Why Orthopedic Surgeons Recommend The Mediterranean Diet
Diet plays a major role in your longevity, mobility, and short–term and long-term health. Dr. Meredith Warner is a big proponent of the Mediterranean Diet because it can provide the essential nutrients and benefits you need to promote a positive quality of life. Dr. Warner is an orthopedic surgeon and has learned that those who follow this particular lifestyle have less pain, are thinner, look young and healthy and are able to do more and perform at higher levels than others.
The Mediterranean Diet focuses on a particular lifestyle and eating habits as opposed to caloric restrictions or categorical eliminations. It’s named for the Mediterranean region, where this method of eating was common in the past.
What Is The Mediterranean Diet?
So, what makes up the Mediterranean Diet?
Follow the Mediterranean Diet and you’ll stay away from processed foods that contain refined carbohydrates, unhealthy fats, and excess sugar. You should also be consuming less processed dairy and low amounts of red meat. Red meat is fine in moderation, but it should be organic and grass-finished.
However, the focus isn’t necessarily on restriction or calorie counting. Instead, you should take a look at what you can eat, and you may find this diet easier to follow than most. Common elements of the Mediterranean Diet include:
- Vegetables and fruit
- Nuts and seeds
- Whole grains
- Fish and seafood
- Olive oil as a healthy fat
- Alcohol in moderation
- Grass-finished red meat in moderation
- Cage-free, organic poultry and eggs
Implementing these foods into your diet can benefit you in a number of ways. Reducing your sugar and processed foods intake can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress throughout the body. This in turn, can help to minimize the potential for painful, age-related diseases like arthritis and dementia.
This diet also emphasizes the way you eat as much as what you eat. Take a moment to reflect on the way you eat dinner. Are you eating by yourself? Where are you eating, at the dining room table, the kitchen counter, or the couch? A big part of the Mediterranean Diet consists of sharing meals with family and friends, in an environment with less stress associated with eating. Perhaps one of the best parts of this philosophy is that it speaks to cooking your own whole foods in your home with quality culinary ingredients. You should not rely on the food industry or the restaurant industry to provide health and wellness for you and your family. They have failed you for hundreds of years and there is no end to their epic fail in sight.
Benefits of Mediterranean Diet
There are a number of benefits associated with the Mediterranean Diet, and most of these are associated with longevity, avoidance of chronic diseases, and prolonged mobility.
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits of the Mediterranean Diet lend themselves to a reduced level of oxidative stress and less chronic, low-grade inflammation.
Studies show that those who follow a Mediterranean Diet have a decreased risk of cardiovascular events like stroke. It turns out, the type of fats you’re consuming play a large role in your cardiovascular health. Fats like vegetable oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, processed rapeseed oil, or peanut oil (among others) can increase your risk for heart disease. On the other hand, fats like olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil can be healthier alternatives. Milk fat even has some cardiovascular benefits.
Consuming unprocessed foods can also offer you greater control over sugar content and the types of fat you eat. Next time you’re in the grocery store, take a look at the ingredients list on your regular purchases. Even foods like cereal that are deemed “healthy” are likely still heavily processed, high in sugar, created from engineered products and solvents, and lack proper nutrients. What few nutrients they do have are added back at the end of the assembly line. Breakfast cereals are some of the most damaging products available for consumption.
The antioxidants present in fruits, vegetables, olive oil, and other popular foods within the Mediterranean Diet can help your body combat free radicals, therefore reducing oxidative stress and promoting cellular health.
Oxidative stress can trigger an inflammatory response within the body. The free radicals themselves lead to damaged cell membranes, misfolded proteins, mutated DNA and other metabolic problems. Eating a diet high with pro-oxidant ingredients is tied to a number of diseases like arthritis, diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Reducing your risk of these noncommunicable diseases by eating healthy now, can promote longevity and greater mobility later in life. It is never too late to start. Most of our chronic and long-term diseases are reversible once the proper lifestyle begins.
If you’re not sure where to start, or would like bloodwork done to determine your health status, schedule an appointment at Warner Orthopedics & Wellness today! Our team is highly trained and dedicated to improving your quality of life.