The Mediterranean Diet continues to grow in popularity among today’s health-conscious consumers, and there’s no wonder why. The Mediterranean diet is based on consuming products that your body needs to function at its best. There are no tricks. There’s really no calorie counting. There’s no additional cost. It’s all based on making healthy food choices, and, well, that’s easier and tastier than you may realize.

And the best part of all? It can benefit both your body and mind.

What is the Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean Diet isn’t usually one that you enter with an end goal in mind. Rather, it’s about transforming your lifestyle by consuming foods that may be healthier for your heart, body, and mind.

“Whenever you can choose foods that are known to improve your heart health, it’s a win all around,” said Dr. Sherezade Khambatta of Cardiology Associates of Michigan, located here in the Shelby Macomb Medical Mall. “Your body is a system that works together, so if something is good for your heart, it may benefit your overall health as well. When you feel better physically, it can improve your overall mental and emotional well-being as well.

“While you should consult with one of our cardiologists before beginning any diet regimen, the Mediterranean Diet tends to be very easy to incorporate into one’s lifestyle.”

The diet features foods eaten in Spain, Greece, southern Italy, and France, as well as other countries that border the Mediterranean Sea. The foods are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and monounsaturated fats. The diet emphasizes eating foods like fish, fruits, vegetables, beans, high-fiber breads, and whole grains, while greatly limiting the intake of meat, cheese, and sweets.

With the Mediterranean Diet, an average of 35 percent to 40 percent of calories can come from fat, while other heart-healthy guidelines recommend less than 35 percent of your calories from fat. The focus of the diet is on making wiser food choices rather than limiting fat intake, although individuals should be cautious about the amount of fat they take in as well.

The fats that are allowed in the Mediterranean Diet are mostly unsaturated oils, such as fish oils, olive oil, and certain nut or seed oils, which may have a protective effect on the heart. At the same time, the Mediterranean Diet also has been associated with a lower level of “bad cholesterol” that can clog your arteries.

Learn More about Your Options

If you think the Mediterranean Diet might be right for you and are interested in more information, several of the health care practitioners here at the Shelby Macomb Medical Mall can provide you with guidance. Contact the Center for Weight Management, Cardiology Associates of Michigan, or Henry Ford Macomb Family Medicine to schedule an appointment.