When we go on a diet, it is almost always overweight or obesity that we target, claiming that it is healthy and balanced. Partially, it is true, because there are draconian slimming diets that deprive the body of vital elements in the name of ephemeral beauty. And there are of course others, like the Mediterranean diet and the Japanese Okinawa diet, which provide everything needed for significant longevity. What are the foods that increase life expectancy and what is the role of olive oil and red wine? Decryption!
Is it safe to practice the Mediterranean longevity diet?
So many experts, so many opinions on the effectiveness of slimming diets. Some promise quick weight loss, others guarantee it will be long term like the Mayo Diet. A tad like the Mediterranean diet swears you’ll reach 100 in good health. What is miraculous in the way of food of the people living on the coast of the Mediterranean?
Packed with tasty ingredients like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and heart-healthy fats, the Mediterranean diet is both delicious and nutritious. It can be relied upon to support brain function, promote heart health, and regulate blood sugar.
The researchers found that residents of the French, Spanish, Italian and Greek coastlines were exceptionally healthy and had a low risk of many chronic diseases. And it stands to reason that if you have a healthy heart, strong bones, and a helpful brain, you’re just steps away from longevity.
What does the Mediterranean diet encourage?
Although there are no strict rules or regulations for the diet, it generally encourages fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and heart-healthy fats. Processed foods, added sugar and refined grains should be limited. Numerous studies have now shown that the Mediterranean diet can promote weight loss and help prevent heart attacks, strokes, type 2 diabetes and premature death.
Concretely and specifically, favor vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, medicinal herbs, spices, fish, seafood and olive oil extra virgin.
Eat with a moderate priority of poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt. Consume red meat, sugary drinks, added sugars, processed meats, grains and refined oils infrequently and sparingly.
The main ingredient in the preparation of dishes and salads is olive oil. This magical elixir remains unfairly in the background even though it is ranked among healthy cooking oils. Although Western diets contain hydrogenated oils and saturated fats from animal sources, olive oil is rich in plant-based monounsaturated fatty acids that are packed with heart-healthy benefits. Switching to a Mediterranean diet and incorporating olive oil can improve your health without compromising the flavor that other sources of fat add to your meals.
Are all olive oils good?
Many factors impact the taste, color and aroma of the oil, resulting in hundreds of different varieties. Including olive type and growing conditions summarizing location, soil, environment and climate. Secondary factors are:
- how and when the olives were harvested
- how long has elapsed between harvest and pressing
- the method by which olives are pressed, stored and packaged for sale.
Very popular, extra virgin olive oil is the finest of the oils with the least acidity (no more than 1% acidity), and it can be pale yellow to bright green in color. The deeper the golden color, the more intense the fruity flavor.
Due to its superior flavor and aroma, use this oil as a dip for bread, on salads, or as a condiment in uncooked dishes.
When buying extra virgin olive oil, choose a dark glass bottle and store it in a cool, dry place. This helps prevent oxidation, which will inevitably change the chemical composition and optimize shelf life.
Other varieties to include on the menu are fine, virgin, light and refined oils that can be used in cooking but in combination.
What is the allowable amount of olive oil per day?
In the Mediterranean diet, about 30-40% of your calories come from fat, including olive oil and other sources like fatty fish, nuts, seeds and avocado. Based on the total number of calories you consume per day, the amount of grams of fat from olive oil is about half of your fat requirement. That’s to say :
calories per day :
1500/ 1800/ 2100/ 2400
Total grams of fat per day :
58/ 70/ 82/ 93
Suggested amount of grams of fat from olive oil :
28 g or 2 tbsp / 35 g = 2 or 3 tbsp / 42 g or 3 tbsp / 49 g = 3 or 4 tbsp
What is the beneficial effect of red wine in the Mediterranean diet?
The second liquid ingredient in the healthy diet application is red wine, at low to moderate consumption, especially during meals. Current mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of the Mediterranean diet include reduced markers of inflammatory and oxidative stress, improved lipid profile, insulin sensitivity and endothelial function, and antithrombotic properties. Most of these effects are attributable to phenols from one side of red wine and another side of virgin olive oil. So they have an impact on lipids, blood pressure, atheromatous plaque and glucose metabolism.
No one dares to dispute that life without alcohol spares us a plethora of health problems. But, among the different alcoholic beverages, the researchers highlight a reduction in the relative risk of mortality in subjects consuming moderate amounts of red wine daily. In this context, the world-famous “French paradox” is highlighted: the relatively low incidence of cardiovascular diseases observed in the French population, despite a high dietary intake of saturated fats. This is explained by a regular but moderate consumption of wine.