The Mediterranean Diet is not a strict set of dietary guidelines but a general way of eating which is followed in many Mediterranean countries, inspired by the traditional dietary patterns of Greece, Spain and Southern Italy. There is an interesting phenomenon in these countries - the low rate of heart disease, which nutritionists believe may be related to the food intake and dietary patterns. People who ate a diet with grains, fishes, beans, fruits and vegetables are considered to be the healthiest, found in recent studies.
You will make your own eating plans and patterns since this is not a structured diet. It’s important to know how many calories you should eat for losing and maintaining your weight and what activities you should do.
Following are some of the basic dietary patterns for this eating style:
- High consumption of whole fruits, vegetables, breads and other grain products, potatoes, beans, nuts and seeds
- Olives and olive oil are consumed regularly in cooking and at the table
- Dairy products, poultry and fish are consumed in moderate quantities with small amounts of red meat eaten
- Eggs are consumed 2-4 times per week
- Wine is consumed regularly in low to moderate amounts.
The Mediterranean Diet protects against type-2 diabetes, prevents heart strokes and diseases, and reduces risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Nutrients from the diet will reduce a senior’s risk of muscle weakness and other signs of ill-health by more than 60 percent. Most importantly, this aids in weight loss and improves eye sight.
The Mediterranean Diet reduces risks of heart attacks and strokes. It has also been associated with a lower level of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.
Penelope Cruz, Brooke Burke and cooking show host Rachel Ray have tried this diet.
Together with this diet, one must also consider daily exercise, sharing meals with others and appreciating healthy and delicious meals.
This style of eating is very healthy, with most things being consumed in moderate amounts. There are many great sources of dietary fiber in all the fruits, vegetables and grain products. Olive oil is an important source of monounsaturated fats, which is protective for heart diseases. There is a minimal amount of refined sugar products, which are energy dense and poor in nutrients. This diet is recommended, however, is not as easy as you think to follow with all the other temptations available in today’s society.