Have you ever imagined a region where people have a high life expectancy and a low incidence of chronic diseases? Because it exists, it is the region bathed by the Mediterranean Sea, which encompasses the south of Spain, the south of France, Italy and Greece. When they realized that these places had so many healthy people, scientists began to study what was different there and arrived at the Mediterranean diet.
“Real food is the basis of this diet, which includes fruits, vegetables, fish, olive oil and a small amount of wine and milk products”, describes the nutritionist Guilherme Giorelli, director of SMEERJ (Society of Sports Medicine and Exercise of Rio de Janeiro) and juror of the Ranking of VivaBem Diets.
All of these items have nutrients that benefit health. And taking such a balanced diet helps with maintenance and even weight loss. That is why she was ranked 1st in the 2020 Ranking. Understand more about how to follow this diet.
How the Mediterranean Diet Works
Discovered in the 1950s, this diet has become popular over time. Its main diffuser was the American physician Ancel Keys, who carried out several studies in the region. Since then, the subject has become bestsellers (authored by Keys himself); it gave rise to Foundation Diet Mediterranean, a Catalan entity that promotes it through research and congresses; and, since 2010, UNESCO recognizes the Mediterranean diet as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity. Fame is not for nothing. The way of life of residents of regions bathed by the Mediterranean Sea such as Greece, Italy and southern Spain and France is associated with cardiovascular health and longevity.
Is this diet safe
The Mediterranean diet is considered safe because it combines not only diversity in food but also a healthier way of life . Those diagnosed with celiac disease and lactose restriction need medical attention to avoid the risk of becoming malnourished, as the dietary pattern recommends both wheat and dairy products.
Wine is not mandatory. People with restrictions on alcoholic beverages should remove it from the menu . It is also seen as a good diet for type 2 diabetics. In fact, a study showed that its supporters were 40% less likely to develop this disease than those who did not follow it.
Does the diet really lose weight?
The Mediterranean lifestyle is healthier, less stressful and less sedentary. It is linked to the cultural, religious and identity values of a people. Your goal is not weight loss. Choosing this dietary pattern will benefit your health, however, eating large quantities of these foods (even those recommended in the diet) and spending fewer calories can result in extra pounds.
If you want to reduce the number of scales, the ideal is to follow up with a health professional. Each has a different caloric requirement . Leaving sedentary lifestyle aside, what these people have been doing for a long time with their daily tasks, can also help you lose weight. So, move.
What to eat and drink in the Mediterranean diet.
One of the main precepts of the Mediterranean diet is natural food. Processed foods should be avoided, that is, those that have undergone industry changes and that have lost some nutrients and fibers in the procedure. Out of the diet are the sausages, canned and ultra-processed, those products formulated by the industry with little or no fresh food.
There are plenty of examples of these products on the supermarket shelves: soft drinks, energy drinks, snacks, stuffed cookies, treats, powdered juice, sausages, frozen products ready to heat, dehydrated products such as instant noodles, powdered soup, cake mix, seasoning ready. Here are the main foods that go into the Mediterranean diet.
– Chestnuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, macadamia, hazelnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and others. They are rich in calories and good fats and help with cardiovascular health. – Whole grains: pasta is a very common food in this region, and it is authorized, but as long as it is whole.
Whole grains must replace refined carbohydrates, that is, white flour. Prefer whole products that are a source of fiber, type E and B complex vitamins, minerals such as magnesium, iron, zinc, selenium, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, essential fatty acids, fibers and antioxidants such as flavonoids that contribute to risk reduction for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Mediterranean Diet Menu.
At the request of UOL Viva BEM, Monica Stockler, a nutritionist who is a member of the Society of Cardiology of the State of São Paulo (Soc esp) prepared a suggestion for a day’s menu for the Mediterranean diet.
Mediterranean sandwich: two slices of whole grain bread; small piece of goat cheese; olive oil flavored with herbs and basil; cherry tomatoes and chopped cucumber; sea salt mixed with oregano, thyme and basil. Preparation: lightly toast the two slices of bread.
Add the flavored olive oil and the goat cheese. Complete with cherry tomatoes and cucumber, season with sea salt. Morning snack A portion of fruit or a handful of chestnuts. Lunch Salad with different types of green leaves and sunflower seeds. Fish baked with herbs and spices (thyme, nutmeg, rosemary and oregano) and seasoned with olive oil. Brown rice cooked with lentils, mushrooms, oregano and carrots.
Can vegetarians and vegans eat this diet
The Mediterranean diet consists of vegetables, fruits, cereals, seeds, eggs and derivatives, that is, foods present in the daily life of vegetarians. But the diet recommends eating fish and birds at least twice a week. So, to make adaptations and due substitutions, it is always recommended the guidance of a health professional.
For vegans, on the other hand, it is a more difficult task, because in addition to meat, eggs and dairy products would be left out of the menu. It is important to individually assess adaptations, but proteins of plant origin can be considered. Examples of vegetable protein sources are: mushrooms, black rice and buckwheat, peanuts, cashews and pine nuts, peas and lentils, and soy tofu.