The Mediterranean diet is actually good for you. Here’s why.

The diet may also have profound health benefits during pregnancy, said Dr. Anum Sohail Minhas, assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins Medicine. In A recent study Among nearly 7,800 women published in December, researchers found that those who followed the Mediterranean diet most closely during their conception and early pregnancy had a 21 percent reduced risk of pregnancy complications. pre-eclampsia, Gestational diabetes or premature birth.

“There definitely seems to be a protective effect,” Dr. Minhas said.

However, the Mediterranean diet isn’t a panacea, Dr. Heffron said — it doesn’t eliminate your chances of developing cardiovascular disease, and it doesn’t cure any disease. It is important that people focus on other things Principles of good heart healthLike regular exercise and adequate sleep and smoking.

The diet is conducive to weight loss, Ms. But you still need to focus on calories, Zumpano said.

“Nutritious foods aren’t necessarily low in calories,” said Dr. Heffron, adding that foods like olive oil and nuts are heart-healthy but high in calories and can lead to weight gain. Large areas. But shifting your diet away from calories, saturated fats and added sugars, for example, to a diet that prioritizes vegetables, fruits and lean proteins, can lead to some weight loss, he said.

The Mediterranean diet is not a quick weight loss hack. Rather, it should promote long-term change in eating behavior. In A study For example, researchers found that among more than 30,000 people living in Italy, those who followed the Mediterranean diet most closely for about 12 years were less likely to become overweight or obese. A Small study, published in 2020, enrolled 565 adults who had intentionally lost 10 percent or more of their body weight in the previous year. It found that those who said they closely followed the Mediterranean diet were twice as likely to maintain their weight loss than those who did not follow the diet closely.

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Limited evidence suggests that if you start following a Mediterranean diet, you may notice some cognitive improvements—including attention, alertness, and satiety. A review of studies published in 2021 – Within the first 10 days. But for lasting, long-term benefits in terms of heart health, people need to stick with it, Ms. Zumbano said it was the best of their lives.

That being said, the diet allows for some flexibility; An occasional cake or steak won’t undo its overall benefits.

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