Although the Mediterranean diet is frequently ranked as the best overall diet by multiple news outlets, few studies have used biomarkers to determine the Mediterranean diet's impact on longevity. However, studies show that adhering to the Mediterranean diet is associated with a lower risk of mortality in older adults. In fact, according to a study, which followed over 600 participants for 20 years, diet adherence may help people live longer lives and is an especially beneficial diet plan for mature adults.

The Origin Of Mediterranean Diet

While the Mediterranean diet may conjure up images of Italy, Greece, and Spain, it is important to note the diversity of the countries bordering the actual body of water in question.

The Mediterranean diet focuses on a region of 21 countries that all border the Mediterranean Sea. While flavour profiles and cuisines vary, they all generally emphasise eating fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, and seafood. Furthermore, by following the Mediterranean diet, you will be exposed to a wider range of flavours and eating experiences. If you look at a map, you'll notice that there are more regions on the Mediterranean, including the Middle East and North Africa. This is fantastic because it allows you to discover new foods and enjoy even more food options while broadening your palate.

Patterns Over Perfection

The Mediterranean diet, regardless of ethnic region, relies heavily on produce, legumes, olive oil, seafood, whole grains, herbs, and spices, making it your own does not have to be an elimination process. Consider incorporating these foods into your diet now, rather than waiting until your so-called golden years. It is critical to establish healthy habits early in life to reduce health risks and biomarkers. For example, arteries do not become clogged and blood sugars do not become out of balance overnight as a result of our lifestyle, but rather over time. Prioritizing high-fiber fruits and vegetables, grains, healthy fats (from olive oil, seafood, nuts, and seeds), and lean meats can help you live a disease-preventative Mediterranean lifestyle.

How to Begin Eating Mediterranean Style

To reap the potential longevity benefits of the Mediterranean diet, you don't have to eat like a Greek fisherman – though wouldn't it be nice if it were that simple? Small, sustainable changes to your overall meal plan, according to Dudash, are best in the long run.

Make small changes such as adding beans to salads and stirring them into stews and soups. You can also try to include a vegetable on your plate at every meal – even a handful of greens on your sandwich counts. While a moderate portion of steak is acceptable, fill the majority of your plate with your favourite vegetables.

Another option is to snack on easy-to-grab fruit, nuts, and seeds and to get into the habit of using extra-virgin olive oil in place of butter and margarine more frequently. Do as the Italians do and finish with a fresh fruit plate, saving sugary sweets for special occasions.

Overall, keeping your kitchen stocked with Mediterranean diet essentials will make it easier to get meals on the table. Don't forget to include canned, frozen, and dried fruits, vegetables, and seafood in your total.

It is never too early to incorporate Mediterranean diet principles into your current eating habits, especially since research suggests that it may add years to your life. Begin with small additions to your diet rather than eliminations, and keep your personal flavour preferences in mind. Remember that this region contains a wide range of flavours that can help you broaden your palate. Before making changes to your eating plan, you should also consult with a healthcare provider or a registered dietitian. They can assist you in determining what is best for you.