The Mediterranean Diet and its Purpose
One of the diets currently being used by the public is the Mediterranean diet. A Mediterranean diet entails healthy foods like whole grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables, seafood and beans. This diet describes the traditional dietary habits of people close to the Mediterranean Basin, including the Greeks and Italians. Other cultures, especially in Western countries, have taken up this diet because of its health benefits. According to researchers, the purpose of the Mediterranean diet is to improve health by reducing the development of cardiovascular disease, lengthening the lifespan of an individual, facilitating natural aging, and sustaining healthy weight loss (Estruch & Bach-Faig, 2019).
Key Points of the Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet focuses on carbohydrates from vegetables and whole grains like broccoli and oats, proteins like beans and healthy fats like olive oil (Lctuu et al., 2019). This diet advocate for the uptake of fewer animal proteins, with the preferred types being fish and seafood. Similarly, the consumption of olive oil prescribed in this diet reduces the need for butter and margarine, which increases the risk of cardiovascular complications (Lctuu et al., 2019). The nuts, avocadoes and seafood contain healthy natural fats that are good for the body. The replacement of red meat with fish and seafood reduces the uptake of red meat, which can have high cholesterol and saturated fats that clog and increase blood vessels’ pressure. The diet eliminates these cardiovascular problems without making the food unpleasant.
Mediterranean Diet Plan
A Mediterranean diet plan constitutes a wide range of fruits, vegetables and whole grains and replaces unhealthy fats like margarine and butter with olive oil, nuts and seeds (GuaschFerr & Willett, 2021). This main component means that meals with refined grains like white bread, pizza and pasta are avoided. Similarly, the diet plan entails moderate quantities of fish, dairy and seafood, which provide the needed proteins (Lctuu et al., 2019). These protein sources mean that the food has little white and red meat because it eliminates processed meats like hot dogs, which are rich in red meat (., 2022). The meal also has few eggs and moderate quantities of red wine to boost the taste of the food. The wine can be one or two glasses for men and only one for women daily. The wine has antioxidants that promote the development of healthy gut bacteria. The other dietary supplements include water and physical exercise, which activate the need for replenishing the body with these foods.
Mediterranean Diet’s Strengths and Weaknesses
The Mediterranean diet is essential because it reduces cholesterol levels by substituting saturated fats like margarine with monosaturated fats like olive oil (Martinez-Gonzalez & Martin-Calvo, 2018). This prevents the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases like type 2 diabetes and hypertension. Similarly, the high fiber content in this food prevents constipation. The diet is easy to stick with due to its simplicity. Also, the diet can help an individual to maintain or reduce weight because it . The diet protects the heart from excessive workload due to overworking blood vessels.
The weaknesses of the diet include the allowance to take wine which can be a challenge for people who are alcohol addicts (Dugdale et al., 2020). The diet may also be time-consuming and costly to prepare. In this period where people are trying to avoid things that consume their time, it may be a challenge to access such a quality diet. Additionally, the menu may not have the adequate minerals required in the body, including iron and calcium. Similarly, the fats in olive oil and nuts can lead increase in weight when consumed in excess.
The diet is healthy because its dietary guidelines indicate the healthy foods consumed. The diet prevents people from the other succulent and juicy foods prepared with saturated fats like margarine or processed, which increase the risk of developing cardiovascular and other health complications. Moreover, the diet is healthy because red meat and the canned foods that people enjoy eating are eliminated. These foods tend to direct people to unhealthy lifestyles.
Dugdale, D. C., Zieve, D., & Conaway, B. (2020). Mediterranean diet. MedlinePlus. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000110.htm
Estruch, R., & Bach-Faig, A. (2019). Mediterranean diet as a lifestyle and dynamic food pattern. European journal of clinical nutrition, 72(1), 1-3. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41430-018-0302-z
GuaschFerr, M., & Willett, W. C. (2021). The Mediterranean diet and health: A comprehensive overview. Journal of Internal Medicine, 290(3), 549-566. https://doi.org/10.1111/joim.13333
Lctuu, C. M., Grigorescu, E. D., Floria, M., Onofriescu, A., & Mihai, B. M. (2019). The Mediterranean Diet: From an to an Emerging Medical Prescription. International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(6), 942. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16060942
Martinez-Gonzalez, M. A., & Martin-Calvo, N. (2018). Mediterranean diet and life expectancy; beyond olive oil, fruits, and vegetables. Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care, 19(6), 401407. https://doi.org/10.1097/MCO.0000000000000316
Sotos-Prieto, M., Del Rio, D., Drescher, G., Estruch, R., Hanson, C., Harlan, T., … & Kales, S. N. (2022). Mediterranean dietpromotion and dissemination of healthy eating: proceedings of an exploratory seminar at the Radcliffe Institute for advanced study. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, 73(2), 158-171. https://doi.org/10.1080/09637486.2021.1941804
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