Home Diet Why the Mediterranean diet turns out to be the best every year

Why the Mediterranean diet turns out to be the best every year

by Katie Mogg
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Through years of research and diet rankings, certain therapies have consistently been found to offer numerous health benefits, and their popularity remains undiminished as trends change.

Mediterranean diet tops the list again US News and World ReportsSeventh consecutive annual ranking in 2024 new wave of media attention.

The diet is plant-based and emphasizes multiple daily servings of whole grains, legumes, nuts, olive oil, and seafood, as well as fruits and vegetables.

I eat red meat only occasionally and consume dairy products and chicken in moderation. Highly processed foods and foods with added sugars are generally avoided.

Researchers and nutritionists say that sticking to your diet long-term increases your chances of living a longer, healthier life. A wealth of research suggests that it may lower your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and slow cognitive decline.

“It’s a way of life, it’s a cuisine, and its origins go back thousands of years, but in the last five to 60 years it’s been the most highly researched cuisine in the world,” said Catherine, professor of nutrition and dietetics. Professor Isiopoulos said. He is a professor at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, and has published several books on the Mediterranean diet.

This is a characteristic of the Mediterranean diet.

Diet reduces risk of heart disease

Most of the evidence focuses on the association between the Mediterranean diet and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease; Related conditions Obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc.

according to Review of research in 2021, this diet has been shown to reduce women’s risk of coronary heart disease by 29% and stroke risk by 13%.a 2017 analysisOn the other hand, it was found that it can reduce your risk of coronary heart disease, heart attack, and stroke by an average of 40%.

That may be because the fats found in olive oil, seeds, fish, and nuts are of the healthy variety: monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats. In contrast, red meat, cheese, dairy products, and highly processed foods like cookies and potato chips are high in unhealthy fats that can clog your arteries with plaque.

These fatty foods can also cause chronic low-grade inflammation. immune system cells This has been going on for far too long, said Dr. Selvi Rajagopal, assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University. Those active cells can attack, damage organs and healthy tissues.

“This affects the way people’s bodies produce cholesterol, regulate blood sugar levels and form plaque,” Rajagopal said.

Some studies suggest The Mediterranean diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, and legumes that contain antioxidants and other beneficial compounds, which can help fight chronic inflammation.

According to one researcher, regular use of extra virgin olive oil may help reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure. Research review Published in June. But that’s not enough.

“If someone who goes to McDonald’s and drinks a lot of soft drinks uses olive oil, I don’t think they’re going to get the same benefits as someone who’s taking their whole diet seriously,” Kelly says. Leblanc says. He is a registered dietitian and vice president of nutrition programming at Oldways, a nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable eating. “There are no special diet silver bullets or villains.”

Less likely to develop type 2 diabetes

Research has long linked excess sugar intake to the risk of: type 2 diabetes. That’s because the Mediterranean diet relies on honey and cinnamon as sweeteners. The main source of sugar is fruit, which is associated with a reduced risk of disease.

A study conducted in April compared blood samples from more than 300,000 participants and found that those who adhered to a Mediterranean diet had a nearly 30% lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

This effect can also be influenced by the intake of vegetable fats such as nuts, olive oil, and avocado. improve insulin sensitivity.

good for the intestines

The fibrous staples of the Mediterranean diet, such as beans, lentils, apples and brown rice, are also associated with more regular bowel movements and lower blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels, according to the magazine. food and drug administration.

These foods affect your health intestinal microbiota — The digestive system’s bacterial ecosystem that helps break down food and extract nutrients. The microbiome also helps protect the body from pathogens.

“The good bacteria in our intestines feed on that good fiber and multiply,” says Rajagopal.

This creates a strong lining in your intestines, she added. “The more of it you have, the more it’s like protection. It’s like a separate army against disease.”

The benefits of the Mediterranean diet extend further

Adhering to a Mediterranean diet not only reduces the likelihood of certain types of cancer, including breast cancer, colorectal cancer, head and neck cancer, and lung cancer, but also lowers the risk of death from cancer, according to one paper. There is a possibility. Review of research in 2020.

Then there are also the benefits of food for the mind. A March study found that following a Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of dementia in older adults by almost 25%.by National Institute on Agingthis diet is associated with decreased signs of Alzheimer’s disease in the brain.

Although more research is needed to understand this relationship, one hypothesis is that the antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables can protect against brain cell damage. 2019 survey.

Despite the Mediterranean diet’s myriad benefits, it also has drawbacks. It doesn’t necessarily help you lose weight quickly. It is found in large amounts in foods such as olive oil and nuts. fat and calories. To lose weight on a diet, you need to pay attention to regular physical activity and portion sizes.

“If you weigh more than 50 pounds, the Mediterranean diet alone won’t help you get rid of all that extra weight,” says Dr. Walter Willett, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

That said, Willett added that dietary variety can make it more enjoyable to stick to than a restrictive weight loss plan.

Plus, he said, weight loss is more likely to be maintained when combined with regular exercise.

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