The Mediterranean diet has a long-standing reputation as one of the healthiest eating patterns around.
It’s also considered one of the most popular plans among dieters because it’s flexible, rich in flavorful foods, and brimming with health benefits.
In fact, the Mediterranean diet has been linked to increased weight loss, decreased inflammation, and a lower risk of chronic disease.
What is the Mediterranean diet?
The Mediterranean diet is a style of eating that is based on the traditional diets of Mediterranean countries like Spain, France, Italy, and Greece.
Researchers noticed that people in these countries had lower rates of chronic disease, compared with those in the United States and Northern Europe, and they attributed this to their unique dietary pattern.
How to follow the Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet emphasizes mostly nutrient-rich, whole-food ingredients like fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and whole grains.
Though it focuses primarily on plant foods, other ingredients like poultry, seafood, eggs, and dairy can also be enjoyed in moderation.
Meanwhile, processed foods, added sugars, refined grains, and sugar-sweetened beverages should be avoided.
Certain types of alcohol, like red wine, can also be included in moderation but should be limited to no more than one or two servings per day for women and men, respectively.
Increases weight loss
The Mediterranean diet encourages eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods and limits processed foods and added sugars, which are often high in calories.
For this reason, pairing the Mediterranean diet with a healthy lifestyle could promote weight loss.
Protects against type 2 diabetes
Some research has found that the Mediterranean diet could protect against type 2 diabetes.
For instance, one study in 418 people noted that those who followed a Mediterranean diet were 52% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes over an average of 4 years, compared with a control group.
Also, a study in 901 people with type 2 diabetes showed that long-term adherence to the Mediterranean diet was linked to lower levels of blood sugar and hemoglobin A1C, a marker of long-term blood sugar control.
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