The Mediterranean diet, among the healthiest in the world
The Mediterranean diet is correlated with good cardiovascular health, remarkable longevity, and good physical and mental health. As a result, it continues to fascinate dieticians and nutrition enthusiasts alike.
This diet is one of the major pillars of the diet advocated in the Blooness guide, as it has so many virtues for the body. By empiricism, it is possible to take up the foods consumed in the Mediterranean regions, when these regions were still spared mass consumption and industrial products.
By taking this inventory, we can list the healthiest foods in the world, and make them part of our daily lives, with the aim of improving our diet and our general health. This is what we will do in this large part of the Blooness guide, the guide to the ideal human diet.
Just before I list this, here is a general introduction to this diet: the differences and similarities with the low-carb diet, its virtues, and its official definition.
Mediterranean diet and low-carb lifestyle
The Mediterranean diet has been recognised as one of the healthiest in the world, even though fats can make up to 40% of macronutrient intake The Mediterranean diet has been recognised as one of the healthiest diets in the world, despite the fact that it is a very low-fat diet (contrary to those who still believe that fats are unhealthy), and that a significant proportion of the diet is made up of fats, up to about 30% of caloric intake can come from carbohydrates (which might surprise the most assiduous fringe of the low-carb diet).
This well-balanced mix of proteins, carbohydrates and proteins may be disconcerting to many advocates of the keto or low-carb lifestyle. However, the subtlety of the Mediterranean diet is that it provides the body with a very good quality carbohydrate intake, unlike the carbohydrate-rich foods frequently consumed in modern societies since the 1960s.
As a result, this way of eating has much more in common with the low-carb diet than it seems. In both cases, the emphasis is on good fats, quality proteins, and all at the expense of sugar and bad carbohydrates. Although the Mediterranean diet is indeed richer in carbohydrates than the generally practised low-carb diet.
So the choice between the two will depend on many factors, including how you feel, and your energy costs. But that's a subject we'll come back to later.
What are the virtues of the Mediterranean diet?
Let's move on to the benefits of this diet, quite quickly, because the benefits of a Mediterranean diet are not in doubt scientifically. The web is full of information and new studies that point in this direction.
2/ Reduction of cardiovascular pathologies.
3/ Protection against high blood pressure: HPA is an excessive rise in pressure in the arteries, a rise that persists over time. It is the most common chronic disease in the world, and its consequences can be very serious.
8/ Reduced risk of metabolic syndrome: also known as "belly syndrome".
10/ Decrease in the risk of Parkinson's disease
11/ Reduction of obesity and weight loss
In fact, the Mediterranean diet, as conceived by various nutritionists, consists of imitating the traditional eating practices of certain Mediterranean peoples in order to reap the health benefits.
The application of this diet has a clear objective: to increase life expectancy by protecting against cardiovascular disease and the risk of cancer. In practice, the aim is to provide the body with the food consumed in Mediterranean areas where, during the 20th century, a remarkable life expectancy was observed, despite a sometimes rudimentary health system.
Definition of the Mediterranean diet
Let's see what Wikipedia says:
The Mediterranean diet, also known as the Cretan diet or the Mediterranean diet, is a traditional dietary practice in many countries around the Mediterranean Sea characterised by the consumption of plenty of fruit, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, herbs and olive oil, moderate consumption of dairy products, eggs and wine, limited consumption of fish and low consumption of meat.
In other words, the Mediterranean diet gives pride of place to fruit, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and fats via olive oil. It is a diet that could almost be described as "flexitarian", in that it is largely vegetarian, thanks to the plant proteins provided by the high consumption of legumes and cereals.
The Mediterranean diet favours the consumption of vegetables, quality fats, mainly polyunsaturated, and whole grains. Conversely, red meat, sugar and industrial products, which form the basis of the modern Western diet (and not only), have a very limited place.
In addition, apart from the nature of the food itself, the way in which it is grown, and therefore its quality, should also be noted. Thus, in the Blue Zones in general, and of course in the Mediterranean, food comes from local, seasonal agriculture, with traditional processes and relatively limited food processing.
Secondly, beyond diet, the researchers also described the Mediterranean lifestyle, which is similar to that of the Blue Zones. This lifestyle is characterised by frequent and moderate physical activity, exposure to the sun, attachment to the community and, more generally, a joie de vivre.
Finally, the Mediterranean diet is not a weight-loss diet, it is mainly oriented towards good health, but one of the collateral consequences is precisely a consequent weight loss, in the long term, for people who are overweight.
The "Mediterranean diet" was inscribed on 16 November 2010 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO as a "set of skills, knowledge, practices and traditions".
In terms of food alone, does this mean that we have to copy exactly the food that is eaten in these regions? What about quantities? Things are actually not that simple, and we will clarify these important questions later. Before that, let's look in detail at the foods that are consumed in the different regions of the Mediterranean, in order of frequency of consumption.
Now that we have introduced what the Mediterranean diet is all about, here is the summary of this large part of the Blooness guide without further ado.
Summary of the Mediterranean diet guide
- Vegetables in the Mediterranean diet
- Spices, condiments and herbs in the Mediterranean diet
- The issue of fruit in the Mediterranean diet
- Pulses in the Mediterranean diet
- Whole grains in the Mediterranean diet
- Nuts in the Mediterranean diet
- Good fats in the Mediterranean diet
- Fish and seafood in the Mediterranean diet
- White meat and dairy products in the Mediterranean diet
- Red meat and sweets in the Mediterranean diet
- Drinks in the Mediterranean diet
- The Mediterranean lifestyle
- The French paradox
- Why and how the Mediterranean diet is good for your health
- Weight loss on the Mediterranean diet
- Carbohydrate intake in the Mediterranean diet
- Conclusion on the Mediterranean diet