Mediterranean Diet: the real health benefits
As you have probably noticed, the Mediterranean diet was again front page news. We already know that this diet – characterizing the traditional cooking style of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea – is good for the heart, but the latest study suggests that it might even help to lose weight. So, what is this diet exactly and what are the real health benefits? Let’s look at five key facts about this miraculous diet.
- The Mediterranean diet is just about Italian food
As its name suggests, the Mediterranean diet relates to the traditional healthy living habits of people from counties bordering the Mediterranean Sea, but it is not only about Italy. It includes countries such as, France, Greece and Spain.
- The Mediterranean diet is high in fat
This diet traditionally includes fruits, vegetables, cereals grains, nuts, beans, olive oil and fish. People living in Greece, for example, eat very little red meat and average nine servings a day of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables.
This is why we sometimes do a parallel with the phenomenon known as the French Paradox. Although the people living in the Mediterranean region consume relatively high amounts of fat, they have lower rates of cardiovascular disease than in countries like the UK. However, the Mediterranean diet keeps dairy, meat and saturated fats to a minimum.
- The Mediterranean diet is good for your heart
Several studies showed that a Mediterranean diet may help prevent heart disease. A 2013 study, for example, found that people following a Mediterranean diet had a 30% lower risk of heart disease and stroke. This diet has a lower level of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol — the “bad” cholesterol that’s more likely to build up deposits in your arteries. Moreover, it is rich in monounsaturated fats – such as olive oil and nuts – which are heart healthy.
- The Mediterranean diet can lead to weight loss
A recent study released in the new edition of Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology suggests that a high-fat Mediterranean diet is more successful in helping you lose weight than a low-fat diet in which you avoid all fat. Researchers split the people into three groups: one was given extra-virgin olive oil, another a mix of nuts to add to their daily diet, and the last one had to avoid all dietary fat.
The study found a significant weight loss at the two first groups compared with the group eating the low-fat diet. The Mediterranean diet in the study, however, though high in fats, does not include red meat or butter, or beverages that have been associated with weight gain.
- The Mediterranean diet helps you live longer
A study (again!) by Harvard School of Public Health found that women who regularly consumed this diet had longer telomeres – that’s bits of DNA located at the tips of chromosomes – a biomarker linked to longevity. Thus, it is no coincidence that some of populations with the longest lifespans live along the Mediterranean coast.
- Sirco Fruit Juice and The Mediterranean Diet
Sirco Fruit Juice was originally conceived and inspired by the Mediterranean diet. In 1999 a scientific discovery was made at the Rowett Institute in Aberdeen. The Institute is internationally recognised as a centre of excellence for nutrition research. The discovery made was that tomatoes contain ingredients which help to keep platelets smooth and thus aid cardiovascular health. Sirco was developed as a Fruit Juice drink containing a unique active ingredient called Fruitflow proven to benefit cardiovascular health and circulation.
Now, you can enjoy Sirco Fruit Juice, knowing that it is doing something good.