The Mediterranean diet has consistently ranked in the top 10 diets for decades.
Truth is, there really wasn’t a ‘Mediterranean’ diet. Rather it was built from principles based off of the lifestyles surrounding the Mediterranean sea, including Greece, Italy and Spain. The first reference of this ‘diet’ was in 1952 when physiologist Ancel Keys and his biochemist wife travelled that region conducting some quasi-experimental surveys of blood pressure, cholesterol and diet. The couple created a book that was presented as ‘How to Eat Well and Stay Well the Mediterranean Way.”
Most people know the Mediterranean diet as one that is high in olive oil, cheese and wine. Sounds pretty good. This is a good time to remind -> all things in moderation!
In general, this way of eating is plant forward and includes a wide variety of foods in their natural state, like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Yes, there is some cheese and wine, but those only make up a very small portion of the total intake
Food is only one aspect of the Mediterranean way. Of course movement matters. Exercise is built into daily activities to gently nudge the body rather than through a $3,500 Peloton and yearly gym memberships. But there’s more.
The bigger point that is often missed is not about what they eat, but rather how and when they eat.
This lifestyle means sitting down at a table for meals, not in front of the television or hunched over a computer. Eating distracted occupies the mind so the body isn’t even focused on digestion. Plus it leads to overeating more often than not, which studies have proven is one of the worst things you can do for the body. Eating the Mediterranean way means you listen to the signals your body sends and stop before you’re actually full, at 80%. Again, it’s all about ease for the digestive process.
Lunch is usually the biggest meal of the day with a lighter meal in late afternoon or early evening. This allows the body to have a 12-14 hour fast overnight and to fully work through the digestive process so it can focus on those things it’s meant to do while we sleep, like restoring and healing.
Now you know. It’s not just what you eat. These simple eating principles can make a huge difference in weight, cholesterol, blood pressure … essentially on every system in the body.