There are numerous studies which have shown that people living in the Mediterranean region consume the same-if not higher-amounts of fat that the average American or Westerner does (such as with the French Paradox), yet the overall health, weight and lifespan differences are glaringly obvious. Why?
But what is The Mediterranean Diet? At its core it is really nothing more than a combination of foods. But it also combines aspects of The Mediterranean Lifestyle, which include a relaxed pace of life that includes a daily siesta along with plenty of physical activity. And unlike Western fad diets, it’s not about starving yourself or eliminating carbs or trans fats or going on liquid diet. It’s about eating the right kinds of foods combined together, utilizing both portion control along with food combination principles.
There are ongoing research projects and other published findings which show that there are numerous other benefits that scientists doing the initial research back in the day weren’t even aware of. For example, The British Medical Journal published a finding in in 2008 which showed that The Mediterranean Diet provides substantial protection against type 2 diabetes. Additionally, they also performed a meta-analysis and found that those following strict adherence to this diet had a 9% overall lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a 6% overall reduced chance of getting cancer, not to mention a 13% less chance of developing Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and other degenerative diseases.
The most popular ingredient in The Mediterranean Diet, and the one everyone knows about, and consequently has caused such interest in the diet in the first place along with all of the research over the years, is olive oil. However, there is much more to The Mediterranean Diet than simply one ingredient and, as mentioned earlier, it is actually about a combination of elements. For example, the protein in the diet is coming from fish and poultry rather than red meat, which means the cholesterol intake is significantly lower, as well as the various “bad fats” which can lead to heart disease.
Although the technical side of things may seem a bid mind-boggling to the first-timer, the most important aspects of The Mediterranean Diet is that the tangible evidence is visible within mere days of starting the routine. Weight loss is the first noticeable difference, as well as increased energy due to a higher metabolism, and you will notice that your body begins needing less sleep, you have higher levels of energy, higher levels of cognitive function, higher levels of sex drive and productivity, and a generally better outlook on things because your endorphin levels are higher because of all the good stuff you are putting into your body. Think of it like a car. When you put a low grade gasoline into the car, the engine tends to sputter and ping, but when you put high quality racing fuel into the engine, she purrs like a kitten and responds within an instant of your foot hitting the pedal. Your body is an incredible force of nature, and when you put good things in you, you can expect good things to happen.