This is a welcome addition, as most American adults don’t get enough exercise. Shai I, Schwarzfuchs D, Henkin Y, et al. This healthy eating plan hosts a slew of health benefits, five of such benefits are showcased here, all of which are heavily backed by research. This well-conducted meta-analysis provides strong evidence that a Mediterranean style diet can reduce the risk of major chronic diseases. Salas-Salvado J, Bullo M, Babio N, et al. A Comprehensive Meta-Analysis on Evidence of Mediterranean Diet and Cardiovascular Disease: Are Individual Components Equal? Schwingshackl L, Schwedhelm C, Galbete C, Hoffmann G. Adherence to Mediterranean Diet and Risk of Cancer: An Updated Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. She writes about nutrition, exercise and overall well-being. “Whether you’re thinking of diabetes or cancer or heart disease, we want people to be at a healthy weight and not to be gaining weight unnecessarily. Another study also showed promising results. Here are a few ways you can improve your health by eating the Mediterranean Diet. According to the Mediterranean diet pyramid, primary components of the Mediterranean diet include: In addition, the Mediterranean diet emphasizes on doing regular physical activities and sharing foods and drinks with family and friends. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of fruits, vegetables, and olive oil may help fight oxidative damage linked to aging. With its prestigious reputation and science-backed benefits, the Mediterranean diet doesn’t seem to have many cons. Agnoli C, Sieri S, Ricceri F, et al. Nutrients. Packed with fruits and veggies, fish, whole grains, and healthful fats, the Mediterranean diet could help manage your weight, benefit your brain, improve heart health, and maybe even help you live longer. For example, a 2016 review in Frontiers in Nutrition analyzed 12 studies on the Mediterranean diet and brain health, and concluded that “there is encouraging evidence that a higher adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with improving cognition, slowing cognitive decline, or reducing the conversion to Alzheimer’s disease.” , A 2015 study looked specifically at the effects of the MIND diet—a combination of the Mediterranean diet and the DASH Diet—on the brain. Joo, J., Williamson, S.A., Vazquez, A.I. As mentioned, in its 2019 rankings, U.S. News & World Report rated the Mediterranean diet as No. They eat it with family members.”. The Mediterranean diet is composed of traditional foods of countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, such as Greece, Southern Italy, and Crete. Once you add calorie restriction, the Mediterranean diet may show more dramatic results, though not necessarily beating out another popular diet approach. To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter, 7 Health Benefits of a Mediterranean Diet. Findings from a recent study suggest that the whole-foods-based diet can improve inflammation and frailty in the elderly. The results? Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the joints, creating pain and swelling in and around them. A July 2016 review published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition looked at the effect of the Mediterranean diet on cognitive function and concluded “there is encouraging evidence that a higher adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with improving cognition, slowing cognitive decline, or reducing the conversion to Alzheimer’s disease.” (7). 2015;175(11):1752–1760. The third group was considered the control group—they didn't follow the Mediterranean diet and instead followed a low-fat diet. Morris MC, Tangney C, Wang Y, et al. Getty Images. These healthy fats help reduce the level of total cholesterol, low-density lipoproteins, triglycerides, as well as preventing systemic inflammation. The Mediterranean diet is associated with better disease-specific quality of life. Following the Mediterranean diet may help those with type 2 diabetes achieve better blood sugar control. A systematic review including 56 trials between 1978 to 2016 and including 4,937 patients with type 2 diabetes, found that the Mediterranean diet, as compared with control diets, was able to lower hemoglobin A1c levels by up to 0.32% on average. Certain components of the Mediterranean diet including whole grains, dairy products, and fish are linked with improved lung capacity indicated by higher peak expiratory flow rate. All of the participants were followed for a median of 4.8 years, and, after a revision from the 2013 study, it was confirmed that the chances of having a myocardial infarction (heart attack) or stroke in those that consumed the Mediterranean diet—either supplemented with nuts or olive oil—were 30 percent less than those who just consumed a low-fat diet. Researchers … may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Stay in your living room and still spike your heart rate. Dietary Guidelines: 2015-2020. This is probably the best type of evidence possible for assessing the long-term effects of this dietary pattern in healthy people. Even more, they were able to report a 6 percent decrease in the onset of breast cancer—a cancer that, prior to this study had not been associated with the Mediterranean diet. A significant concern for older adults is developing Alzheimer's disease or dementia, both of which are believed to be caused by inflammation in the brain. In 2019, however, a study in the journal Hypertension definitively concluded that eating a Mediterranean diet can lower systolic blood pressure.. Can You Really Get a Flat Belly in 32 Days? The Mediterranean diet has been shown to help people lose almost as much weight as a low-carb diet. A large study in 2018 (with more than 32,000 participants) also found that following a Mediterranean diet reduces the risk for abdominal obesity . Researchers even noted similar findings in those who reported eating the MIND diet. Numerous studies suggest the Mediterranean diet is good for your ticker, noted a meta-analysis published in November 2015 in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. (3). From easier cramps to a heavier flow, here's a guide on what to expect decade by decade. A separate study, published in October 2015 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine and based on PREDIMED data, found that women who ate a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil had a 62 percent lower risk of breast cancer than those in the control group that ate a low-fat diet. Nutr Diabetes. According to one study, the Mediterranean diet helped people who were both overweight and had type 2 diabetes lose weight, more so than those who just followed a low-fat diet. The influence of 15-week exercise training on dietary patterns among young adults. While there is no single definition of the Mediterranean diet, it is typically high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nut and seeds, and olive oil. They also investigated if the studies were similar enough to each other to justify the statistical pooling of results (using tests of heterogeneity), and also checked for signs of publication bias (using tests to see if it appeared that studies reporting negative findings were missing from the data in a systematic way). It’s no secret why: Tons of scientific research backs the claim that the Mediterranean diet is good for your heart. Other studies have shown the Mediterranean diet can help promote better glycemic control and fend off heart disease in those with type 2 diabetes. The increased longevity without any health adversity may be due to a high intake of plant-based foods, moderate intake of alcohol, and low intake of red meat and processed foods. Both conditions cause a repeated loss of memory, and because the myriad of foods that correspond with the Mediterranean diet all work to reduce inflammation in the body, a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society was conducted to see if the diet could improve memory in older adults. Schwingshackl L, Schwedhelm C, Galbete C, et al. Ajala O, English P, Pinkney J. Nutr Today. With those caveats in mind, here is a look at eight of the touted health benefits of the Mediterranean diet — and the science behind them. The mean weight loss was 4.4 kg (9.7 lbs) for the Mediterranean-diet group, 2.9 kg (6.4 lbs) for the low-fat group, and 4.7 kg (10.3 lbs) for the low-carbohydrate group. At least two years later, these individuals also showed a greater increase of deposits and reduction of energy use — potentially signaling an increased risk for Alzheimer’s — than those who more closely followed the Mediterranean diet. Even more, this diet is said to help those who already have the condition control their blood sugar levels, as well as decrease their chances of developing cardiovascular disease.

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