Mediterranean Diet: Yay or Nay?

Alvin Netto Fitness > Blog > Mediterranean Diet: Yay or Nay?

The Mediterranean diet, which has been awarded the Best Diet for five years in a row by U.S. News & World Report, and is all the rage on TikTok is very popular in western countries. This diet is both tasty and nutritious, thanks to its abundance of delectable components such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and heart-healthy fats.

It’s also linked to a number of advantages, including the ability to boost brain function, promote heart health, and manage blood sugar levels, among other things. Doctors also often prescribe this diet to heart disease and high blood pressure patients.

The Origin

The Mediterranean diet is based on traditional foods eaten in nations surrounding the Mediterranean sea, such as France, Spain, Greece and Italy. Based on various researches, people from these countries were were remarkably healthy, with a reduced risk for multiple chronic diseases. 

This led to the introduction of the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid as a guide to assist people to become accustomed with the region’s most popular foods, as you can see in the picture below.


The Mediterranean diet has a long list of benefits, but I have listed down 3 primary benefits not to be missed.

1. Beneficial for your heart

The Mediterranean diet has been linked to a decreased risk of heart disease and stroke, according to research. One research compared the Mediterranean diet to a low fat diet and found that the Mediterranean diet was more successful at inhibiting the development of plaque formation in the arteries, which is a key risk factor for heart disease.

With heart diseases being a primary cause of death among Malaysians, you should not miss out on this diet!

2. Preserve healthy blood sugar levels

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes a mixture of nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains, and heart-healthy fats. As a result, adhering to this eating pattern can aid in the stabilization of blood sugar levels and the prevention of type 2 diabetes.

3. Protects brain function

Several research found that the Mediterranean diet can be good for brain health and may even guard against cognitive loss as you age. One research, for instance, revealed that increased adherence to the Mediterranean diet was related with enhanced memory and decrease in numerous risk characteristics for Alzheimer’s disease among 512 participants.

How do I Start?

Well starting a new diet is always a challenge no matter what. Thankfully, with the help of Healthline, just follow these 3 simple steps to start your diet.

  • Eat: vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, herbs, spices, fish, seafood, and extra virgin olive oil
  • Eat in moderation: poultry, eggs, cheese, and yogurt
  • Eat rarely: red meat, sugar-sweetened beverages, added sugars, processed meat, refined grains, refined oils, and other highly processed foods

Let’s not forget about your drinks. It goes without saying that your usual H20 is the go-to beverage in this diet. One thing that is different about the Mediterranean diet is that it encourages you to drink moderate amounts of red wine, around one glass a day!

Coffee and tea are also acceptable beverage options, just a void using a lot of extra sugar or cream. Sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soda or sweet tea, should be eliminated since they contain a lot of added sugar.

Our Verdict

We are all yayy for you to try out the Mediterranean diet! The diet provides numerous health advantages to battle illnesses that are common among Malaysians, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. It also promotes Achieve Habits like consuming single ingredient food and drinking water everyday.

But what makes the Mediterranean diet so unique? It also encourages you to be physically active on a daily basis, as it encompasses the bottom block of the pyramid, highlighting its signifance. Not to mention, the only few diets that actually lets you enjoy a sip of wine every now and then!

Sustaining the diet at home is easy peasy lemon squeezy. However, living in Malaysia it is very hard to find food that consists solely of vegetables, fruits and whole grains as almost every dish has some multi ingredient component to it.

Take your usual char kway teow, for instance. Yes, it has your oysters, prawns and bean sprouts, but the very base of the meal, that is the kway teow itself, is multi ingredient. What about when you head over to your local mamak? Your roti canai, mee goreng and teh tarik are all multi ingredient too!

Finding a meal for your Mediterranean diet is almost impossible, unless you are cooking at home, making it hard to sustain the diet in Malaysia. If you can do it, job well done!

Not sure how to start with your nutrition plan? Well you can contact us at Achieve Fitness today and we will guide you to #BeAnAchiever!

Read more: Good Food vs Bad Food

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