Apart from being an absolutely breathtaking part of the world to visit, with its pristine beaches, idyllic islands and laid back, welcoming hospitality, the Mediterranean has something to entice everyone, from its stunning shores to its delectable diet.
Today, we’re breaking down the fundamentals of the Mediterranean diet and how its gained popularity for its many benefits.
What is it?
As the name would suggest, the Mediterranean diet comprises the traditional diets of the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.
While they may differ slightly from place to place, a few fundamentals act as foundational features: fruits and veggies, beans, nuts, whole grains, fish, olive oil, small amounts of dairy, and red wine.
Those who adhere to it also advocate for daily exercise and the social aspects of eating together to reap the most benefits.
How does it work?
Essentially, the Mediterranean diet is primarily plant-based, with smaller sources of animal protein added in as well - the most widely preferred animal protein being fish and seafood, which is recommended twice weekly, and other proteins such as chicken, eggs, and dairy, in smaller portions either daily or a few times a week.
Sorry medium-rare fans, red meat is limited to a few times per month.
The diet itself places a heavy emphasis on healthy fats, with olive oil acting as a favourable replacement to other oils and fats, such as butter or margarine. Other common healthy fats found in this diet include avocados, nuts, and oily fish, such as salmon and sardines, which are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Water is the preferred daily beverage, but this diet also permits a moderate intake of wine, preferably red, with meals, about one to two glasses a day for men and one glass for women.
What are the benefits?
According to research from Harvard, evidence has consistently shown that the Mediterranean diet is effective in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and overall mortality.
Research also indicates increased interest in the diet’s effects on aging and cognitive function, with some evidence promoting the diet as a means of decreasing the risk of depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia.
Additionally, the nutrient-packed Mediterranean diet can help keep you agile and help reduce the risk of developing muscle weakness.
On top of keeping active, maintaining the Mediterranean diet may also help you lose weight in a safe and sustainable way. This effectiveness is likely due to its focus on whole, fresh foods packed with healthy fats and nutrients.
What’s the best part, you may ask? You don’t need to book a ticket or hop on a plane to get a taste of the Mediterranean life! Famous Foods stocks all of the foods and ingredients necessary to test the benefits of the Mediterranean diet yourself from the comfort of your own home.
With a diverse selection of produce, dairy, meat and seafood, Famous Foods has all the things you need to get started today.
Visit famousfoods.ca to browse now.