During the time before any of us can remember, people near the Mediterranean Basin have naturally fed themselves with the Mediterranean Diet.
People from Italy, Greece or Spain are usually very active, vocal and live a stress free life. UNESCO even declared their cultures as Immaterial Human Heritage. Unfortunately with globalization their way of healthy living has changed for the worse. Conscious people however are still searching for ways in which to enrich their lives and live them with upmost quality. They care about their bodies, and keeping them in shape. And so do we too.
One of the logical ways to go about keeping in shape successfully is to eat a balanced, supplement free diet. The Mediterranean Diet will not just make it easier for you to get in shape, but also will clear your skin and help your internal organs work properly. It is a balanced diet, meaning you take in as much of each type of food as you need, no more, no less. The good thing is that it is not another “lose 20 pounds in 15 days” type of schemes, as the diet is natural, which means there is no economic interest for the companies to let you know about it. The money that you will need to spend is what you usually spend on groceries, but this time you will just pick different ones.
As the Mediterranean Diet is natural, it is also a very good way to keep you disease free. Stroke and heart attack, the causes that kill most men and women have been proved to be less lethal for people who feed on a Mediterranean Diet. It also helps with excess body fat, high blood pressure, high levels of cholesterol or high insulin level. It means that the diet helps prevent a big number of illnesses, such as asthma, various allergies, Alzheimer and Parkinson’s disease and even types of cancer.
The characteristics of a Mediterranean Diet are that you eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, carbohydrates that are not refined and are adjusted to physical activity, intake of dairy products with at least a few eggs during the week and a very moderate consumption of meat and natural saturated fats. It is also characterized by a high intake of virgin olive oil and a glass or two of wine each day, preferably red wine. Alternatively you can drink white wine or beer, and the best time to do this is during the main meal. Of course, no balanced diet can go without snacks, and nuts are one of the healthiest snacks to eat. Occasionally you will be able to enjoy a traditional Mediterranean desert.
People who want to lose weight will of course have to eat less caloric food and do more excursive. On the other hand, people looking to gain weight will be inclined towards eating more calories.
It is interesting to know that people who are used to the Mediterranean Diet have a better quality of life in the 80 percentile, and a huge 70% bigger life expectancy. This is true if they do not smoke however. Of course, if you are looking to live an overall healthier life, you would certainly give up smoking. The keys are simple to understand – expand your awareness of what a healthy life is, and be physically active as much as possible.
When you follow a Mediterranean Diet, you are not just selecting which foods to eat. There is more to it than that. You also need to know which foods you want to avoid. It is mostly the products that did not exist 50 or 60 years ago. The artificial processed foods that hold trans fats. You should go for foods that have no trans fats at all, and even that means a serving of .49 grams of trans fats per meal. They are important to avoid as they are responsible for increasing the LDL, which is a bad type of cholesterol, and decreasing the HDL, the one we like, and not to mention other negative effects that are still being researched about.
A very important element to having a quality, healthy life is the diet we choose. That is why parents have to teach their children about the importance of avoiding manufactured foods and which natural substitutes to take. Feed your children apples instead of wrapped processed foods, or give them a banana or a homemade sandwich. Supervise their eating habits at school, and be especially worried about what you will feed to them as the main dish. Your body, and thus your brain will be much more agile and will function faster if you remember to follow a natural diet, such as a Mediterranean Diet!