How The Mediterranean Diet Is Great For Plant-Based Nutrition

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Building Muscle With A Plant-Based Diet

Updated May 8th 2023

Plant Based Diet And Heart Health
Plant Based Diet And Heart Health

Are you looking for a delicious and healthy way to build muscle? Look no further than the Mediterranean Diet!


New Report Shows Plant-Protein Effective For Muscle Building

According to a new Healthline report, consuming only plant-based protein can be just as effective as animal-based protein at building muscle. And, it would appear that this is true whether you are an athlete, body-builder or an ‘average person’.

Not only is it nutrient-rich and balanced, but it’s also plant-based, so you’ll get all of the essential proteins, carbohydrates, healthy fats such as olive oil, vitamins and minerals needed to help create an effective muscle-building routine.

With its flavorful herbs and spices as well as its abundance of fruits, vegetables and whole grains – the Mediterranean Diet has something that everyone in your household can enjoy! Read on to learn more about why this diet plan could be just what you need to achieve your healthiest body yet.

The Mediterranean Diet For Plant-Based Muscle Strength

So, how exactly can plant-based diets such as The Mediterranean Diet help us build muscle?

Talking to Healthline, Megan Hilbert, MS, RDN, with Top Nutrition Coaching said:

During weight-bearing exercise, microscopic tears are created in muscle fibers which lead to inflammation and increased blood supply to the affected area. This brings lots of substances to the area that help repair and grow muscle tissue.”

And Protein, as the Healthline report goes on to explain is one of those substances. As summarised:

Proteins are made up of smaller building blocks called amino acids. There are many types of amino acids, but 20 of them are considered essential to maintaining your body’s healthy functioning.

Meat from animals contains all of the essential amino acids your body needs. Not so with plants.

While plant-based diets often do contain all of the essential amino acids in aggregate, any one plant-based food item will not. This can mean taking a little extra care when choosing the composition of your meals.

And because muscle-building is directly reliant on having enough available protein, the extra attention is doubly warranted for anyone trying to increase muscle mass.

So how do we ensure the correct composition of meals on a plant-based diet?  Also contributing to the Healthline article, Gabrielle Reyes, author, vegan chef, and MyFitnessPal partner said:

Instead of thinking about avoiding meat, think about consuming colorful, vibrant meals,” Reyes said.

The easiest way to get in a healthy amount of plant protein and stay fueled throughout the day is with a big green smoothie made with dark, leafy greens, frozen berries, plant protein powder, and hemp seeds,” said Reyes.

If you are not used to eating plant protein, purchase steak, poultry, and pork seasonings to glow up any recipe,” Reyes suggested.

The key to a plant-based diet is variety, as that’s the only way to ensure you consume all of the essential amino acids. It can also help prevent burnout.

There are many reasons to choose a plant-based diet, and the Mediterranean diet is a great example of a healthy plant-based choice. The Mediterranean diet is based on the traditional foods of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Although not completely meat free, it is rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, extra virgin olive oil, and fish.

There are many reasons to choose a plant-based diet, and the Mediterranean diet is a great example of a healthy plant-based choice. The Mediterranean diet is based on the traditional foods of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Although not completely meat free, it is rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, extra virgin olive oil, and fish.

Health Benefits Of The Mediterranean Diet And Plant Based Nutrition

This diet has been shown to improve heart health, reduce inflammation, and decrease the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and diabetes. The Mediterranean diet is also a sustainable choice, as it minimizes the impact on the environment. If you are looking for a healthy plant-based diet, the Mediterranean diet is a great option.

Adding plant-based foods to your diet has been shown to have numerous health benefits. A plant-based diet is one that focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. This type of diet has been linked with lower rates of heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, and some types of cancer. One of the reasons plant-based diets are so beneficial is that they are high in antioxidants. These nutrients help to protect cells from damage and may reduce inflammation. Extra virgin olive oil is a great source of antioxidants, as it contains high levels of polyphenols. Polyphenols are plant compounds that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Including plenty of plant-based foods in your diet can help to improve your overall health and protect against chronic diseases.

The Mediterranean Diet And Cardiovascular Diseases?

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the number 1 cause of death globally: more people die annually from CVDs than from any other cause.

An estimated 17.9 million people died from CVDs in 2016, representing 31% of all global deaths. Of these deaths, 85% are due to heart attack and stroke.

Most cardiovascular diseases can be prevented by addressing behavioural risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and obesity, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol using population-wide strategies.

Source: Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) – World Health Organization

CVDs are a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels. They include:

At the age of 24, your risk for CVD is just 20%. By age 45, your chances more than double to 50%. Over the age of 80, 90% of individuals have some form of CVD.

In 2016, the cost of CVD in the USA alone was around $555Bn. This is expected to rise to $1.1Tr by 2035.

Source: Cardiovascular Disease – Health Metrics – American Heart …

 How Olive Oil Can Help Prevent Heart Disease

Olive oil intake has been associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Mediterranean populations where olive oil consumption is much higher than in the USA. To date little is known about these associations within the U.S population where consumption is much lower.

A study led by Marta Guasch-Ferre, a research scientist in the department of nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston was carried out to investigate whether higher olive oil consumption was beneficial to heart health in the U.S. population.

The study, presented to the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention / Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions, examined 63,867 women and 35,512 men from 1990 to 2014. All participants were free of cancer, heart disease and other chronic diseases at the start of the study. Every four years, they answered questionnaires about their diet and lifestyle.

Researchers found those who ate more than half a tablespoon of olive oil each day had a 15% lower risk of having any kind of cardiovascular disease and a 21% lower risk of coronary heart disease. Replacing one teaspoon of butter, margarine, mayonnaise or dairy fat with the same amount of olive oil lowered the risk of cardiovascular disease by 5% and coronary heart disease by 7%.

The results, also published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, provide further reason to incorporate more plant-based foods into our daily diets, said nutrition expert Penny Kris-Etherton.

“Using vegetable oils in cooking and in salads makes good sense,” Kris-Etherton said in a news release. She is a distinguished professor of nutrition at Pennsylvania State University and chair of the AHA’s Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Council.

“Research has overwhelmingly found that diets that are rich in plant-based foods, including healthier vegetable oils such as olive, safflower, corn and many others, can significantly benefit heart health,” she said.

Benefits Of A Plant Based Diet : A Further Study

A further study as added weight to the belief that opting for a plant-based diet – with low-saturated fat – can reduce your risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.

The research, conducted by The University of Minnesota, followed more than 4,700 people over 30 years, found that a plant-centred diet was associated with a lower long-term risk for cardiovascular disease than simply relying on a traditional ‘low-fat’ diet.

To remain healthy, we need moderate amounts of the right type of fats eaten as part of a good, balanced diet. However, a high fat intake and in particular, a high intake of saturated fats is associated with raised blood cholesterol and coronary heart disease.

Since 1980, dietary guidelines in the United States and in Europe have recommended eating low amounts of saturated fat because of the high rates of heart disease in these regions, This is not necessarily wrong, but our study shows that plant-centered diets can also lower bad cholesterol and may be even better at addressing heart disease risk.”

David Jacobs, PhD, from the University of Minnesot

As reported in,  researchers conducted three detailed diet history interviews over the follow-up period and then calculated scores for each using the A Priori Diet Quality Score (APDQS). Higher APDQS scores were associated with higher intake of nutritionally rich plant foods and less high-fat meats. While those who consumed less saturated fats and plant-centered diets had lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels, or lower levels of “bad” cholesterol, only the latter diet was also associated with a lower risk of heart disease and stroke over the long term.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Monounsaturated Fats.

Fats are made up of fatty acids and glycerol. A fatty acid consists of a chain of carbon atoms, where each carbon atom in the chain is attached to hydrogen atoms. The number of hydrogen atoms per carbon atom determines whether the fatty acid is saturated or unsaturated.

If a pair of carbon atoms in the fatty acid chain is linked by a double bond instead of a single bond, the fatty acid is described as monounsaturated. Fats rich in monounsaturates tend to be liquid at room temperature. Olive Oil is one of the richest sources of monounsaturated fatty acids.

Monounsaturated fats—omega-6s in the case of olive oil—are important because they help boost heart health. This is important for helping prevent health issues such as cardiovascular disease or stroke.

Every bottle of Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil guarantees you an unfiltered, unblended, pure and natural olive oil experience, high in health enhancing polyphenols. 

What Is In 1 Tablespoon Of Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

One serving or 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil contains the following:

  • 120 calories
  • 10 grams of monounsaturated fat
  • 2 grams of saturated fat
  • 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat
  • 1.9 milligrams of vitamin E (10 percent of Daily Value)
  • 8.1 micrograms of vitamin K (10 percent of DV)

The following illustrates the differing fat contents of a range of products.

Fat Content Comparison Not All Fats Are The Same
Fat Content Comparison Not All Fats Are The Same

Simple Ways To Swap To Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra Virgin Olive Oil As Part Of Mediterranean Diet
Extra Virgin Olive Oil For Cooking

There’s a lot of evidence to support the health benefits that extra virgin olive oil can bring, but rather than simply adding it to your existing diet you should be looking for ways to make substitutions to use it more frequently.

That’s according to a recent article from Click2Houston, which pointed out how little butter, margarine or mayonnaise you need to swap out to make a meaningful difference to your health.

It cited research conducted in the USA, which found that replacing just five grams of margarine, butter or mayonnaise with the same amount of olive oil reduced the risk of coronary heart disease by up to seven per cent.

The news provider revealed that those who used more than seven grams of olive oil in their diets each day – the equivalent of half a teaspoon – lowered their risk of any cardiovascular disease by 15 per cent, and their risk of coronary artery disease by 21 per cent.

Replace, don’t add, was the message from the report’s author Dr Frank Hu, chair of the department of nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

“The main thing is to replace unhealthy fats with olive oil that can improve cholesterol, reduce inflammatory biomarkers and improve cardiovascular health,” Dr Hu stated.

If you’re looking to change your regular cooking oil, opt for extra virgin olive oil, the news provider revealed, as this produces the lowest level of trans fats and other potentially harmful byproducts when heated to high temperatures.

Last month, Medical Xpress shared the findings of a study carried out by the University of Barcelona, which revealed that extra virgin olive oil retains its levels of antioxidants, even when it’s heated and used for cooking.

You can buy our premium olive oil online, so there’s no need to go without high-quality extra virgin olive oil in your kitchen.