The 8 Health Benefits of the Mediterranean (Cretan) Diet


The Mediterranean diet (or the Cretan diet) is a way of eating that advocates eating raw, local, and seasonal foods and favors fish over meat. Skin, heart, liver, brain, weight loss… A tour of the benefits with Raphaël Gruman, dietitian and nutritionist.

The Mediterranean diet, also called Cretan dietIt is our favorite way of feeding raw or minimally processed products, local and seasonalAnd representative of the Mediterranean region such as olive oil, fruits and vegetables, grain products (we prefer complex carbohydrates rich in fiber), dried vegetables, With them Pisces and some dairy (although less than in Nordic diets). the meat (especially red), industrial products and super-processing very limited. What are its health benefits heart and blood vessels ? the skin ? liver ? brain function? Does it reduce the risk of some types of cancer? do you promote Weight loss ? Details with Rafael Grauman, registered dietitian and nutritionist.

1. Good for the heart, it lowers cholesterol and triglycerides

Instead of keeping fats of animal origin rich in saturated fatty acids, we prefer to use fats of the same type Olive oil rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which will help protect against cardiovascular disease. Also, this diet is rich in fiber, which is good for the heart and blood vessels, and reduces Cholesterol, triglycerides, and diabetesThree risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Fiber has the ability to slow down the absorption of sugar into the blood, so we will have lower blood sugar levels and therefore this will be beneficial for people with diabetes.Raphaël Gruman details. The Mediterranean diet also has some benefits high blood pressure, which promotes the emergence of cardiovascular disorders. “To reduce high blood pressure, we prefer to go to The DASH Dietwith the restriction of processed products and therefore rich in added salts “He says.

2. Moisturizes the skin and protects it from aging

High-quality grease will helpMoisturizing the skinby working specifically on peptidessays our interlocutor. Peptides are chains of amino acids that help build like proteins Collagen For example, who attends Firmness and elasticity are essential for skin. Also, eat fruits and vegetables Rich in antioxidantsIt helps protect the cells of the body effect of free radicalsresponsible for skin aging.

Principles of the Mediterranean diet

  • vegetables at every meal
  • 2 to 3 servings of fruit daily
  • Whole grains every day
  • pulses every day
  • Rye, wheat or multi-grain bread
  • White meat twice a week
  • Fish (one fat + one fat) twice a week
  • eggs twice a week
  • Dairy products (preferably goat’s and sheep’s milk) 1-2 times a day
  • Oilseeds (a small handful) every other day
  • Olive oil daily alternating with rapeseed, linseed and walnut oils …

3. It improves brain power

Consuming foods rich in omega-3 acids, such as: oily fish (mackerel, sardines, herring, salmon), cod liver, walnuts, linseed, walnut or rapeseed oil, will Feed the brain. To improve and prevent cognitive functions Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s diseaseone of the most suitable diets Mind dietwhich has a lot in common with the Mediterranean dietExpert report. It promotes the consumption of rich foods Omega 3 (a type of DHA) which helps maintain brain power.

4. Reduces the percentage of fat in the liver

Being less fatty, less salty, less sweet, and limited in consumption of animal proteins, the Mediterranean diet is associated with Less overload on the liver, which have to “work less” for digestion, be less satiating and stuffy. So she has Beneficial effect on fatigueinforms a dietitian. A Ben-Gurion University (BGU) study, published in the Gut review of the BMJ Journal, highlights the preventive and therapeutic effect of the Mediterranean diet on Reducing the fat accumulated in the liver (decreased by about 20% after 18 months) and thus on NASH (fatty liver disease).

5. It prevents the risk of colon cancer

Limiting your consumption of meat products will help reduce your risk of colon cancer. “It also contributes to the consumption of whole grains rich in fiber Colon cancer preventionOur experts remember. Reports of French and international scientific experts have established a link between the consumption of dietary fiber and a reduced risk of colorectal cancer. The most recent report from the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), published in 2018, concludes that Consumption of foods high in fiber is associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer with a potential level of evidence. to reach 25 grams of fiber per day (recommendation from health authorities), you should eat at least:

  • Legumes (lentils, beans, chickpeas, etc.) 2 times a week
  • Whole grain product (whole pasta, whole grain rice, whole wheat bread, whole wheat) once a day
  • 5 servings of fruits and vegetables Daily

6. Promotes weight loss

In fact, limiting your consumption of processed products that are high in hidden sugars, salts, and fats will promote weight loss.In this, the Mediterranean diet indirectly contributes to reducing risk of overweight and obesity.

7. Protects the retina from AMD

the Colorful fruit type raspberry (Blueberries, black currants, blackberries, currants…) where Colorful vegetables like’Eggplant It is useful for prevention AMD (age-related macular degeneration) because it is rich in Antioxidants (particularly anthocyanins), a group of vitamins, trace elements and micronutrients that act directly on the eye (macula: the area in the center of the retina)indicates our interviewer. A publication in the journal Nutrients by researchers from Inserm and Purdue University at Purdue Population Health Research Center highlights a The role of the Mediterranean diet, in particular carotenoids; (Plant pigments found in yellow orange fruits such as citrus fruits or tomatoes, As well as in green leafy vegetables, such as Spinach, cabbage and chard) in Retinal protection And in Reduce the risk of developing an advanced form of AMD. The most beneficial diet for preventing AMD is a Mediterranean diet rich in fruits and vegetables and providing enough omega-3 thanks to with oily fish“, insists Bénédicte Merle, author of the study.

8. Fights constipation

By giving pride of place to vegetables, fruits, and grain products, the Mediterranean diet increases your daily fiber intake. fiber has an effect on transit speed It stimulates the movement of the digestive system. They are filled with water during digestion and increase stool volume. Therefore, it allows Fighting chronic constipation.

Thanks to Raphaël Gruman, Dietitian and Nutritionist.


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