Some people have been so healthy for so long that their bodies will not carry bad cholesterol to their hearts and in some regions in the world live people who are genetically immune to heart disease. And while this is something that you can’t strive for at this point, as far as “immunity” goes, adopting this type of diet will help you to lose weight and live an all-around healthier lifestyle.
With the Mediterranean Diet you can do it. This diet follows the traditional dietary patterns of many of the Mediterranean’s coastal regions, including southern Italy, Greece, Crete, and other regions.
There are two main reasons that the Mediterranean Diet works to help people lose weight and to live healthier lifestyles:
- There’s historically a lot of physical activity in this region.
If you’re looking to adopt this popular diet plan, it’s important that you stay active. Plenty of exercise is recommended. If you need to start slow, then go for a few walks per week. Eventually you should be working out every day – some type of physical activity to keep you vibrant and healthy.
- The diet is very high in monounsaturated fat, due to the large amounts of olive oil.
Olive oil is one of the healthiest oils you can use, and it’s also very flavorful and has literally thousands of applications, everything from salad dressings and pesto sauces to a replacement for fats in cakes and cookies.
Explanation of the Mediterranean Diet
This diet is a bit more difficult to explain, in terms of how to effectively implement it. It’s much more of a lifestyle than a simple diet plan, and most of the diet will be in the form of Mediterranean menu items. And when you get to looking around for recipes from that region, or for recipes that showcase olive oil, you will run across tens of thousands on a slow day.
Luckily, there is a way to quantify this diet through food groups, thus allowing us to explore and explain a few key points of the Mediterranean Diet. For starters, we’re looking at portion control with this diet. You never want to gorge yourself here. Instead of eating large meals, it’s much better to eat four to six smaller meals throughout the day on this diet, and this will include some healthy snacks.
There are also some foods you want to avoid on this diet. Think about it: people in this region didn’t have access to junk or processed foods. So remember that the Mediterranean Diet is an all-natural diet. You should stay far, far away from processed flours, sugars, and any junk food in general.
List of Foods typicall for the Mediterranean Diet
Red meat, even lamb/goat, isn’t really the Mediterranean staple that you may think. Sure, people in that region eat red meat – just not as regularly as other people. On this diet, you want to limit your red meat. You should be eating red meat about once a week at the most. Ideally, you should try to eat only one serving of red meat every other week.
Don’t worry about getting sufficient protein, though. There are other sources that you should be eating daily. The first is fairly obvious for the region: seafood. You should eat fish at least once a week, if not every day on the diet. Fish, deepwater fish especially, are high in heart-healthy Omega 3 fatty acids and provide a lot of protein as well without any carbs.
Poultry (preferably skinless) is also suggested to be eaten moderately at least once a week or even every day. Eggs, cheeses and yogurt are also staples of this diet. But you will still want to watch your overall fat intake here.
- Fruits and Vegetables
On the Mediterranean Diet, nearly every meal should be based on these foods. Fruits and veggies make up a great deal of this diet, and this includes olives (and the oil, obviously), legumes, lentils, nuts and seeds, beans, and a wide variety of other fruits and vegetables.
With this diet, whole grains are also a staple. With Mediterranean dishes, you will undoubtedly see a lot of pasta, especially in the Italian region. Just remember that whole wheat pasta is the preferred option here.
Mediterranean flavors pop due to the abundance of herbs and spices used. Don’t forget that this diet is about the recipes you implement, so do not be shy with the flavorings. The more herbs and spices you use, the less salt and fat you’ll have to use for flavor.