How The Mediterranean Diet Works
Unlike other diets, the Mediterranean diet doesn’t focus on limiting total fat consumption, but rather on substituting lower-quality, less heart-healthy types of fat for healthier ones.
The primary source of fat in the Mediterranean diet is olive oil, a monounsaturated fat which can actually help reduce cholesterol levels, especially in the least processed forms (such as “virgin” and “extra-virgin” olive oil).
Fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, herring, and trout, are eaten on a regular basis, which provides people on the Mediterranean diet with essential omega-3 fatty acids – which can lower triglycerides and decrease blood clotting.
Herbs and spices are also staples of the Mediterranean diet, and can stand in for salt and fat in many recipes, making Mediterranean dishes both tasty and good for you.
Combined with regular exercise, the Mediterranean diet can help significantly with weight control, in part due to how rich in lean proteins and fibre it is – the filling nature of the diet reduces the impulse to “top up” with empty calories, and the regular meals are lower in cholesterol and trans fats than most typical North American diets.
Overall, many people who adhere to Mediterranean diets live longer and have lower rates of heart attacks and strokes – so if you’re concerned about your heart health, it may be time to think about making the switch to a Mediterranean diet.