever wondered which foods consumed in a Mediterranean diet are the ones which provide the majority of the benefits?

There are some food groups in the diet that are more important than others in promoting health and longer life according to research that was published on the British Medical Journal website.

Specifically, eating more vegetables, fruits, nuts, pulses and olive oil, and drinking moderate amounts of alcohol, while not consuming much meat or excessive amounts of alcohol was linked to people living longer.  It should be noted that the study also found that following a version of the Mediterranean diet which is high in fish, seafood and cereals and low in dairy products did not have the same indicators of longevity.  They also found that when high intake of vegetables, low intake of meat or moderate alcohol intake were excluded from the rating system, the benefits of following a Mediterranean diet were substantially reduced. There were clear benefits in several key components like plenty of vegetables and olive oil.

In a Swedish study, scientists at the Sahlgrenska Academy found that a Mediterranean diet with large amounts of vegetables and fish and a low consumption of animal based products such as meat and milk, leads to better health and a longer life.  Their results show that those who ate a Mediterranean diet had a 20% better chance of living longer.

Another study from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the University of Navarra which was published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition linked the Mediterranean diet to mental and physical health too.  They found that those who followed the diet scored higher on the quality of life questionnaire in terms of physical and mental wellbeing. They found the link was even stronger in terms of physical quality of life.  They came to this conclusion after analyzing the quality of life influence of the diet on of a sample of more than 11,000 university students over a period of four years.

“The best diet focuses on selecting foods that are the most nutrient dense.  These same foods are usually lower in overall calories too. We have found that doing so improves all areas of life and people consistently report a huge difference in their physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing after even a relatively short period of time.  Providing your body with the raw materials it needs results in a lean awesome looking body and optimal health,” says Tom Griesel, co-author of TurboCharged: Accelerate Your Fat Burning Metabolism, Get Lean Fast and Leave Diet and Exercise Rules in the Dust.

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