Life Herbs Blog

Benefits of a Mediterranean Diet

In essence the Mediterranean diet is as follows:-

  1. Exercise daily for thirty minutes.
  2. Brisk walking, swimming or any other exercise you enjoy doing.

  3. Enjoy meals with others and don’t rush meals.
  4. This allows for our brains to register that our stomachs are full!

  5. Never ‘eat on the go’.
  6. Eating in a hurry disables our body’s ability to do this effectively.

  7. Each meal is based on:
  8. Vegetables, fruits, whole wheat grains, olive oil, beans, nuts, legumes, seeds, herbs and spices.

  9. Eat at least twice weekly.
  10. Fish or shellfish.

  11. To be eaten only in moderation:
  12. Poultry, eggs, cheese and yoghurt.

  13. Meats and sugar.
  14. To be consumed only sparingly (2-3 times a month).

  15. Moderation consumption:
  16. Wine!

  17. Daily consumption:
  18. Water, of course.

Processed foods are never allowed. Foods must be fresh produce. .

Eat foods in season

Olive oil is the most abundant oil and is used for pan frying and drizzling over pasta and veggies. It can also be used in place of salad dressings (try adding a squeeze of lemon juice for extra flavour).

There are all kinds of fish out there, so find what you like and start there. Whether it’s wild salmon or halibut – follow your taste buds to discover your favourites. Try sautéing, baking or grilling with fresh herbs and spices.

The Mediterranean’s go easy on the dairy and what is consumed is cultured for easier digestion.  Fresh cheeses like Feta and Ricotta are preferred over aged cheeses which are higher in fats. Yoghurt is another dairy option and can be used for sauces, like Tzatziki.

8 Simple steps for eating Mediterranean style

  1. Eat lots of vegetables
  2. Just eat small amounts of meat and have it less often
  3. Enjoy some dairy products – think Greek yogurt and small amounts of cheese
  4. Eat seafood regularly
  5. Cook a vegetarian meal one night a week – build meals around beans, whole grains and
  6. vegetables
  7. Use healthy fats – extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, olives and avocados
  8. Switch to whole grains – the fibre will keep you fuller for longer
  9. For dessert, eat fresh fruit

Keeping slim on a Mediterranean diet

Researchers found that people whose diets were rich in olive oil and nuts lost more weight than those on low-fat regime

Those in the study who ate an unrestricted-calorie Mediterranean diet with added extra virgin olive oil lost the most weight.

The Mediterranean diet, with a high fat content from olive oil and nuts, does not cause people to gain weight, a major study has found.

Benefits of exercise

As little as five minutes a day of running on a treadmill has been linked to greater longevity. Furthermore running lowers the risk of premature death by 40%. In fact researchers have calculated that running two hours each week will add more than three years to our lives. The benefits of running however, plateau at four hours a week.

General cardiovascular exercise is good for your heart, and when it came to other activities, like walking researchers still found that it adds years to your life, but it only lowered the risk of a premature death by 12 percent.

The big takeaway is to keep moving!

A Mediterranean diet protects against heart attacks

A study found those who had a diet rich in vegetables, nuts, fish and oils were a third less likely to die early, compared with those who ate larger quantities of red meat, such as beef and butter.

A study followed 1,200 people with a history of heart attacks, strokes and blocked arteries over seven years. Those who ate mainly along Mediterranean lines were 37% less likely to die during the study than those who were furthest from this dietary pattern.