The Mediterranean diet is one of the most complete and healthy in the world, so we will explain what it consists of and what its benefits are
Of all the types of gastronomy in the world, the Mediterranean diet is one of the most valued and beneficial for human beings.
And it is that the Mediterranean diet is not only the foods that we consume or stop consuming. Also, all the habits, traditions and processes that surround Mediterranean gastronomy are important and are part of this concept.
It is very common, when traveling to other countries, to return to Spain with that feeling of wanting to return to Spanish food. Tourists generally praise our gastronomy and the Mediterranean diet is one of the most important features of Spanish culture.
But the Mediterranean diet is not exclusive to Spain, far from it. All the Mediterranean or neighboring countries also have this type of gastronomy as a way of understanding food.
Also, in case anyone didn't know, our Mediterranean diet is so popular and advantageous that a few years ago it was recognized as a World Heritage Site.
What is the Mediterranean diet?
The Mediterranean diet is a set of guidelines, food and health, that are carried out in the societies corresponding to the Mediterranean and neighboring countries.
The Mediterranean diet integrates from customs to characteristic recipes, but it also consists of certain celebrations, ways of cooking and typical products. In addition to the fact that there are certain more recommended products within the Mediterranean diet, there are also other aspects that prevail when it comes to following this pattern of life.
For example, the practice of daily exercise, the consumption of seasonal foods or the grafting of water in abundant quantity every day are fundamental aspects. Ultimately, the Mediterranean diet is a lifestyle.
Foods that make up the Mediterranean diet
A healthy and nutritious lifestyle, by the way. And it is that in the Mediterranean diet there are a series of foods that gain prominence, while for others a moderate and controlled consumption is stipulated.
In this type of diet, vegetables, cereals, seasonal foods, dairy products, fruit and fish prevail.
Vegetables and fruits
In this way, someone who follows a Mediterranean diet should consume at least five servings of fruit and vegetables every day. The vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber that these products contain are of great help for many functions of our body.
Also, carbohydrates should be a daily part of our diet. Here we can include pasta, rice, cereals and bread (better whole wheat). Thus, the energy that these products give us will give us strength for the whole day.
Dairy and eggs
On the other hand, dairy products, especially yogurt and cheeses, are an essential source of calcium for our body, specifically for our bones. Also, blue fish once or twice a week provide us with essential properties. However, red and processed meat should be taken in moderation. Excess animal fats are not positive, and if taken, animal fats from oily fish are recommended as we have pointed out.
The eggs are also part of the Mediterranean diet, although it is recommended not to consume more than three or four a week.
In addition, this type of eating pattern is characterized by the use of olive oil as opposed to vegetable oil or butter. In fact, this type of oil is one of the differential points between the Mediterranean diet and other types of gastronomic cultures that we can find around the world. Olive oil has great advantages compared to others, both nutritionally and in terms of the flavor it leaves on dishes and meals.
Water, fruit juices and wine
If we talk about drinks and liquids, it is also very important to consume plenty of water, in quantities of around two liters every day. And the Mediterranean diet offers us the opportunity to enjoy wine in moderation. A daily drink during the meal is an optimal amount to benefit from all its positive properties.
The diet that characterizes the Mediterranean countries is not only a dietary pattern. Other habits are important within this lifestyle, such as physical exercise. Practicing sports or physical activities daily helps, and a lot, to maintain good health. Walking, running, using the bicycle as a means of transport, are some examples. Swimming or practicing any other sport are also activities that we should be very present in our day to day.
Countries in which the Mediterranean diet is consumed
As we advanced in this article, this diet is not exclusive to Spain. But it is perhaps one of the countries where we must take care of this tradition of life. However, the rest of the Mediterranean countries are also part of this lifestyle. Thus, Portugal, Italy, France, Greece and Malta are considered countries in which a Mediterranean diet is followed. Some others like Croatia and even Morocco could also be included in this list, according to UNESCO.
The Mediterranean diet, a World Heritage Site
For those who do not know, the Mediterranean diet constitutes a very important, traditional and healthy lifestyle. For this reason, since 2013 it has been registered as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
This is intended to value all the customs, guidelines and foods that make up the Mediterranean diet and preserve its continuity over time. It is also a way of recognizing to the whole world the benefits that this type of diet brings to people. In the same way, it is intended to raise awareness about the importance of continuing with these eating and health customs.
Benefits of the Mediterranean diet
One of the biggest problems related to food worldwide is the increase in obesity, especially in children and young people. With the Mediterranean diet, this problem is largely avoided. By prioritizing the consumption of vegetables and seasonal products over the consumption of animal fats, the risk of obesity in society is reduced.
Spanish researchers from the CIBEROBN group (Center for Online Biomedical Research - Physiopathology of Obesity and Nutrition) accumulate different studies that show that the Mediterranean diet has a lower rate of obese people. Their research can be consulted on the Predimed website (Prevention with Mediterranean Diet).
Complete, balanced and healthy diet
In addition, the Mediterranean diet is understood as one of the most complete and healthy in our society. It is a diet with centuries of tradition that, as we have seen, puts natural, seasonal and vegetable foods before treated and fatty products.
This means that the foods of the Mediterranean diet provide the body with many nutrients and healthy properties, which are very necessary and beneficial for people.
Cardiovascular disease prevention
There are different studies, such as this one by Predimed, which confirm that following a Mediterranean lifestyle, and especially thanks to olive oil, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
After all this information we have collected about the Mediterranean diet, do you still have doubts about why we should be proud of it?
The fact is that the keto diet is extremely low in certain fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, etc - all of which are essential for a healthy, balanced diet. So, this puts you at a higher risk for micronutrient deficiencies such as vitamins B and C, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, etc. Moreover, experts fear that high intakes of unhealthful fats can result in a long-term negative effect.