Mediterranean Diet

mediterranean diet 101

When you hear the words Mediterranean Diet you might think of a diet consisting of Mediterranean foods only.  That is not the case with this diet.  The Mediterranean diet is a balanced diet that aims to help you maintain your health, physically and psychologically.  Widely known for their longevity of life, people along the Mediterranean Sea posses a life full of activity, exercise and balanced diet, low in red meat, saturated fat and sugar.  Thus comes the term Mediterranean diet.

What food does the Mediterranean diet include/exclude?  

Mediterranean diet recipe       

Focused on a consumption of fruits, veggies, nuts, whole grains, fish and other healthy foods, the Mediterranean diet’s claim to fame is its cardiovascular and brain benefits as well as fighting off other chronic diseases as well as maintaining weight with activity and weight loss with creating a calorie deficit.   The other focus is staying away from red meat, sweets- enjoying them on special occasions and eating other meats, like chicken as well as eggs and cheese in moderation.  Always active, people along the Mediterranean know the importance of physical activity as well as diet is essential for living a healthy lifestyle.

Is there a structured weight loss plan?

Since the Mediterranean diet is not one of structure but just a way of life, you are responsible for figuring out your calorie range in order to maintain your weight or a deficit to lose weight.  As long as you are staying within your calorie range and incorporating physical activity, you will not have to focus so much and worry about your weight, while still getting to enjoy food.

Because it is not “structured,” the Mediterranean diet is pretty easy to follow and maintain.  The good news is it doesn’t ‘ban’ anything.  It’s pretty much an “everything in moderation” type diet except for limiting saturated fats and red meat.  This is turn delivers cardiovascular benefits and decreases your chances of high cholesterol, hypertension, heart disease, stroke and diabetes.  The diet also serves as one of convenience.  Fresh produce, nuts, grains, fish and other healthy foods are found in any grocery store making it accessible for all for dinner planning and preparation.  These foods are also full of fiber making your feel full longer, so food consumption should be filling ad making it difficult to overeat.  Dining out is easy too, just so long as you make the right choices on the menu.

Who will benefit from the Mediterranean diet?   Anyone who follows the Mediterranean diet will have no choice but to benefit from good health, cardiovascular and brain.  Weight management and physical activity are included in this diet and everyone can benefit from those as well.  Since all of the foods are accessible and can be purchased at reasonable prices, it is an ideal lifestyle diet for any socio-economic level too.  Since it is a balanced diet and emphasizes physical activity, I am almost positive is would be approved for anyone, but as always- consult your physician before beginning any diet or exercise regimen. Key points to remember when following the Mediterranean Diet: -Red Wine can be good for your heart too.  Consider having a glass every other night or so with dinner. - Build your diet around and fill up your grocery cart with fresh produce, nuts and whole grains. - You do not have to say goodbye forever to steak, hamburgers, cookies or cupcakes, just be sure to limit your saturated fats, sugars and red meats.  Save them as special 'treats' for special occasions. - You do not have to sacrifice taste, explore flavors and spices with your fish, veggies and other snacks. -Remember- get physical!  Anyone can benefit from exercise so include it in your daily activity. ***Since it is a balanced diet and emphasizes physical activity, I am almost positive is would be approved for anyone, but as always- consult your physician before beginning any diet or exercise regimen.