Are you looking for a diet that's both healthy and delicious? The Mediterranean diet might be right up your alley. This diet has been praised for its numerous health benefits, including lower risks of heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. However, like any diet, the Mediterranean diet has its pros and cons. Let's take a closer look.
Lower risk of heart disease: The Mediterranean diet is rich in healthy fats like olive oil and nuts, which can lower your risk of heart disease. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, participants who followed the Mediterranean diet had a 30% lower risk of heart disease compared to those who followed a low-fat diet. And let's be honest, most fats are delicious and olive oil, seasoning and bread I mean come on....
Decreased risk of diabetes: The Mediterranean diet is also associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. One study published in the British Medical Journal found that participants who followed the Mediterranean diet had a 52% lower risk of developing diabetes over a four-year period compared to those who followed a low-fat diet. Which is perfect for you since you've never wanted to be someone in a diabetes commercial telling people about the pill that finally helped you get your A1c under control or worse become part of the remix of Wilford Brimley.
May reduce risk of certain cancers: The Mediterranean diet has also been linked to a lower risk of certain cancers, such as breast cancer. A study published in the International Journal of Cancer found that women who followed the Mediterranean diet had a 22% lower risk of breast cancer compared to those who followed a low-fat diet. If you have a family history of cancers, it may be in your interest to trying adjusting your diet towards something closer to the Mediterranean diet to help reduce your overall risk.
Delicious and varied: The Mediterranean diet is known for its delicious and varied food options. With a focus on fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats, the Mediterranean diet offers plenty of tasty meals and snacks. The hardest part of most diet's or lifestyle comes down to wanting to eat the food; having delicious options that remind you of your favorite vacation in Tuscany make that easier!
May be expensive& time consuming: Some of the key ingredients of the Mediterranean diet, like olive oil and nuts, can be expensive. This may make it difficult for some people to afford this type of diet. It also means a ton of trips to the store for fresh ingredients, as the basis of this diet is fresh veggies and fruits. Making most of meals from scratch to truly reap the rewards adds another layer of time to the equation. So if you're short on time and resources this may not be the lifestyle diet for you.
Limited food choices: While the Mediterranean diet does offer plenty of delicious options, some people may find it limiting due to the emphasis on certain food groups. For example, if you don't like seafood, you may struggle to find enough protein options on this diet. If you're not looking to get a little fishy with it or to limit your intake of red meats, you may want to consider a different dietary lifestyle.
Can be high in calories: The Mediterranean diet is known for its healthy fats, but it's still possible to overdo it. Some of the foods included in the Mediterranean diet, like nuts and cheese, can be high in calories. This means that if you're not careful, you could end up consuming more calories than you need and adding weight. If that then becomes the case you may offset some of the health benefits of reduced heart disease or diabetes by adding the concern of obesity to the fold.
Not a quick fix: While the Mediterranean diet has numerous health benefits, it's not a quick fix for weight loss or other health issues. Like any diet, it requires a commitment to long-term healthy eating habits.
Overall, the Mediterranean diet is a healthy and delicious way to eat. However, like any diet, it has its pros and cons. If you're considering trying the Mediterranean diet, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian to make sure it's the right choice for you. And remember, even the healthiest diet can't save you from a bad day. So, don't forget to indulge in a slice of pizza, wings, and/or desert every now and then!