Should You Follow The Mediterranean Diet And Why
Like the name suggest, Mediterranean diet is inspired by traditions from the eating habits of Mediterranean people. The countries of Mediterranean Sea including Greece, France, Spain and Italy have special diet and will vary by region or country. Generally, the Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, cereals, beans, nuts and unsaturated fats like olive oil. This diet limits the intake of dairy foods and meat.
About Mediterranean Diet
This diet will not only help you to lose weight and have a slimmer body, but is also heart healthy. If you are looking for a healthy diet plan, the Mediterranean may be the best choice for you. This diet plan incorporates the healthy food with a splash of olive oil and red wine. The food is cooked in the traditional Mediterranean style, this will make even fat-free food very tasty.
Many people consider it world’s healthiest diet because of the health richness it provides and minimizes the risk of some chronic diseases. The pattern and quality of food consumed in Mediterranean diet has proven to be a very successful way of losing weight, reduce the risk of anxiety or depression and better control of blood sugar. It also reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, inflammation and heart attack.
How Does Mediterranean Diet Works
The Mediterranean diet was not developed as a weight loss plan, but actually it simply follows the healthy diet style of Mediterranean people in natural ways to improve their health. The Mediterranean people are known for living longer lives, lower rate of cancer and heart diseases worldwide. This is why a Mediterranean diet doesn’t focus on weight loss, but it just gives you a plan for healthy diet. The Mediterranean diet’s key features are:
- Eating plant-based foods, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes and fruits
- Replacing cooking oil and butter with healthy fats like canola oil and olive oil
- Skip salt and add herbs and spices for flavor foods
- Limit the intake of red meat, just 2-3 times a month
- Eating fish or chicken at least twice a week
- Enjoying meals with your loved one’s
- Drinking a moderate quantity of red wine (this is optional)
- Regular exercise
What To Eat In Mediterranean Diet
Mediterranean diet has a healthy and delicious way to it. The delicious diet is may be the deciding factor why many people prefer this diet over others. Some steps to start this diet:
Eat fruits and veggies/ switch to whole grains diet
You must add variety of green vegetables and plant foods in your meals. Start with 7-10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Start eating whole grain foods like bread, cereal, pasta and rice.
Keep cashews, almonds, walnuts and other dry fruits with you to snack on. These are fat free and healthy snacks. Do not get canned peanut butter instead of that use natural peanut butter.
Use olive oil or canola oil to cook your food instead of butter. You can also dip your whole grain bread in olive oil to make it more delicious and tastier. You can also use tahini as bread spread.
The natural spices and herbs add more flavor to your food. These natural spices have many benefits to promote better health. You can skip the salt and try different spices while cooking your food.
Eat more fish and chicken
Eat fish or chicken regularly at least twice a week. Avoid frying the fish if you still want to fry than you can use canola oil for frying. Fresh fish is preferred over frozen.
Minimize red meat
Use fish or chicken as a substitute of red meat. This diet recommends only eating red meat twice a month and keep the portions small and lean. Plus you will also want to avoid bacon, sausage and other fatty meats.
Low fat dairy
Use skim milk instead of whole milk, fat free yogurt instead of ice cream and low-fat cheese instead of cheese. Cutting out dairy fats will help your body in many ways.
It is optional, but you can add a glass of wine with your dinner. Red wine can refresh the body and skin instantly. If you do not consume alcohol, try drinking grape juice as alternative.
What Not To Eat In Mediterranean Diet
Items to avoid while on the Mediterranean diet
- Artificial or canned foods
- Sugary products
- Butter cooked foods
- Red meat
Benefits Of Mediterranean Diet
1. Reduces the risk of heart disease
2. Can help you live a healthy and longer life
3. Reduces the risk of breast cancer among women
4. Helps in preventing Alzheimer’s disease
5. This diet controls blood sugar level
6. Can help control or reduce the spread of heart disease and diabetes in those who are diagnosed with either
7. Help reduce the risk of cardio-vascular diseases.
8. Eating 7 portions of fruit or vegetables a day can increase the level of anti-oxidants compounds.
Risks Of Mediterranean Diet
1: Restricts calcium:
For some people who are regular milk drinkers and milk is the only source of calcium for them, this diet may not be enough to provide calcium to your body without taking a calcium supplement.
2: Alcohol consumption:
Women with the history of breast cancer in their family may increase the risk of getting cancer if they consume excessive amounts of red wine. Red wine should be limited to one glass for women and two for men.
3: Cooking time:
You cannot consume ready-made food and will to take the time out of your busy routine to cook foods at home.
As you can see, the Mediterranean diet is not just a diet, but it is a life style. It includes eating healthy with your family members instead of eating a meal in front of TV screen. Mediterranean diet encourages the calmness in your personality and helps to control your hunger. The best part about this diet is that it is easy to adopt and you can eat many of the foods you enjoy. Like in other diets, you don’t have to eat tasteless foods, Mediterranean diet allows you to choose foods according to your taste. You simply follow the plan while preparing your food.
There are several good books available on Amazon that can help you get started out the right way.
Before starting a diet, it is always good to discuss your goals with your doctor and let them know what your plans are, especially if you have any conditions or are taking medications.
Please leave your comments or questions below and thank you for reading.