The Benefits of a Mediterranean Diet Begins Early
Over the past several years, the Mediterranean diet has been touted as being one of the healthiest diets. Several studies have shown that this diet reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart diseases, as well as other health conditions. It is an easy and delicious diet to follow, and the health benefits are far reaching.
A Mediterranean diet focuses on eating plant-based foods, including healthy vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, and legumes. It also incorporates eating fish and poultry at least twice a week while limiting red meat consumption to only a few times a month. In addition to the healthy diet itself, it is also associated with healthy lifestyle choices, such as eating meals with family and friends and being physically active. Social engagement and exercise are two essential elements of living a healthy lifestyle and reducing the risk of many chronic illnesses, including cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
A recent study shows that the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet start at a young age. Children who consume the diet have a lower risk of being overweight or obese. The researchers used data from the IDEFICS study, which covered eight European countries, including Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Cyprus, Hungary, Estonia and Belgium.
The study also included asking the parents of the children about how often they consumed 43 foods. The researchers also measured the weight, height, waist circumference and body fat percentages of the children. Then, they created a Mediterranean diet adherence guide by using a scoring system that included giving a point for each of the food groups that are typically included in the Mediterranean diet. Consuming low amounts of food that are not part of the diet also got a point. The participants who received high scores were labeled high adherent.
Those who had a high adherence to the diet were 15 percent less likely to be overweight or obese and had a 10-15 percent less chance of having major increases in BMI, waist circumference and body fat. The children who adhered the most were actually from Sweden, and those with the least adherence were from Cyprus.
Obesity increases the chance of developing diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. Therefore, maintaining a healthy weight is essential to overall health and wellbeing. Childhood obesity is on the rise, which has significant implications on the future health of these children. Studies have shown that children who are overweight or obese have a much higher risk of also being obese adults. Finding the best ways to facilitate healthy eating and lower children's risk of being overweight or obese is important.
Following a Mediterranean diet can be simple, and is definitely delicious. The dishes are full of flavor, while packing a nutritious punch. It is healthy for the whole family, so why not try to implement it today. You do not have to cook the recipes that the Greeks, Italians, and other Mediterranean cultures traditionally eat. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet is more about focusing on eating a plant-based diet rich in healthy fat, such as olive oil and nuts, along with eating some fish and reducing the amount of dairy and red meat you eat. You can easily find recipes your family will love that adhere to the guidelines of the Mediterranean diet.