The Mediterranean diet is not unique, but an eating pattern that is inspired by the diet of southern European countries. The diet brings together common food types and healthy habits from the traditions of several different regions. It is a fact that people who live in the Mediterranean area or follow the Mediterranean diet have a lower risk of suffering from various diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases. They are also more likely to live longer lives than people in other regions.
The main ingredients of the diet include fresh fruits and vegetables, unsaturated fats, fatty fish, high intake of milk, low intake of meat and added sugar.
What is the Mediterranean diet?
The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating based on the typical food of the Mediterranean countries. It is usually rich in vegetables, berries, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds and olive oil.
The main components of the Mediterranean diet shall be:
- Daily intake of vegetables, fruit, whole grains and good fats
- Regular intake of fish, poultry, beans and eggs
- Moderate servings of dairy products
- Limited intake of red meat
Plant-based, not meat-based
The basis of the Mediterranean diet are vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts, beans and whole grains. The meals are based on these plant-based foods. Moderate amounts of dairy, poultry, and eggs are also critical to the Mediterranean diet, as is seafood.
Food to Eat
It is advised that fish and shellfish be consumed at least twice a week. Mediterranean lifestyle often includes daily physical exercise, sharing food with others, and loving life. Your diet should be based on the following organic, unprocessed Mediterranean foods:
- Vegetables: peppers, broccoli, kale, spinach, onions, cauliflower, garlic, Brussels sprouts, cucumber, etc.
- Fruit: tomatoes, bananas, oranges, pears, strawberries, grapes, dates, figs, melons, peaches, etc.
- Seeds and nuts: peanuts, walnuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
- Tubers: peas, sweet potatoes, yams, etc.
- Whole grains: whole oats, brown rice, rye, barley, corn, buckwheat, whole wheat, whole wheat bread, and pasta.
- Fish and shellfish: salmon, sardines, trout, tuna, mackerel, shrimp, oysters, clams, crab, mussels, etc.
- Poultry: chicken, duck, turkey, etc.
- Eggs: Chicken, quail and duck eggs.
- Dairy: cheese, yogurt, Greek yogurt, etc.
What to Drink?
Water should be your drink of choice in a Mediterranean diet. This diet also includes moderate amounts of red wine, about 1 glass per day. However, this is completely optional and anyone with alcoholism or problems controlling their consumption should avoid wine. Coffee and tea are also completely acceptable, but you can avoid sugar-sweetened drinks and fruit juices that are very high in sugar.
Snacks to Eat
- A small portion of walnuts
- Nuts, including apricots and figs
- A small portion of yogurt
- Avocado on whole wheat toast
Avoid these unhealthy foods
- Artificial sugars: Beer, sweets, ice cream, table sugar, and much more.
- Processed grains: White bread, pasta made from refined flour, etc.
- Trans fats: Present in margarine and in other processed foods.
- Processed meat: Processed sausage, hot dogs, etc.
Tips to lose weight with a Mediterranean diet
You can lose weight with the Mediterranean Diet. The typical Mediterranean diet of the Cretan diet as its prototype is primarily plant and olive oil with some carbohydrates interspersed, a low to high fat diet with a moderate amount of carbohydrate. If you want to lose weight by following a Mediterranean diet, here are my 5 tips that work.
Eat your main meal in the time
Traditionally within the Mediterranean diet, lunch is the main meal and is consumed between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. By moving a larger meal earlier in the day, you reduce the risk of overeating later.
Take the right quantity of olive oil
More and more research confirms what we already know here in the Mediterranean: good fat does not make you fat. Yes, calories count, but to maintain a plant-based diet you need something that gives you satiety and flavor; and that is olive oil. Not only does olive oil make all of those veggies delicious, it also makes food filling. However, that does not mean that you should pour olive oil without thinking about everything. A healthy quantity that is also associated with all health benefits is about 3 tablespoons a day.
The Mediterranean diet is not just a diet, it is a lifestyle, so moving around is imperative. Walking is fine, but general movement during the day is key. It’s not enough to just hit the gym for an hour in the morning and then sit in the office or on the couch for the rest of the day. Take walking breaks, do some stretches every hour, do household chores, and if you can walk somewhere, do it instead of driving.
The Mediterranean diet attracts a lot of attention from the medical world because several researchers have confirmed its effects. The benefits of a Mediterranean diet are:
Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
Evidence suggests that a Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The diet reduced the risk of cardiovascular problems, including strokes, heart attacks, and death, by about 30 percent compared to the control group.
Improving the quality of sleep
The Mediterranean diet can also be helpful for people trying to lose weight. people who were overweight or obese lost more weight on the Mediterranean diet than on a low-fat diet. The Mediterranean diet group has obtained comparable outcomes to members in other traditional weight loss diets.
The Mediterranean diet will help reduce type 2 diabetes and improve the markers of diabetes in individuals who already have the disease. The Mediterranean diet will reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease that often occur together. Both the Mediterranean diet and DASH appear to reduce risk by about 20%.
A Mediterranean diet requires long-term, healthy dietary transition. A person should aim for a diet rich in natural foods, including plenty of vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats.
Anyone who finds that the diet does not feel satisfactory should speak to a dietitian. They may recommend additional or alternative foods to help increase satiety.