Four Reasons to Love the Mediterranean Diet

4 Ways the Med Diet Can Help You with weight and overall health

We are welcoming one of our partners, the Nutrition Diva to our blog today to share why the Mediterranean Diet can be so good for you! We already have many of you on our Mediterranean meal plan, but if you haven’t given it a shot yet and you like the laid back vibe from the Med region, give it a whirl like the pasta on your fork!

Hi, I’m Monica Reinagel. I’m a nutritionist (and professionally trained chef) and I host the weekly Nutrition Diva podcast, where I offer tips on how you and your family can eat better and have more fun doing it.

There are lots of ways to put together a healthy diet, and I think everyone needs to figure out what works best for them.  But I have to admit a personal preference for the Mediterranean diet.  (And not just because it involves red wine!)

In recognition of Mediterranean Diet Month, here are the four top reasons that I heart the Mediterranean way of eating!

1. It’s super good for you. Adopting the Mediterranean Diet appears to reduce the risk of all kinds of diseases, including heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Type 2 diabetes, and depression.  Click here for summaries of recent research.

2. It’s a painless way to lose weight (and keep it off).  Compared with people on low-fat and low-carb regimens, folks following a Mediterranean diet lose just as much weight. More importantly, they tend to keep it off longer, perhaps because they find the diet satisfying and easy to stick with.

3. It’s real food. Another thing I particularly like about the Mediterranean diet is that it defies the attempts of food manufacturers to reduce every diet trend into a new category of junk food. When low-fat diets were popular, for example, manufacturers rushed to produce hundreds of new low-fat cookies and treats. They were low in fat but high in sugar, and it turned out to be pretty easy to gain weight eating low-fat foods. Then, when low-carb diets came into fashion, the shelves were flooded with sugar- and carb-free meal replacement bars and drinks. They’re low in carbs all right, but four dozen unpronounceable chemicals listed as “ingredients” on the label makes me wonder if this really can be considered food.

4. It’s as much an attitude as a menu.  I think one of the reasons people seem to flourish on the Mediterranean diet is that it doesn’t feel like a diet.  It’s a style of eating that focuses on positives (like eating more fresh vegetables) rather than negatives (like cutting out bread). Read more about this here. Instead of counting calories or fat or carbs, the Mediterranean diet emphasizes flavor, freshness, and the social and aesthetic pleasures of cooking and eating with friends and family. Good nutrition and healthy bodies follow naturally.

Are you a fan of the Mediterranean diet? What do you like best about it? (Photo Credit: Lapina Maria, licensed through Shutterstock)

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