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The Mediterranean diet – You won’t starve yourself on this diet!
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Mediterranean diet – So many options

This weight-loss method teaches dieters to adopt the eating habits of folks that call the area around the Mediterranean Sea home. As a result, they tend to be lean and beautiful people. To achieve the same look, give this eating plan a chance.

The Mediterranean diet is based on the thought that eating food is more than munching and crunching. The total experience of food involves taking time to prepare the meal and eating it as well. Food that is eaten slowly is enjoyed more than gobbling it down.

There are no restrictions on this diet. The plan emphasizes that high-calorie and fried foods are to be avoided. Other than that, the choices are pretty wide open. As long as portion control is heeded, most foods are not bad for you.

Related:How to get started with the Mediterranean diet 

Bread is a staple of the Mediterranean diet, particularly pita bread. Pita bread also comes in whole wheat varieties, adding to the healthy choice. In addition, Pita bread is light enough to complement any meal and provide the starch we crave without adding many calories. For instance, try dipping a Pita bread triangle in a bit of olive oil and herbs to add flavor and pizzazz to almost any meal.

Mediterranean Diet plan benefits

While on the Mediterranean diet, participants eat fruits, veggies, low-calorie pasta, cheeses, and yogurt while on the Mediterranean diet. Vegetables are sautéed in olive oil for a lighter taste. Whole wheat pasta is an alternative to those made with white flour.

Related: Do you suffer with IBS – The Mediterranean diet can help

People living in the Mediterranean region of the world get most of their daily protein requirements from plant sources, but meat is also eaten. Fish and seafood are the usual choices, but lean meats are also consumed in small portions. Plant sources provide proteins that are lower in cholesterol and fat. This fact improves the overall health of the dieter.

This diet plan is based on the enjoyment of food. Exercise enhances any healthy eating plan, but this particular diet does not stress that point. The choice of foods will lead to weight loss on this plan, and adding exercise to the mix can increase weight loss over time.

Start with thirty minutes of activity three days a week and increase when you feel comfortable. Eating several small meals a day is better than three big ones. Dieters can enjoy a wide variety of foods and not feel deprived. Eat like you were vacationing in southern Spain or the Greek Isles and lose weight simultaneously.

Put a bowl of nuts within reach.

When cravings hit, it’s tempting to reach for a bar of chocolate – and break your good intentions. But, instead of sweets or other unhealthy snacks, set aside a portion of nuts. These healthy sources of fat are filling and, at the same time, reduce the risk of obesity thanks to their high fiber content and the proteins they contain. In addition, nuts are valuable sources of magnesium.

buy poultry instead of red meat.

Fish and poultry serve as the primary source of protein in the Mediterranean diet and a maximum of three to four eggs per week. So meat lovers don’t have to give up anything but replace pork steak with tender chicken more often. Red meat should not end up on the plate more than twice a week in the Mediterranean diet.

Find out here which types of fish you can still eat without hesitation.

Replace your milk with a low-fat variety.

Milk may also continue to be in your refrigerator. But next time you go shopping, go for a version with just one percent fat. It’s healthier and has fewer calories. Also, if you consistently drink low-fat milk, you’ll quickly get used to the watery taste.

Cheat fruits and vegetables onto your plate.

Of course, you know that fruits and vegetables are healthy. Still, finding it hard to get to the recommended daily allowance of five servings? Don’t force yourself to eat an apple or carrot every day. Instead, add an extra serving of fruit or vegetables to each main meal. For example, prepare your scrambled eggs with spinach or garnish Greek yogurt with a few apple pieces. Serve roasted vegetables with fish and whole-grain bread with tomato and cucumber slices in the evening.

Take your time

The most crucial ingredient of the Mediterranean diet cannot be found in any supermarket – namely time. So whether it’s during your lunch break or after work, take your time eating and enjoy every bite. This will help you avoid stomach aches and digestive problems. Also, according to a 2010 study by the University of Athens, eating speed can significantly affect a person’s weight.

In the morning: You already read the first mails during breakfast? Not a good idea. Instead, put the smartphone aside for a few minutes and concentrate on your food. You can still check the news later.

At lunchtime: If you can only take a short lunch break at the office, you should pre-cook your meals at home. This saves you a trip to the snack bar, canteen or nearest supermarket and gives you more time for eating.

In the evening: Sit back at the end of the day with a glass of red wine and enjoy your dinner. Since an excellent red wine is part of a typical Mediterranean meal, you may also sip a glass now and then as part of the Mediterranean diet.

Food of the Mediterranean diet

  • Plant foods form the basis: fruits, vegetables, legumes, bread, cereal products, potatoes, nuts, and seeds
  • little processed, regional and seasonal, fresh foods
  • fresh fruit as a typical dessert, occasionally with a sweet dessert that also contains sugar or honey
  • olive oil as the primary source of fat
  • small daily consumption of dairy products (mainly cheese and yogurt)
  • slight to moderate amounts of fish and poultry
  • small quantities of red meat
  • up to four eggs per week

The ingredients are prepared gently in southern cuisine, i.e., steamed or stewed. As a result, many vitamins, minerals, secondary plant compounds, and dietary fiber are retained. Other good ingredients are contained in sea fish and vegetable oil.

Advantages of the Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet is also known as the “Mediterranean diet.” According to a large number of studies, this traditional cuisine is believed to have a protective effect on the body, protecting against cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. In addition, it has a life-prolonging effect. The health value of Mediterranean meals:

  • meets the energy needs
  • covers the share of essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and trace elements
  • secondary plant compounds provide valuable protection
  • rich in fiber
  • good composition of fat intake

The Mediterranean diet is a good way of translating nutritional principles into a tasty diet with high pleasure value.
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Vegetable oils and fatty fish such as salmon or herring contain unsaturated fatty acids. They are needed as a precursor in the body to form vital substances. Among unsaturated fatty acids, a distinction is made between monounsaturated fatty acids, which are found in olive oil and rapeseed oil, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Rapeseed oil and sea fish are particularly rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These are essential for brain performance and immune defense and positively affect our cardiovascular system.

Firefighters as perfect study candidates

Research around the Mediterranean food culture based in southern Europe was initiated by the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and the Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA). Using a cross-sectional study, scientists measured and compared dietary behaviors and health status of 780 firefighters from the Midwestern United States. American firefighters are considered at particular risk for obesity and cardiovascular disease, making them ideal participants for the survey. The men were all young adults who varied in diet, exercise, fat, thin, and average weight.

Protection against heart attacks and obesity thanks to fish and vegetables

The men in the experimental group, who ate a predominantly Mediterranean diet in their daily lives, had a 35% reduced risk of developing metabolic syndrome, which is considered a significant risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease. Dubbed the “deadly quartet,” metabolic syndrome combines obesity, high blood pressure (hypertension), high cholesterol, and insulin resistance (diabetes). Fish, olive oil, and colorful vegetables also affect body weight. In addition, subjects with increased consumption of the foods belonging to the Mediterranean group were 43% less likely to gain belly fat than their counterparts. The issues indicated in the questionnaire during data collection were that they ate a mainly Mediterranean diet, were generally less overweight, and consumed fast food and sugary sodas less frequently.

Those with less tendency toward metabolic syndrome were less likely to be affected by diseases such as heart attacks and strokes. Mediterranean eaters have more of the “good” cholesterol (HDL) than the “bad” (LDL) in their blood, don’t carry around too much weight, and tend to be healthier. So the traditional southern diet protects us from cardiovascular disease to some degree and is recommended. In modern-day Greece and Italy, people are focusing less and less on their parents and grandparents’ original low-fat, healthy diet. Meat and pasta are on the rise there, especially in the big cities the population comes more and more from the typical Mediterranean food. The era of industrially processed foods with lots of sugar and fat has fully arrived there.

What belongs to a health-promoting Mediterranean diet?

The following foods make up the ideal Mediterranean diet and help prevent heart attacks and strokes:

  • Fresh and pickled/dried vegetables: tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, peppers, spinach, cucumber, mushrooms, etc.
  • Olives, olive oil
  • Garlic, onion, parsley, basil
  • Fresh fish, preferably grilled, without breading and not fried, seafood.
  • Cheese: mozzarella, parmesan, goat cheese, sheep cheese
  • Legumes, such as beans and lentils
  • Complex carbohydrates: whole grain bread, brown rice, spelt pasta, bulgur, amaranth, quinoa
  • Nuts and seeds: walnuts, unsalted pistachios, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds
  • A glass of red wine from time to time

>>Looking for easy to prepare, healthy recipes? — Click here<< 

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Mediterranean diet – Low fat and plenty of options but what’s it about?
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