Mediterranean Diet – Have you heard of the Mediterranean region? If you search this term on the internet, then there will be a list of countries for example Albania, Algeria, Croatia, Egypt, France, Italy, Spain, Greece and much more. Also, you will come across numerous Mediterranean recipes.
Related: What is A Balanced Diet.
The Mediterranean region is especially famous for its Mediterranean diet. Moreover, that is what we are going to discuss in our article! The med diet has been inspired by not the whole of the Mediterranean region but a few countries like Spain, Italy, Greece, and France.
If you are a Mediterranean diet lover or if you are going to try this delicious food for the first time, you ought to know all about this traditional meal across the globe. Once you gain info on the same, you will fall in love with this tasty food!
What is a Mediterranean Diet?
Research studies show that there are many health benefits of eating this diet. A diet that involves high consumption of olive oil, fruits vegetables, moderate consumption of fish, moderate consumption of dairy products and very low consumption of red meats is categorized under Mediterranean diet. The diet, in short, is also known as the Med diet.
What to Include in Your Mediterranean Diet Plan?
Well, we have mentioned that already that it includes olive oil, veggies, and fruits with moderate consumption of fish and low red meat consumption. That will probably give you a hint on what kind of Mediterranean recipes you need.
Let’s dig a little deeper with a few examples:
1. White Meat – Better Than The Reds!
Chicken, turkey, and even fishes are included in the white meat category. You can have some fried chicken, turkey, fishes with some sauce. Red meats contain more cholesterol as well as saturated fats than white meats which is bad for your health.
Therefore Mediterranean eaters try to avoid red meats. Now, that does not mean you completely avoid them. Having red meat once in a month is not that bad!
2. Fruits and Juices – Cool Things!
Who would stop you to consume fruits? Almost every diet ideas in the world include fruits on their list. After all, fruits or their juices are good for health. Though fruit juices are wonderful, they lack one thing, and that is fibers. So, just keep that in mind and try to eat more of solid fruits.
Related: Benefits of Pomegranate Juice.
If you are a diabetic patient, then you can consult your doctor on which fruits you can eat and which you should avoid. In fact, before starting to plan your diabetic diet you should refer to a doctor or any specialist in nutrition.
3. Vegetables – Green Leafy Are The Best!
Vegetables are good there is no doubt about it. However, it depends on what you are consuming. If you are a potato lover then eating too much of potato can make you gain weight. The healthy Mediterranean food does not want you to become overweight. So, consider having some green stuff like spinach, broccoli, lady’s finger (Okra).
The white, green vegetable- Cauliflower is also an exquisite option and has 80% vitamin C content. You should include vegetables in your Mediterranean diet lunch and also in your Mediterranean diet dinner. Green veges helps to get rid of belly fat also.
4. Grains – Especially The Whole Grains!
In the Mediterranean region the whole grains are mainly considered in their Mediterranean cuisine. Bread made out of whole wheat flour is preferred more and is eaten plain or dipped in olive oil. Clarified butter is avoided as they contain more fats in comparison to other similar food category items. You may also include whole oats in your breakfast.
5. Soups and Stews
You could prepare soups out of legumes. Legumes include peas, chickpeas, lentils, peanuts, etc., These are the necessary things for cooking a Mediterranean soup or stews. Legumes are rich in protein, fibers, vitamins and carbohydrates.
Having a small bowl of soup made out of legumes every day can turn out to be a good idea. You could also have some Moreover, rice with your delicious soup.
6. Olive Oil, Nuts, and Seeds
Who would drink olive oil or eat nuts and seeds for lunch? We would not! Moreover, we believe you too would also hesitate to do that. Only few people could have those for lunch. We are not asking you to have all these at once. Plus olive oil is a good for your hairs too.
However, instead, if you include olive oil in almost every food you consume and if you eat a handful of nuts every day, it will be good for you. Suppose you are planning to have a sandwich for your breakfast then you could use olive oil, some crushed nuts and a few edible seeds to prepare a tasty sandwich.
In a similar way, you can also use some dairy products wisely. For example, low-fat cheese can also be used in sandwiches. The point in Mediterranean diet is to combine few nutritious food items together so that they add up to be a complete diet for your meal.
7. What About Wine?
Many Mediterranean meals are served with wine. Wine is an alcoholic drink. Moreover, too much of alcohol is bad for health. No professional medical associations recommend wine or any other alcoholic beverages to the nondrinkers. Yes, some agree that there are some health benefits of drinking alcohol, but the bad effects overweigh the good effects.
Also Read: Healthy Drinks.
So, if you are a nondrinker than you should not start drinking alcohol and if you drink alcohol then the advice is to minimize the quantity else you know what can happen!
Top Health Benefits of Mediterranean Meals
Good for heart and your overall health
Must Read: Heart Healthy Food.
Trans fats are harmful to your heart’s health and increase dangers for heart diseases. High cholesterol foods increase the cholesterol level in the blood, and the consequences are that they could block your arteries leading to heart stroke, heart attack.
Mediterranean food excludes all the high bad cholesterol items and is much lighter than these. You know now that olive oil which is recommended in the Mediterranean meal is superb for the heart and so is fish.
Helps you with your weight
Another good thing about the Mediterranean diet is that you will not have to take weight losing medicines or go after advertising TV channels promising weight loss in just one month.
The foods included in the Mediterranean list have very low bad fats, and therefore you do not need to worry about the weight gain issue. You can easily maintain your weight by simply following the diet plan in a regular manner.
Water quantity for your Mediterranean Meals
Well, Med diet is not such a heavy diet if you compare it to the junk foods and other oily stuff. If you do not eat Mediterranean food on a regular basis and eat whatever you get to eat then you will have to drink more amount of water than a strict Mediterranean food follower.
Moreover, if a Mediterranean food follower is drinking enough water i.e. 8 to 10 times a day, then nothing can be better than that for him or her. The more the water intake is, the more your body will be hydrated, and your skin would also be refreshing.
Ever Heard of the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid?
This pyramid is a guide, in fact, a nutritional guide in a pyramid form that explains the Med diet pattern in a very concise manner. It tells you about the type of food you should consume and also the frequency in which the consumption should be made.
The pyramid was developed by ‘oldways’, a not for profit organization that promotes healthy eating based upon regional pyramids. The pyramid is divided into 3 categories which are daily, the weekly and monthly frequency of diet.
Exercise is recommended for all. Mostly people exercise their body for reducing their weight. A strict Mediterranean meal follower who has brought this diet plan in his or her life for quite a time and who does regular exercise would have no extra fat in his/her body.
That’s one of the most significant benefits of following this diet plan. Having extra fats give space to external agents (pathogens) to reside in your body and cause problems in the future. If you are completely fit and are always concerned about your health then you would rarely get sick.
Now, it’s time, to sum up, the article and the key, things to keep in mind is that it’s not the term Mediterranean diet which is important but the basic things you could gather up to keep yourself healthy. And the basic things are to keep a check on your weight, do not eat too much of oily food, exercise regularly, eat low-fat foods, consult your doctor regularly.
Changing your diet plan all of a sudden can cause problems. Therefore, you should not make major changes in your diet. What you should do instead is bring some minor changes like avoiding the foods that can harm you and then along with what you eat bring in the ideas of Mediterranean diet.
So, if you do all these slowly and steadily then there won’t be any problem with your health!
Also Read : Bodybuilding Diet for Her.