Life longevity is mostly determined by a person’s decisions they make along the way. For those who eat whatever they like, drink in excess and never exercise, life expectancy will be greatly diminished compared to those who adopt a healthier balance and make wiser decisions. Evidence and research suggests sticking to a Mediterranean diet may act as a buffer against health complications and to help those live longer.
The Mediterranean diet has proven beneficial effects not only regarding metabolic syndrome, but also on its individual components including waist circumference, HDL-cholesterol levels, triglycerides levels, blood pressure levels and glucose metabolism, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
In Pioppi, a village in southern Italy, residents often live to the age of 100.
Doctor Aseem Malhortra, who studied the Pippion lifestyle, said: “Diet is the number one issue. More than physical inactivity, smoking and alcohol, it contributes to more disease and deaths.
“This should be the message form doctors – food is medicine.”
Pippions follow a Mediterranean diet that is rich in plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts. And their advice when it comes to sugar?
They only eat desserts on Sundays.
Being vigilant with the food you eat and making small changes to your diet could make all the difference to your waist line and your overall health.
A recent World Health Organisation (WHO) report revealed Mediterranean nations are now seeing the highest rates of severe child obesity in Europe.
This is due to the decline of the traditional Mediterranean diet. Going back to the Mediterranean way of eating is key to those wanting to shift some pounds, live a healthy life and ensure longevity.
The Mediterranean diet, according to Doctor Panagiotakos and Christina-Maria Kastorini, is one of the best-known and well-studied dietary patterns, which has been shown to be associated with decreased mortality from all causes, lower risk for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and some types of cancer.
Additionally, it has a beneficial effect on abdominal obesity, lipids levels, glucose metabolism and blood pressure levels, which are also risk factors for the development of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of the Mediterranean diet as a whole, as well as the effects of the individual components of the diet, and especially olive oil, fruits and vegetables, whole grains and fish, also confer to the beneficial role of this pattern.
Not only is the Mediterranean diet ranked number one best diet overall but it also has proven health benefits and is so simple to adopt
Dietician Helen Bond
Expert dietitian, Helen Bond, discussed some simple food swaps to make to become more healthy.
Bond said: “At a time where we are bombarded with an abundance of complex eating plans, from Paleo and Keto to vegan and pescatarian, there’s no surprise that a sense of overwhelming and panic takes over when trying to choose which one to adopt.
“Not only is the Mediterranean diet ranked number one best diet overall but it also has proven health benefits and is so simple to adopt.”
Bond explained the Mediterranean diet features lots of plant-based foods like fruit and veg, whole grains, nuts, and of course olive oil.
The NHS added: “The Mediterranean diet varies by country and region, so it has a range of definitions.
“But in general, it’s high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, beans, cereals, grains, fish, and unsaturated fats such as olive oil.
“It usually includes a low intake of meat and dairy foods. The Mediterranean diet has been linked with good health, including a healthier heart.”
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