The current rhythms of life and the ease offered by ultraprocessed foods make it difficult for us to have a Mediterranean diet, the healthiest diet according to experts. This is explained by Dr. Ramón de Cangas, dietitian-nutritionist and president of the Alimenta tu Salud Foundation, in his guide «Mediterranean Diet, from theory to practice»
“The most recommended way to achieve good nutritional status is to bet on a wide variety of foods in our diet,” explains the expert. “By ingesting different food groups we obtain nutrients with specific functions, with the consequent positive impact and the Mediterranean diet is ideal to achieve it since it does not exclude any products,” he says.
The basis of this diet are vegetables, fruits, dairy, legumes and animal proteins from fish, shellfish and, to a lesser extent, meats. For cooking, olive oil and between a handful of nuts. “In addition, there is always room for whims and we can afford licenses from time to time,” says the guide’s author.
On the other hand, the Mediterranean diet recommends drinking four to six glasses of water a day. In addition, moderate consumption of fermented beverages (beer, wine, cava or cider) can always be considered as a responsible option for healthy adults.
“A good diet, resting properly, exercising routinely and maintaining healthy social relationships also helps prevent chronic diseases and maintain quality of life,” says the nutrition expert. “Eating and drinking is an essential and everyday fact of life, but, unfortunately, an inappropriate environment and an unhealthy lifestyle can seriously harm your health,” he says.
Mediterranean diet and health: scientific evidence
Large projects such as PREDIMED (Prevention with Mediterranean Diet) and PREDIMED-PLUS, the largest research project on nutrition carried out nationally and internationally, have yielded very favorable results to the Mediterranean dietary pattern in terms of metabolic cardio health and body weight. The PREDIMED study observes that the beneficial effects of the Mediterranean diet are achieved through the mixing of food, so it is important to focus on eating patterns and not on specific products.
This includes a varied diet in which the consumption of vegetables, fruits, legumes and vegetables predominates, as well as whole grains, fish, white meat, nuts and olive oil. He also notes that a moderate consumption of fermented beverages, such as beer, always in healthy adults, could improve the lipid profile and favor the absorption of polyphenols, a type of antioxidants present in fermented beverages and other plant-based foods.
In addition, there are numerous epidemiological studies that relate the Mediterranean dietary pattern with physiological benefits for our body, prevention of chronic, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. On the other hand, several investigations have also suggested that adherence to this diet can help prevent weight gain and also allows a less harmful distribution of body fat for our body. By reducing the increase in abdominal obesity and, obviously, reducing weight and visceral fat, this has a positive impact on certain markers of cardiovascular risk. .