The Mediterranean Diet Review

At A Glance

The Mediterranean Diet is an eating plan based on the way people traditionally ate in the Mediterranean region; mainly countries like Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal all the way to the Middle East.

The Mediterranean Diet ReviewIt was first made known to the public in 1945 by Dr. Ancel Keys when he noticed the low rate of disease of people living in the Mediterranean region.

However, it only became popular in the 1990s. Studies have also confirmed that people living in this region have a low rate of chronic disease and illness and lived longer in general.

The Mediterranean diet consists of traditional Mediterranean fare like fish, whole grains, vegetables, beans, nuts, pasta, rice, seeds and olive oil. Olive oil is used generously as it’s a main ingredient used in food preparation. Alcohol is taken in moderation but mostly in the form of red wine.

Exercise is essential in this weight loss program.

Here’s How It Works

Basically, the Mediterranean Diet is a balanced eating plan that’s guided by the Mediterranean Food Pyramid shown below:

Medi Diet Pyramid

As can be seen, the diet concentrates on a daily intake of cheese & yogurt, olive oil, fruits, beans, legumes & nuts, vegetables, bread, pasta, rice, couscous, polenta and other whole grains & potatoes. As mentioned, a daily dosage of exercise is essential to the success of this weight loss program.

Foods like sweets, eggs, poultry and fish are best taken on a weekly basis and meat is limited to maybe once a month.

The Mediterranean Diet is not a diet that’s based on the latest nutritional breakthrough or scientific development but rather, if stated simply, the way the people of the Mediterranean have been eating for centuries.

Also, one of the differences is that people in the Mediterranean, owing to their lifestyle, are able to enjoy and eat their food slowly, rather than gulping everything down while rushing to make an afternoon meeting at 2 o’clock.

Foods that you eat in the Mediterranean Diet are not overly processed and are rich in monosaturated fat. As mentioned above, olive oil, rich in this monosaturated fat, is a main part of the food preparation.

Since meat is taken in moderation (on a monthly basis) as well, the diet is low in saturated fat which explains why dieters on this program are able to increase their overall health and feel better in general on this eating plan.

Monosaturated fat, in general, does not raise blood cholesterol levels the way saturated fat does.

And What Can I Eat?

As mentioned above, the diet concentrates on a daily intake of cheese & yogurt, olive oil, fruits, beans, legumes & nuts, vegetables, bread, pasta, rice, couscous, polenta and other whole grains & potatoes.

Foods like sweets, eggs, poultry and fish are best taken on a weekly basis and meat is limited to maybe once a month.

Alcohol, in the form of red wine, is allowed but should be taken in moderation.

How About Exercise?

Exercise is essential for success in the Mediterranean Diet.

The Mediterranean Diet is not only based on the eating but also the lifestyle habits of the people living in the Mediterranean region. These people did not only eat healthy but were also very physically active people. As such, the Mediterranean Diet does not only promote a healthier way of eating but also a healthier lifestyle in general.

Final Thoughts

A main factor for the Mediterranean Diet is the fact that you’ll be eating real foods – real rich, full flavoured foods which may make you feel more satisfied on this diet.

It is also interesting to note that the American Heart Association (AHA) recently mentioned that a Mediterranean style diet had impressive effects on cardiovascular disease. Soon, the AHA may be changing their AHA Dietary Guidelines to reflect the Mediterranean Diet.

But does this diet keep the weight off? A study from Harvard has shown that dieters on a Mediterranean style diet were better able to keep their weight under control and felt more satisfied on this eating plan.

It’s also important to note that the diet of the Mediterranean people may only be a factor for the health benefits enjoyed by these cultures. Other factors like genetics, lifestyle and a stress free environment play important roles as well. It’s safe to say that the people living in the Mediterranean enjoy a much slower pace of life than people living in the United States.

The bottom line is that the Mediterranean Diet emphasizes a healthier way of eating and acknowledges the fact that exercise plays an important part in any weight loss program.

History and certain studies conducted have shown that people on this diet plan will be healthier and enjoy a greater sense of well being.

As this diet looks at real foods available in the real world, it’s very easy to integrate the Mediterranean Diet into your daily lifestyle.

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