What’s The Mediterranean Diet?
The Mediterranean diet plan is from Southern Europe, and focuses on the nutritional habits of the people of Crete, Greece, and southern Italy. The modern version of the diet also includes, Spain, southern France, and Portugal.
The main emphasis is on lots of plant foods, fresh fruits as dessert, beans, nuts, whole grains, seeds, olive oil as the main source of dietary fats. Cheese and yogurts are the main dairy foods. The diet also includes moderate amounts of fish and poultry, up to about four eggs per week, small amounts of red meat, and low to moderate amounts of wine.
Up to one-third of the Mediterranean diet plan consists of fat, with saturated fats not exceeding 8 percent of calorie intake. The Mediterranean diet is the most throughly studied diet to date, with reliable research supporting its use for improving a person’s quality of life, losing weight and lowering disease risk.
The Mediterranean Diet is also claimed and proved to be the worlds best and most popular diet, read more below to find out why.
For every detail on the Mediterranean Diet plan here is book and ebook which walks you through it all step by step: The Mediterranean Diet book
Benefits of the Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet plan is not specifically a weight loss diet, however cutting out red meats, animal fats, and processed food may lead to increased weight loss.
The Mediterranean diet receives a lot of attention from the medical community because many studies verify its benefits, other than that many celebrities have also used this diet such as Brooke Burke, Penelope Cruz, Robert De Niro, Lady Gaga, Selena Gomez and John Goodman.
In areas where the diet is consumed, there are lower rates of death, heart disease and other benefits.
The benefits of a Mediterranean diet plan include:
Dr. Ancel Keys found that people living in poorer areas of southern Italy had a decreased risk of heart disease and death than those in wealthier parts of New York, due to this discovery the diet uses what they ate in southern Italy.
While other factors, such as a more active lifestyle, may have had an impact on this, the reduction in red meats and added sugars have been linked to a low incidence of stroke and coronary heart disease, Research has been done and puts this down to the monounsaturated fats present in the Mediterranean diet, and the focus on fruits and vegetables.
These are said to increase both the concentration and function “good cholesterol,” in the blood.
Protection against diseases
A lot of medical studies have compared the health risks of developing certain diseases, depending on people’s diets. People who use the Mediterranean diet have been compared to those who have an American or Northern European diet. The results suggest that a Mediterranean diet would help to stop a specific genetic mutation that can lead to a higher risk of stroke, especially if a person carries two copies of the gene.
Wine and olive oil showed antioxidant properties to protect against hardening of blood vessels, in a 2003 study, the study has linked the antioxidants and fiber content in the Mediterranean diet with good mental and physical health.
Lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease
A lot of evidence suggests that a Mediterranean diet may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. A study compared two Mediterranean diets with a control diet for almost 5 years and the research suggested that the diet reduced the risk of cardiovascular issues, including stroke, heart attack, and death, by about 30 percent compared with the control group.
The Mediterranean diet can also help protect people from type 2 diabetes and improve glycemic control, Several studies have shown that those who follow a Mediterranean diet have lower fasting glucose levels that those do not follow the diet.
The dietary guidelines for those with diabetes as specified by the American Diabetes Association are very similar to the guidelines for the Mediterranean diet.
Improving sleep quality
In a 2018 study, researchers explored how the Mediterranean diet affects sleep, Their research suggested that using a Mediterranean diet may improve sleep quality in older adults. The diet did not seem to affect sleep quality in younger people.
The Mediterranean diet is helpful for people who are trying to lose weight, The authors of a 2016 research investigation noted that people who were overweight or had obesity lost more weight on the Mediterranean diet than on a low-fat diet.
Guidelines of the Mediterranean diet
As the Mediterranean diet cannot be pinpointed to one particular meal plan or food group, it is important to follow these guidelines for the best results and benefits.
To get started on the Mediterranean diet:
- • Focus on fruits and vegetables and make these the staple of the diet.
- • Eat beans, legumes, nuts, and whole grains daily.
- • Season foods with herbs and spices instead of salt, fat, and sugar.
- • Cook food with olive or avocado oil as standard, instead of butter.
- • Focus on lean proteins, primarily fish, and eat less than 3 ounces of chicken or red meat per week.
- • Limit the intake of sweet and high-sugar foods and base most dessert intake around fruit.
Food should be as fresh and unprocessed as possible. Although the diet contains heahlthful fats, there is still a high fat content, so servings should be a moderate amount for the best results.
A key part of Mediterranean dining culture is eating with others, and sharing healthful, nutritious meals as it is a great way to approach a diet with the support of family or close friends. They can help reinforce the changes.
These steps, included together with an active lifestyle, may lead to a reduction in the more harmful dietary excesses of the average meal plan.
What foods to Eat on the Mediterranean diet
Knowing exactly which foods belong to the Mediterranean diet is controversial, as it varies between different countries.
Eating fish and seafood is recommended at least twice a week.
The Mediterranean lifestyle also involves regular physical activity.
You should base your diet on these healthy, unprocessed Mediterranean foods:
- • Vegetables: Tomatoes, broccoli, kale, spinach, onions, cauliflower, carrots, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, etc.
- • Fruits: Apples, bananas, oranges, pears, strawberries, grapes, dates, figs, melons, peaches, etc.
- • Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
- • Legumes: Beans, peas, lentils, pulses, peanuts, chickpeas, etc.
- • Tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, yams, etc.
- • Whole grains: Whole oats, brown rice, rye, barley, corn, buckwheat, whole wheat, whole-grain bread and pasta.
- • Fish and seafood: 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.
- • Herbs and spices: Garlic, basil, mint, rosemary, sage, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper, etc.
- • Healthy Fats: Extra virgin olive oil, olives, avocados and avocado oil.
What to Drink on the Mediterranean diet
Water should be your go-to drink on a Mediterranean diet plan.
This diet also includes moderate amounts of red wine — around 1 glass per day.
However, this is completely optional, and wine should be avoided by anyone with alcoholism or problems controlling the amounts they drink.
Coffee and tea are also completely acceptable, but you should avoid sugar-sweetened drinks and fruit juices, which are extremely high in sugar.
What foods to avoid on the Mediterranean diet
When following the Mediterranean diet you should avoid these unhealthy foods and ingredients:
- • Added sugar: Soda, candies, ice cream, table sugar and many others.
- • Refined grains: White bread, pasta made with refined wheat, etc.
- • Trans fats: Found in margarine and various processed foods.
- • Refined oils: Soybean oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil and others.
- • Processed meat: Processed sausages, hot dogs, etc.
- • Highly processed foods: Anything labeled “low-fat” or “diet” or which looks like it was made in a factory.
Mediterranean Diet Sample meal plan for 1 week
For a book and ebook full of 500 detailed menu plans like the one below and how to make them click here: The Mediterranean Diet cookbook
- • Breakfast: Greek yogurt with strawberries and oats.
- • Lunch: Whole-grain sandwich with vegetables.
- • Dinner: A tuna salad, dressed in olive oil. Then a piece of fruit for dessert.
- • Breakfast: Oatmeal with raisins.
- • Lunch: Leftover tuna salad from the night before.
- • Dinner: Salad with tomatoes, olives and feta cheese.
- • Breakfast: Omelet with vegetables, tomatoes and onions. A piece of fruit.
- • Lunch: Whole-grain sandwich, with cheese and fresh vegetables.
- • Dinner: Mediterranean lasagne.
- • Breakfast: Yogurt with sliced fruits and nuts.
- • Lunch: Leftover lasagne from the night before.
- • Dinner: Boiled salmon, served with brown rice and vegetables.
- • Breakfast: Eggs and vegetables, fried in olive oil.
- • Lunch: Greek yogurt with strawberries, oats and nuts.
- • Dinner: Grilled lamb, with salad and a baked potato.
- • Breakfast: Oatmeal with raisins, nuts and an apple.
- • Lunch: Whole-grain sandwich with vegetables.
- • Dinner: Mediterranean pizza made with whole wheat, topped with cheese, vegetables and olives.
- • Breakfast: Omelet with vegetables and olives.
- • Lunch: Pizza leftovers from the night before.
- • Dinner: Grilled chicken, with vegetables and a potato. Then fruit for dessert.
Does the Mediterranean diet work?
Evidence which is growing shows that the Mediterranean diet is very beneficial to human health. Recent studies reveal that the cardioprotective effects of the Mediterranean diet are effective through various mechanisms. These findings render this dietary pattern extremely attractive for public health purposes, and should be adopted by almost everyone.
It seems clear from looking at the evidence that the Mediterranean diet is very healthy and may help prevent some of the world’s leading killers.
Another sign that the Mediterranean diet plan clearly works is John Goodmans results from the diet.
John lost 100 pounds thanks to the Mediterranean diet.
It is obviously a much better option than the standard low-fat diet that is still being recommended all around the world.
So at the end of the day, the Mediterranean diet is incredibly healthy and satisfying. You won’t be disappointed.
If you are still considering trying the diet here is a book and ebook which will walk you through it all to help you make up your mind: The Mediterranean Diet book
But remember the only person who can make change happen is you, so I highly recommend you at least try it for yourself.
Anyone who is considering a major change to their diet should always talk to a doctor first.