The Mediterranean Diet – What it is and How it Works

Mediterranean Diet

Some Baby Boomers tend to start paying special attention to their diet and exercise in their twilight years, often trying out new diets and fitness programs.

The Mediterranean Diet has proven to be a big hit in many parts of the world, but is it right for you? In this article, we’ll help you understand why it’s so popular by explaining what it is, the foods you can eat and whether or not it’s a particularly good diet for Boomers.

What Exactly is the Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean Diet is all about trying to follow the diet that inhabitants of certain Mediterranean countries, such as Greece and Italy, maintained in the 1950s and 1960s.

During this period, people living in these aforementioned countries had some of the highest life expectancies in the world, even exceeding those of countries such as the US which had more developed and accessible health infrastructure at the time.

There’s also a non-food element to this particular diet which we shall explore later on in this article.

What Can I Eat?

As mentioned, when following this diet, you should only eat foods that people living in Mediterranean ate several decades ago, not American or other western adaptations of this cuisine (which are much less healthy.)

The Mediterranean Diet is well-balanced and you’ll have plenty to choose from, including vegetarian dishes, fish, chicken, nuts, salads and some carbs. Across the board, you’ll find that olive oil and fresh fruit and veg are a major feature of Mediterranean cuisine.

If you decide to follow this diet, be sure to eat a good combination of the permitted foods to ensure you get all the right nutrition you need (this should be easy, as many Mediterranean dishes contain a combination of protein, fiber and vitamins, in addition to some carbs.)

Is it Good For Boomers?

The Mediterranean Diet is one of the best diets Baby Boomers can follow, though it’s equally great for younger people. The sooner you switch to this diet, the better, as you’ll see its best health benefits in the long run.

This is because this diet isn’t just good for relatively short goals like weight loss or muscle building; it’s also great for fighting off disease, including many of which are prevalent among the elderly, and improving longevity.

For example, numerous studies have found people who primarily eat traditional Mediterranean cuisine to be considerably less likely to develop high blood pressure or heart disease.

The Non-Food Element

So far, we’ve just focused on the food that you eat when on the Mediterranean Diet (after all, it is a diet) and its pros, but there’s another very important, non-food element to consider and try to follow.

It’s rooted in the culture of most Mediterranean countries, and it’s essentially to do with eating with other people – such as family members, friends or even your neighbors – to add a social element whenever you enjoy a meal.

Research indicates that this is part of the reason people living in some Mediterranean countries in the ‘50s and ‘60s had such a high life expectancy.  

Final Thoughts

It’s easy to see why the Mediterranean Diet has really taken off across the US; not only can it help you lose weight and achieve other short term fitness goals, it’s great for your general wellbeing and metabolism, and it can increase your life expectancy.

And the best part is it’s not a particularly restrictive diet, so you can enjoy a great selection of yummy food. This is especially important for diets which you plan to adopt in the long term, as it’s easy to give up on and deviate from a diet that doesn’t allow you to enjoy many foods you love.

If you’re not into meal prep, check out some of these companies that will deliver fully prepared mediterranean meals right to your door!

A Quick Summary

  • The Mediterranean Diet is a great choice for Boomers and all ages in fact.
  • Not only does it allow you to effectively achieve fitness goals, such as weight loss, it can also improve longevity.
  • It lets you enjoy many great foods and maintain a well-balanced diet, so you can adapt it for the long run.
  • Things like fish, chicken, salads, fruit and olive oil are all major features of this diet, though carbs and red meat can also be incorporated in small amounts.