Why a Mediterranean Diet is Good For You

May 3, 2017

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Lauren
Lead Copywriter

May is National Mediterranean Diet Month. 

While there is a “day” and “month” for just about everything, we paid particular attention to this holiday because of how interesting the Mediterranean diet is.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Mediterranean diet, it’s an eating lifestyle rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, olive oil and red wine. Red meat is very limited in this diet (a few times a month), as are butter and salt. The Mediterranean diet does indeed originate from the Mediterranean, where wine, oil, bread and vegetables are plentiful. The benefits of this these foods were discovered in the 1950s by an American scientist who found a correlation between the diet and good heart health. Since then, countless studies have uncovered additional health benefits and the Mediterranean diet is now a popular model for healthy eating.

So why is the Mediterranean Diet good for you?
Let’s break it down:
Olive oil: Helps lower cholesterol and control blood sugar
Red wine: Helps lower cholesterol and prevents cancer and helps fight infection
Fish: Helps decrease blood clotting, stops brain deterioration, improves quality of sleep, protects vision, reduces chance of type 1 diabetes
Vegetables: Reduces the likelihood of heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes
Grains: Helps with digestion, helps lower cholesterol, helps lower blood pressure, helps control weight & helps regulate blood sugar
Fruit: Helps prevent cancer and helps reduce heart disease

If this isn’t enough evidence to encourage you to try the diet, studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet will help you live longer. Countries where olive oil, bread, vegetables and red wine are common have life expectancy rates of age 85 and older.

Want to start this diet right now?
Below is a food pyramid from healthy eating nonprofit Oldways on recommended serving sizes in the Mediterranean diet.

If you need additional help, check out their list of easy recipes–like tzatziki chicken salad or Greek meze platter–to get you started on the path to healthy eating.