Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet
The benefits of the Mediterranean diet are substantial and affect almost all parts of our health. Some of the benefits are listed below.
- Reduction in mortality from cardiovascular disease (CVD)1
- Reduction in incidence of major cardiovascular (CV) events in high-risk individuals2
- Reduction in incidence of or mortality from cancer1
- Reduction in incidence of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease1
- Reduced risk of metabolic syndrome3
- Reduced risk of depression4
- Reduced risk of cognitive impairment4 and improvement in cognitive function5
- Reduced incidence of chronic kidney disease6
- Improved glycemic control in patients with Type 2 Diabetes7
What is the Mediterranean Diet?
Healthcare providers can help their patients adopt the Mediterranean diet by providing them with education and support to implement the key principles of the Mediterranean diet. These principles are listed below.89
- Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Include at least 2 servings of vegetables and 3 servings of fruit per day. Choose a variety of vegetables and fruits that are different colours.
- Eat a variety of whole grain foods. Include foods, such as oats, brown rice, bulgar, barley, farro, and whole grain breads, pasta and couscous.
- Choose healthy, unsaturated fats. Include at least four tablespoons of olive oil per day. Other healthy fats include nuts, seeds, avocados, and vegetable oils, such as flaxseed and avocado.
- Eat legumes (peas, beans, lentils) at least three times per week. Try to include at least one vegetarian meal per week.
- Eat fish at least two times per week. Use fish to replace red meat in the diet.