The Mediterranean diet is based on the traditional foods that people used to eat in countries like Italy and Greece back in the year 1960.
Researchers noted that these people were exceptionally healthy compared to Americans and had a low risk of many killer diseases.
Numerous studies have now shown that the Mediterranean diet can cause weight loss and help prevent heart attacks, strokes, type 2 diabetes and premature death.
A Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan
There is no one “right” way to do this diet. There are many countries around the Mediterranean sea and they didn’t all eat the same things.
This article describes the diet that was typically prescribed in the studies that showed it to be an effective way of eating.
Consider all of this as a general guideline, not something written in stone. This plan can be adjusted to individual needs and preferences.
Eat: Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, breads, herbs, spices, fish, seafood and extra virgin olive oil.
In Moderation: Poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt.
Eat Only Rarely: Red meat.
Don’t Eat: Sugar-sweetened beverages, added sugars, processed meat, refined grains, refined oils and other highly processed foods.
According to studies, the Mediterranean diet encourages healthy weight loss and helps to reduce risks of many life-threatening diseases. Below are five of the top benefits of following this diet.
1. Fast Weight Loss
One of the key benefits of the Mediterranean diet is fast weight loss.
This is not from the results of a diet pill or a crash starvation diet, but from healthy, portion-controlled eating.
Weight loss rates will vary, but some have reported losing an average of 10 pounds per month.
Delicious diet recipes are often provided when following the Mediterranean diet that help to speed up the weight loss process without depriving you of much needed vitamins and nutrients.
Losing weight alone can offer many health benefits.
2. Good Heart Health
The delicious diet recipes provided while following a Mediterranean diet are all designed to promote good heart health.
The Mediterranean diet consists of healthy doses of olive oil, fruits and vegetables, and oily fish. With some participants, a moderate amount of wine is consumed with meals.
All these help to lower cholesterol and keep the blood flow to the heart at a normal level, thus, reducing the risk of heart disease tremendously.
3. Lower Cancer Risks
Having too many toxins in the body can cause some types of cancer, such as breast cancer.
Eating the types of healthy foods promoted in the Mediterranean diet such as fruits and vegetables will lower the amount of toxins in the body because these foods are natural antioxidants.
4. Prevent Gallstones
Those who have fallen victim to gall stones realize how painful they can be.
With around 639,000 people being hospitalized per year with gallstones, many studies are being conducted to help find a cause and cure.
The Mediterranean diet is rich in nuts, vegetable oil, and fish.
Though gallstones are not always diet-related, consuming these foods can help to reduce the risk of gall stones or eliminate them altogether for some according to recent studies.
5. Lower Blood Pressure
The healthy foods in a Mediterranean diet can also work to lower and regulate blood pressure.
Blood cholesterol levels can return to normal when eating less fatty foods and salt, and more healthy vitamins and minerals.
Cooking procedures on a Mediterranean diet usually involve roasting or grilling rather than frying.
So more nutrients are retained in the food during preparation, and there is much less fat consumption.
These are only a few of the benefits.
The Mediterranean diet also offers many other benefits such as reducing the risks of blood clotting, diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, and other life-threatening diseases.
Don’t deprive yourself. Start eating delicious diet recipes on the Mediterranean diet for healthy weight loss today.
What to Drink
Water should be your go-to beverage on a Mediterranean diet.
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 who has alcoholism or problems controlling their consumption.
Coffee and tea are also completely acceptable, but avoid sugar-sweetened beverages and fruit juices, which are very high in sugar.
A Mediterranean Sample Menu
- Breakfast: Greek yogurt with strawberries and oats.
- Lunch: Whole grain sandwich with vegetables.
- Dinner: A tuna salad, dressed in olive oil. A piece of fruit for dessert.
- Breakfast: Oatmeal with raisins.
- Lunch: Leftover tuna salad from the previous night.
- Dinner: Salad with tomatoes, olives and feta cheese.