There are a lot of diet fads out right now, from Atkins, to the Cabbage soup diet to the Nutrisystem diet And so one. It can be hard trying to find diets that will work for you a lot of diets crash your system and you gain the weight right back. In order to avoid that you must find a diet that is not only healthy, but one that you enjoy because the foods you can eat are not only good for you but still taste yummy as well. The Mediterranean diet should be considered if you need to lose some weight but want to do it at a healthy pace while enjoying some wonderful foods.
The Mediterranean diet got it’s inspired name from the poorer dietary patterns of many of it’s coastal regions, (Spain, Crete, Greece). This diet is low in refined sugar as well as preservatives. The most important aspect of this diet is the consumption of olive oil, more than anything not only is olive oil better tasting to cook with but it is high in monounsaturated fat which is the good fats that we need. This is a heart healthy diet, thanks in part to the olive oil and the fact that little to no red meat is eaten.
No red meat or very little should be in your diet, no processed foods of any kind. No fried foods at all. You will want to replace the foods you are eating with the most important foods that make up this diet, they include but are not limited to:
Olive oil: replace all other cooking oils you use with olive oil. Any time you need oil for anything use olive oil, it might have quite a few calories however the benefits outweigh them. Olive oil is heart healthy because of it’s high volume in good fats as well as it’s antioxidant substances, which help offer some protection against heart disease. If you have stomach problems, indigestion, no gallbladder, etc.. than this is a great oil for you because it actually activates bile hormones in a more natural way helping to ease all those stomach problems that quite a lot of us have, some of the problems having been caused by poor diet habits of the past.
Fresh vegetables and fruits: whether you are going to cook with them or just eat them fresh does not matter, give up all you can when it comes to frozen or canned fruits and veggies, less sodium and less sugar equals more health benefits and better tasting as well.
Nuts and Beans: beans main health benefit is the amount of fiber as well as iron, protein, and essential b vitamins. They contain no cholesterol, in fact they help to lower your bad cholesterol. They are energy boosters as well because of their amount of protein in them. Nuts are high in calories so you want moderation but they are packed with omega3 fatty acids which is essential for keeping your memory’s, (less Dementia, Alzheimer’s) to a feel better food that boosts you mood.
Red Wine: It has been long considered that in moderation (a glass a day) red wine can be beneficial to your overall health. Red wine contains resveratrol which offers many health benefits including, aiding in weight loss, cancer fighting, as well as improving blood sugar levels and many believe it fights the signs of aging.
Some dairy, cheese and yogurt: both cheese and yogurt are high in calcium. Yogurt offers some acidophilus which aids in indigestion and cheese is very filling which helps curb appetites quickly.
Seafood and Fish: fish provides some of the best meat proteins are lower in calories and a good source of omega-3 as well. If you are a red meat eater then replace a serving of fish or salmon etc.. with your hamburger or steak. If you have seafood allergies than try skinned grilled poultry flavored with your favorite seasonings.
Other choices for this diet include but are not limited to, some lower in sugar cereals, preferably whole grain as well as salads with light dressings and also poultry never deep fried though.
The Mediterranean diet is best for people who:
People who prefer unprocessed fresh foods.
Are able to enjoy a cup of wine a night without overindulging.
Want to lower their cholesterol
and lower their risk for cancer.
This diet is not for people who:
Have allergies, to nuts, or seafood
It is not for those people who prefer a more simplistic meal plan this is not on the go, you must prepare your own foods and meals.
People trying to save money, while being on this diet in no way means you are going to go broke you will however be spending quite a bit more on foods at the store that are fresh than those that are in a can or frozen.
A typical day on a Mediterranean diet would look something like this:
Breakfast- one serving yogurt and some fresh fruit about a cup of fruit or one whole apple.
Lunch a salad with some beans olive oil dressing, a serving or two of cheese and one small fruit or fruit serving.
Dinner: lemon pepper salmon and a spinach salad with olive oil dressing and a glass (about one cup) of red wine.
Snack: any fresh fruit or vegetables or one serving of cheese preferably goat cheese.
This is generally a healthy diet and works for most people but as always anyone beginning a diet you should consult their doctor or dietician beforehand for risks and benefits specific to them.