Mediterranean diet: Dr Chris reveals health benefits
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There are so many diets out there it’s easy to get confused and find the right one that works. But there is one popular choice that’s constantly making headlines – the Mediterranean diet plan.
It has slowly become one of the better known diets around, with US News and World finding it had “been ranked the best overall diet on the planet for two years in a row”.
Dr. Steven Masley, author of The Mediterranean Method, proudly commends the diet itself for its “delicious recipes” that even puts wine on the menu.
But he warned that drinking too much could be doing “more harm than good”.
“Mediterraneans have one or two glasses a day, and mostly red wine with dinner,” he explained, adding that their water consumption is also very high.
“When you sit at a table at a Mediterranean country, they pretty much walk up and open a bottle of water for you, whether asked or not,” he continued.
“If you have one maximum two servings of red wine a day with dinner, it improves your blood sugar, lowers oxidation and helps decrease your risk for heart disease.
“Even some kinds of cancers are decreased with small amounts of red wine everyday.”
“But don’t overdo it,” he warned.
While the consumption of red wine is allowed in moderation, there are numerous positives this diet can offer followers.
1. It’s diverse
According to Masley, there are “lots of delicious options” because the diet plan incorporates a fusion of what is eaten in Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Northern Africa.
2. It’s a plant-based diet
The Mediterranean regions consume a lot of vegetables, fruit, beans and nuts as their primary food sources, Dr Masley claiming they are an “essential part” of the diet being a success.
3. It’s vegan friendly
While fish can be a big part of the diet, vegans are able to follow this eating plan because it is laden with beans and nuts for protein.
Vegetarians can also add plain yogurt or eggs into the mix.
On top of that, Masley recommended non-meat eaters to take vitamin B12 and algae-based Omegas, as well as a probiotic source, such as sauerkraut or yogurt.
4. Olive oil isn’t on the banned food list
Yes, it is the primary fat source of the diet – especially extra virgin olive oil as it “blocks inflammation and improves your blood sugar,” according to Masley.
5. Contains limited Sugar
Masley revealed the main dessert in the region is fruit, so added sugars are generally never consumed.
“In Europe, if you order an appetiser and salad and an entrée, you’re going to be given something like grapes or berries or watermelon at the end of the meal,” he told Parade.
But that doesn’t mean people on the diet can’t have a splurge occasionally.
“Once in a while they’ll use sugar, like in a ricotta blueberry cheesecake for example, or a chocolate mousse,” he continued.
“So they do have fancy desserts that they might have once a week, but generally they don’t eat sugar.”
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