Mediterranean Diet – Diet doesn’t mean not eating all day and letting yourself starve. Diet means managing the right diet to support overall body health.
Some people also choose a certain diet to lose weight significantly. There are many types of diets, one of which you can choose is the Mediterranean diet.
US News & World Report ranked the Mediterranean diet first in 2019. The diet adapted from the diet of people living near the Mediterranean Sea is even called a cultural heritage by UNESCO.
Then, why is the Mediterranean diet so famous? What are the benefits for health?
According to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, the focus of the Mediterranean diet is to eat plant-based dishes that use vegetables, fruits, cereals, nuts, and fish, with more olive oil added.
Seafood or dairy products may be consumed only occasionally. Meanwhile, the intake of meat and alcohol should be avoided from this diet pattern.
So, as for some of the benefits that you can get from the diet, namely:
1. Reducing the Risk of Heart Disease
A journal published by Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition reveals that the Mediterranean diet, which focuses on eating nuts with extra-virgin olive oil, is useful for preventing cardiovascular disease.
“Following the Mediterranean diet has a 30 percent lower risk of developing heart disease. This diet reduces sugar consumption, thereby cutting calories that enter the body, and is healthier,” said Dr. Jo Ann Carson, professor of clinical nutrition at UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas.
2. Maintain Ideal Body Weight
For those of you who follow the Mediterranean diet, it is recommended to eat a maximum of 1,500 calories per day.
Meanwhile, men will be limited to 1,800 calories per day, with the goal of no more than 35 percent of calories from fat.
This is what makes this diet pattern can help you to achieve your ideal body weight.
Following a Mediterranean diet regularly can also significantly reduce waist circumference, according to an analysis of research in the journal The Lancet: Diabetes and Endocrinology.
3. Helps Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in January 2013, the Mediterranean diet helps control blood sugar.
Foods that contain a low glycemic index and a high protein diet in the Mediterranean diet are an effective way to help ward off health complications related to type 2 diabetes.
Journal of Diabetes Care revealed, a Mediterranean diet that is good with olive oil or nuts, has a 52 percent lower risk for type 2 diabetes.
4. Reducing the Risk of Cognitive Decline
The Mediterranean diet also prevents the risk of cognitive and memory decline with age.
The brain is an organ that requires nutrition and oxygen to function optimally.
To supply all of these nutrients, you need healthy blood vessels.
The Mediterranean diet can maintain healthy blood vessels so that it can prevent various cognitive decline diseases in old age, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
5. Prevent Cancer
The Mediterranean diet helps prevent certain types of cancer. Journal of Nutrients revealed this diet helps reduce the risk of cancer such as breast cancer and colorectal cancer.
The reason is that the Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains which are good for health and can prevent cancer.
That’s what can be obtained from the diet. You can get health benefits, for that, you have a lifestyle with a healthy diet.
How to Start
Based on journal articles in the American Heart Association, the main characteristics of the diet are very low consumption of red meat, and very low consumption of processed meats, butter, ice cream, or other whole-fat dairy products.
Those on this diet will enjoy plenty of fatty fish (especially salmon) in addition to whole grains, fresh vegetables, and nuts.
The Mediterranean diet is becoming popular because it helps us change our lifestyle, not just for weight loss, or measuring the number of calories, or food portions.
The benefits of eating this way are that it emphasizes eating whole foods and limits ultra-processed foods, which tend to be higher in sodium, saturated fat, and added sugar.
This is because the Mediterranean style of dining prioritizes fun and enjoyment throughout our dining experience, so flavorful ingredients are at the forefront, so you will never feel like you are missing out on your favorite food.
If you want to try the diet, you can start by following the food menu for breakfast below.
1. Low-Fat Pancakes
In a bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups low-fat yogurt, 1 large egg, 1 cup oats or oats pancake mix, and 3/4 cup nonfat milk.
This recipe makes five servings of pancakes. Serve with 2 tablespoons of light maple syrup, 1 cup of fat-free milk, and 1 cup of fresh strawberries.
2. Mixed Granola
In a clear glass or jar, layer 1/2 cup low-fat yogurt, mixed with 1 cup raspberries, and 1/3 cup low-fat granola sugar.
3. Peanut Butter Toast
For breakfast on day three, try peanut butter and banana toast.
The bread used can be white bread or wheat bread, after baking the bread is smeared with peanut butter, and given banana slices as a topping.
“It’s better to choose whole wheat bread because it contains more fiber and vitamins,” said dietitian Laura Kautz.
4. Oatmeal with Strawberry Topping
Another breakfast menu Moms can make oatmeal with a mixture of strawberries.
Make 1 bowl of oatmeal and add half a glass of milk and warm water. On top, sprinkle a topping of sliced fresh strawberries.
Almonds can be the right breakfast menu for Moms who want to try starting a diet.
This fruit is loaded with good nutritional content such as protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
Eating almonds in the morning will give us a lot of energy to start busy activities.
6. Egg Sandwich
Moms can try preparing 2 sunny-side-up eggs, 1/3 sliced avocado, tofu that has been mashed, and 1 slice of whole wheat bread.
Brush the whole wheat toast with the avocado first, then place the sunny-side-up egg on top.
You can also just eat avocados in the morning as a menu for the Mediterranean diet.
Besides being able to burn fat with its monounsaturated fat content, avocados are also useful for producing longer satiety.