The Mediterranean diet, one of the healthiest in the world: definition, foods, benefits, opinion and summary

Hello and welcome to the summary and introduction of our great guide to Mediterranean dietwhich constitutes one of the pillars of Guide Blooness, the guide dedicated to the ideal diet. As a reminder, this guide is a kind of white paper, a compendium of what currently exists on the most optimal way to eat for good health and a slimmer figure.

It is based on several major pillars, including a low-to-moderate carbohydrate diet, which we have already covered at length in the section devoted to this topic in numerous chaptersand here on the large pillar of the Mediterranean dietone of the ways to the healthiest diets in the worldand which, if coupled with a controlled supply of carbohydratesThis will be a devilishly effective way of optimizing your health and weight. Other major pillars are also to come, but we'll come back to them in due course.

Find the summary of the ultimate guide to the Mediterranean diet at the bottom of this article.

In this article, you will learn how to summary of the Mediterranean diet, its supposed and proven health benefits, and the foods that make it up. It's a sort of introduction to what we're going to detail, chapter by chapter, in this section dedicated exclusively to this diet, the summary of which you'll find at the end of this page.

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Why the Mediterranean diet?

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. In fact, the Mediterranean diet, along with the Okinawa diet, are considered the two best diets in the world today, by a large part of the scientific community.

For our part, we've tried to take the best of this food, to enrich the Blooness guideThe first step is to combine it with a moderate carbohydrate diet, which, as we've just mentioned, forms the main part of our guide, and then with other types of diet which will complete our guide.

The idea behind integrating the Mediterranean diet is to take advantage of all the virtues it has to offer as part of an "ideal human diet". Indeed, empirically, it is possible to and list the foods eaten in Mediterranean regionsWe know that they are probably vectors of good health for the populations who live or have lived in the areas bordering the Mediterranean, when they were still spared mass consumption and industrial products.

In making this inventory of listing of the world's healthiest foodsand by integrating them into our daily lives, we help to improve our general health. That's what we're going to try to do in this large part of the Blooness guide.

But just before drawing up this list, and dedicating a chapter of its own to each major ingredient group, we couldn't approach this major theme without introducing it properly. First of all, by defining what this diet is all about, how it differs from and, above all, how it relates to food. low-carb which is also one of the pillars of the guide, and briefly recalling its virtues and history.

Let's start with its virtues, because if this diet is getting good press, it's worth remembering why.

What are the virtues of the Mediterranean diet?

Here are just a few of the benefits of a Mediterranean-style diet. "Quickly", because there's no scientific doubt about the benefits of a Mediterranean diet, and the web is full of information and new studies that point in this direction, and to list them exhaustively here would take too long.

What's more, according to scientific data that continues to pour in, people with Mediterranean eating habits have fewer cancers, inflammatory diseases, overweight, metabolic syndromes, etc...

In fact, there is no single diet to follow that will objectively and reliably achieve health goals with a promise of results. This is partly because there are many different Mediterranean diets, and partly because the studies are based on observation.

That said, in practical terms, the method used by various nutritionists consists of imitate eating habits traditional of certain peoples of the Mediterranean in order to reap the benefits in terms of health.

The application of this system has a clear objective, even if it is not guaranteed: toextend life expectancy by protecting against cardiovascular disease, cancer and other degenerative or metabolic illnesses. In other words, it involves providing the body with the foods consumed in Mediterranean areas, where, particularly during the 20th century, remarkable life expectancy has been observed, with limited or no outbreaks of certain diseases that are common elsewhere in developed societies, and all this despite a sometimes rudimentary healthcare system.


Definition of the Mediterranean diet

Let's see what Wikipedia has to say:

Visit Mediterranean dietalso known as Cretan diet or Mediterranean diet is a traditional dietary practice in many countries around the Mediterranean Sea, characterized by the abundant consumption of fruit, vegetables, pulseswhole grains, aromatic herbs and olive oilA moderate consumption of dairy products, eggs and wine, a limited consumption of fish and a low consumption of meat.

In other words, the Mediterranean diet gives pride of place to fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and fats via olive oil in particular. It's a diet that could almost be described as "flexitarian", in the sense that a large part of its intake comes from food. proteins These are ensured by a high consumption of legumes and wholegrain cereals.

The Mediterranean diet promotes plant consumptionIt's a diet rich in nutrients, quality fats (mainly polyunsaturated) and wholegrain cereals. Conversely, red meat, sugar and industrial products, which form the basis of the modern Western diet (and not only), have a very limited place.

Source : Semsems

In addition to the nature of the food itself, we should also note how to grow themand therefore their quality. In the Blue Zones in general, and of course in the Mediterranean, food comes from local, seasonal agriculture, with traditional processes and relatively little food processing. As a reminder, Blue Zones are a concept grouping together areas of the world where life expectancy far exceeds the global average, and where "diseases of civilization" (diabetes, cancer, hypertension, thyroid disease, etc.) are rarer than elsewhere. We can consider a large part of the Mediterranean to be part of these Blue Zones.

Then, in addition to diet, the researchers also described the Mediterranean lifestyle, which is that of the Blue Zones. This lifestyle is characterized by frequent and moderate physical activity, exposure to the sun, attachment to the community and, more generally, a joie de vivre.

Last but not least, the Mediterranean diet is not a weight-loss diet. However, one of the collateral consequences is precisely a loss of body fat, over the long term, for those who are overweight.

On November 16, 2010, the "Mediterranean diet" was inscribed on UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity as a "body of know-how, knowledge, practices and traditions".


The origins of the Mediterranean diet

It was formerly known as the "Cretan diet. It became famous thanks to the work of two doctors and scientists: Serge Renaud, then Michel de Lorgeril, who, with the help of other scientists, carried out the famous Lyon Diet Heart Study.

This study tested the efficacy of a Mediterranean diet on 600 patients who had survived a myocardial infarction over almost four years. A control group followed the recommended nutritional advice to lower cholesterol, and an experimental group followed a Mediterranean diet. The results were indisputable. There was a 50 to 70% reduction in the risk of heart attack in the experimental group, fewer cardiovascular complications (pulmonary embolism, stroke, etc.), less cancer and improved life expectancy.

Other studies have since confirmed the hypothesis that the Mediterranean diet is beneficial to overall health.

In terms of food alone, does this mean that we have to copy exactly the foods eaten in these regions? What about quantities? How do we go about it? Things aren't quite that simpleWe'll get to the bottom of these important questions a little later. Before that, let's look at how the Mediterranean diet differs from the Low-Carb diet touted in this guide, and what the link is between the two.


Mediterranean diet and low-carb lifestyle

As we said in the preamble, the Mediterranean diet has been recognized as one of the healthiest in the world. Now, in this diet, fats can account for up to 40% of macronutrient intake (contrary to those who still believe that fats are harmful to health), which is consistent with what has been stated in this guide so far.

However, a not insignificant part, up to about 30% of caloric intake, sometimes more, can come from carbohydrates (which might come as a surprise to the most assiduous fringe of the low-carb diet).

This fairly even split between proteins, carbohydrates and lipids could disconcert many a lifestyle advocate keto or low-carb. However, the subtlety of the Mediterranean diet consists in supply the body with high-quality carbohydratesThis is in contrast to 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 you might think. In both cases, it's a question of giving pride of place to good fats and quality proteins, to the detriment of sugar and unhealthy carbohydrates..

Although it's true that the Mediterranean diet is richer in carbohydrates than the low-carb diet generally practiced, it favours carbohydrates with low to moderate glycemic indexgood quality, consumed as part of a Mediterranean lifestyleas described above, i.e. a lifestyle characterized by frequent, moderate physical activityand an openness to others.

In other words, the carbohydrates provided by the Mediterranean diet have nothing in common with those we're used to consuming in developed Western countries. Gone are the days of white rice, white pasta, industrial noodle soups and white burger buns. Into the Mediterranean diet, give preference to legumes, whole grains and the fructose provided by a few fruits. This type of carbohydrate, as we saw in the glycemic index chapterThey have little effect on insulin, and do not erode its effectiveness. On the contrary, they are released more slowly into the body, and are much richer in protective nutrients than "processed" carbohydrates as we know them.

Finally, Mediterranean populations were accustomed to working outdoors and being active, the exact opposite of the sedentary lifestyles that have developed with the tertiarization of developed countries. These good-quality, low-GI carbohydrates can only be welcomed by the body, which in a way, to illustrate the point, burns them without qualms. Whereas carbohydrates from refined and processed ingredients, consumed as part of a sedentary lifestyle, can only lead to overweight, uneven energy levels, mood swings and long-term health problems.

Once these reminders have been made, we can consider the Mediterranean diet to be, in a way a moderate carbohydrate dietand is characterized by a contribution in quality carbohydratesThis changes the way we think about carbohydrates and their energy impact on the body.

Moreover, it's not a question of "choosing" between the Mediterranean diet and the low-carb diet, but rather of bringing the best of the Mediterranean diet to the "raw" low-carb.

In fact, there are many different ways of eating low-carb. We can eat two hard-boiled eggs in the morning, chicken breast and a portion of lentils at lunchtime, toasted and salted almonds in the afternoon, and canned tuna with microwaved broccoli in the evening, with no seasoning or other ingredients. spices. It's low-carb, but tasteless, deprived of nutrients that are good for your health, and the antithesis of the Mediterranean diet. What's more, it's not sustainable in the long term, because pleasure and the awakening of the senses are part of an ideal diet, and essential for health and mood. And that's what the Mediterranean diet is all about, if only through the quality and originality of its ingredients.

As for the question of the proportion of carbohydrates in a Mediterranean diet in which we don't want to gain weight - and this is a sensible question - in practice it depends on your energy expenditure, your experience, your feelings, the season in progress, the stress of the moment, and many other parameters. This is a technical and important subject to which we'll return later. In the meantime, the most important thing is to adjust your carbohydrate intake according to your energy expenditure, by allowing yourself, for example, a day every 4 to 7 days with a higher carbohydrate intake, if possible from healthy sources and therefore always "mediterranean-compatible".

In the meantime, let's start with the basics: here's a summary, by food family, of what's eaten in the different regions of the Mediterranean.

Summary of the Mediterranean diet guide

Here are all the contents free of charge of this guide to the Mediterranean diet in podcast format (premium content is available in audio format). in articles reserved for Blooness members) :

REMINDER: Learn to quantify protein, carbohydrate and fat intakes for the best possible health and figure - [MEMBERS AREA]

Preamble: Blue Zones

Part 1: the fiberspolyphenols and carbohydrates in the Mediterranean diet

Part 2: Fruit in the Mediterranean diet

Part 3: proteins in the Mediterranean diet and lowcarb

Part 4: Fats

  • The best sources of fat in the Mediterranean diet

Part 5: Drinks in the Mediterranean diet

  • Drinks in the Mediterranean diet
  • Wine in the Mediterranean diet

Part 6: Lifestyle, energy and weight loss in the Mediterranean diet

  • Foods to limit 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
  • Putting the Mediterranean diet into practice

In short, quite a program, which we suggest you start with vegetablesThis is where the problem lies in today's society.

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