The foundation of the Mediterranean diet is built around plant-based foods. The most popular constituents of the Mediterranean diet are fruits, nuts, vegetables, herbs, beans, and whole grains. Fats and proteins constituents of the Mediterranean diet are encircled by moderate amounts of eggs, dairy, seafood, and poultry products. Red meat is not eaten frequently. Mediterranean food is considered to be healthy food. As it also is growing in popularity in the USA. The main source of its popularity is due to Arab immigrants, as they established many of the restaurants found in the USA. Most Americans who visit Arab countries like the taste and quality of the food found there. Let’s see how Mediterranean food is considered to be healthy and how it is getting popular in the USA.
Why Mediterranean food is healthy?
As traditional Mediterranean food consists of fruits, nuts, vegetables, olive oil, and fish. The use of Mediterranean food reduces the risk of various health problems. The Mediterranean food is considered healthy because:
Prevention of cardiac issues
Mediterranean diet is considered to reduce the risk of cardiac issues. The fats in the Mediterranean diet are saturated fats, as in olive oil. These lipids are considered to be healthy for the body and don't pose any harmful effects on the body. Therefore, the risk of cardiac issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke is markedly reduced. Secondly, following the Mediterranean diet does not induce cravings for drinking hard liquor. It reduces the intake of refined bread, red meat, and processed foods, all of which indirectly participate in developing multiple cardiac issues. It also keeps you agile. The nutrient rich food reduces the risk of developing muscle weakness.
Reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease
The Mediterranean diet is thought to reduce blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels, which in turn improves the overall health of blood vessels. Healthy blood vessels have a reduced risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer's disease.
The Mediterranean diet is rich in antioxidants, which play a crucial role in reducing the degenerative or damaging process known as oxidative stress. As oxidative stress is a key factor for the development of Parkinson's disease, so the risk of Parkinson's disease is reduced markedly.
The key constituents of the Mediterranean diet prevent the development of various fatal health-related issues, so it is proposed that it promotes longevity. The death risk of every age group is reduced by 20%. It is also useful in protecting against type 2-diabetes.
Protection against type 2 diabetes
A Mediterranean diet is a popular fiber diet. Fibers have a slower digestion potential. So, glucose is absorbed slowly from the gut into the blood, and abrupt swings in blood sugar levels do not take place. Maintained blood sugar levels reduce the risk of the development of type 2 diabetes. Healthy body weight is also maintained.
Beneficial for Weight Loss and Maintenance
Researchers have proved that the Mediterranean diet is good for weight loss. As it is a fiber-rich diet, the caloric dietary intake is kept within limits, and the deposition of fats is reduced. So, this is considered to be best for weight loss and maintenance.
Healthy effects in rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease developed due to the body's defense system mistakenly attacking the joints and causing pain and swelling around them. A Mediterranean diet is considered to combat such inflammatory reactions. It is rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids help to relieve inflammation hence helping in the reduction of RA symptoms.
Help to reduce the risk of cancer development
Studies revealed that certain types of cancers are prevented by the intake of the Mediterranean diet. Analysis has shown that the risk of colorectal cancer and breast cancer, so the risk of cancer-related deaths is markedly reduced. This effect is embedded in the increased intake of fruits, whole grains, olive oil, and vegetables. A low-fat diet, rich in healthy nutrients, has increased the health effects.
How the Mediterranean or Arabic food is getting more popular in the USA with the Arab immigrants starts to open restaurants
Immigration from the Arab world to the USA introduced their native foods to the American culture. Initially, Arab foods were not considered too much among the American nation. Many of the Americans showed no desire for Arab foods. Then the Arab foods started to gradually become popular among Americans, as the Arab immigrants started to present their healthy Mediterranean food products in American style. The food carts and trucks started to open up in many areas. First and foremost, a much loved food product was shawarma, the so-called “street meat”. It is the meat that is deliciously seasoned and slow-roasted over a spit until it becomes soft enough to be sliced off. Mostly, the pita (Arab) bread with varying toppings was the most common and loved way of serving, which made this very popular. This was considered to be a perfect meal with quick preparation. Gradually new flavors and various new recipes of the Mediterranean diet were brought to the American culture.
Now the "street meat" carts have gained a popular trend. Many of the food products are so quick to cook, that even a 15 minute lunch break is enough for workers to get lavish foods easily. So, many Americans enjoy their food with the Mediterranean diet, which keeps them healthy.
The Mediterranean food point is a much more popular selling point as compared to any other food point. Even some of the food products have some general overlaps such as tahini, chickpeas, skewered meat, etc. But these are not the same in actuality.
In addition to the Arab immigrants, the Mediterranean diet has also gained fame when the Americans visited Arab countries and had this diet there.
A Mediterranean diet is rich in nutrients and is considered to have several beneficial health effects. The diet is rich in antioxidants and saturated fatty acids, which are useful for the prevention of various fatal diseases. The diet gained popularity in the USA, due to the establishment of restaurants by Arab immigrants. Also, many Americans had grown to a liking for Mediterranean food while their visits overseas to Mediterranean countries.