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Diet Breakdown: What's The Mediterranean Diet?

Many of today’s fad diets promote unhealthy eating habits or fail to produce positive results. But the Mediterranean eating plan is more than a diet; it’s a way of life that significantly improves your health.

What’s The Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean diet is an eating plan based on components that characterize the traditional cooking style of those countries that border the Mediterranean Sea. It emphasizes eating mostly plant-based foods, limiting red meats, using healthy-fat oils, and incorporating herbs and spices for seasoning.  

Benefits Of The Mediterranean Diet

Recent studies have found the Mediterranean diet to have numerous health benefits. In fact, the benefits are so vast and profound that most, if not all, major health and science organizations encourage adults to adapt Mediterranean-style eating habits in order to prevent chronic diseases. Here are some benefits of maintaining this kind of diet.

  • Reduced risk of heart disease;
  • Lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol;
  • Reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality;
  • Longer lifespan;
  • Lower risk of breast cancer in women;
  • Fewer incidences of cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Key Elements Of The Mediterranean Diet

Believe it or not, the Mediterranean diet isn’t as complicated as you may think. It’s really all about eating whole foods naturally found in nature and avoiding bad carbs and fats such as junk food and excessive red meat. Below are the key components that make up this eating plan.

  • Limiting red meat intake to a few times a month
  • Consuming primarily plant-based foods such as fruits and veggies, nuts and legumes, and whole grains
  • Replacing salt with herbs and spices to flavor dishes
  • Using healthy fats, like olive, oil instead of butter
  • Eating poultry and fish 2 or more times each week
  • Enjoying red wine in moderation

Tips And Tricks

The most important thing to remember about the Mediterranean diet is that your plate should always be filled mostly with plant-based foods (vegetables and fruits). Carbs are okay eaten in moderation. Protein should always come from a source low in unhealthy fats. And when getting your healthy fats from nuts, be sure to limit your intake to about a handful a day, since nuts are high in calories.

Take a look at a few other tips for making this diet a success:

  • Shop the outside perimeter of the supermarket;
  • Drink plenty of water;
  • Eat locally;
  • Choose foods that are in season.

Check out this recipe as an example of the types of food you'd eat on the Mediterranian diet.

To learn more about the Mediterranean diet or other healthy eating options, reach out to the pros at Matrix Age Management today.

Tags: Nutrition

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