Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean Diet

Key Points

  • Plant-based, but includes lean meats and fish and dairy
  • Decades of research
  • Improves heart, brain and gut
  • Healthy fats means you'll be less hungry
  • Healthier than a low-fat diet
  • Red wine

When you look at what most doctors recommend for an ideal diet to fight cancer, it looks a lot like the Mediterranean Diet.   

What is the Mediterranean Diet:  Based on the diet from countries that surround the Mediterranean Sea, this diet is plant-centered, although it does include meat.  There's a foundation of whole grains, beans and lentils.  Lean meats (only once per week), chicken, fish (up to 3 times per week), nuts and healthy fats from olive oil, or avocado.  Dairy comes from choices that keep the gut healthy like yogurt or fermented cheese.

Eating fat is not considered a 'bad' thing, which means you won't feel as hungry.

The Mediterranean Diet has been studied for decades, and has been found to be good for your heart and your brain.  It is linked to lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, inflammation and many types of cancer.   Recent studies show it's even healthier than a low-fat diet.

Some of the reasons for the health benefits are the high amounts of fiber in the plant-based diet, but also the plant enzymes and probiotics for a healthy gut and an immune system boost.  Also, eating fat is not considered a 'bad' thing, which means you won't feel as hungry, improving your chances of success.

It is also a diet that is easy for most people who are used to a western diet to slowly adjust to.  By adding more fruits and vegetables, and eating leaner meats, eating yogurt or cheese.

Your diet is more than just the calories you take in.  Choosing nutrient-dense food, that contains micronutrients that improve health, means subtle changes have a lasting impact.

Learn more about the Mediterranean Diet

Check out this video produced by the Mayo Clinic:

 

 

Resources

There are many resources to help you start with a Mediterranean Diet.

Harvard Health has a Quick Start.

Or try this HelpGuide.