Mediterranean Diet – Health benefits

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Now you can eat tasty food and enjoy every bite of it while benefiting your overall health. All you need to do is adapt – The Mediterranean diet. 

Thanks to the Mediterranean diet, eating healthy and staying fit has become much easier. It has become popular because the foods are flavorful, easy to make and budget-friendly.

Moreover, it also boasts plenty of health benefits along with being delicious. For instance, it’s been found to lower the risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.

Emily Newhard, RDN at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center explains: “It can also help reduce blood pressure and assist with weight loss.”

What is the Mediterranean diet?

When your plate is full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans/nuts/legumes and flavorful herbs and spices, you know it must be healthy.

“This meal pattern emphasizes intake of fish or seafood at least twice weekly. A serving size of cooked seafood is 6 ounces,” says Newhard. 

She added – “Other protein sources on the menu include poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt.”

An average Mediterranean meal plan consists of:

  • Breakfast: Vegetable frittata with onions, garlic, basil, spinach, artichoke hearts and tomato. Baked sweet potato wedges. Herbal tea.
  • Lunch: Lentil vegetable soup and a green salad with arugula, purple cabbage, red onion, cucumber, carrot, walnuts and mustard vinaigrette. Whole grain bread or crackers. Iced black tea with lemon.
  • Dinner: Lemon dill baked fish over brown rice with garlic sautéed kale and a glass of red wine.
  • Dessert: Dark chocolate with cherries.

Who should try the Mediterranean diet?

People with issues like hypertension, hyperlipidemia or inflammatory problems or risk of stroke should try this diet – that is if your doctor recommends it too.

Otherwise, this diet plan can be followed by anyone.

“It can help reduce the development or progression of chronic diseases,” says Newhard.

 

Benefits of the Mediterranean diet:

  • Reduced risk of (or help managing) chronic disease, particularly heart disease
  • Less inflammation
  • Slower cognitive decline with age

“If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, talk to a nutritionist near you,” says Newhard. 

“We can help you understand how it would satisfy your individual needs.”

 

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