The Mediterranean diet concept is fairly simple, but surprisingly it’s one of the more popular weight loss plans in the world today. The Mediterranean diet originated from the traditional food groups of Mediterranean region, which are rice, fish, legumes, nuts, vegetables and fruit. It’s been noticed that people in this region have a much lower incidence of heart diseases, cancers, diabetes, gallstones, parasites and asthma compared to Americans. The Mediterranean diet plan has also been seen to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. The diet consists of mainly olive oil as the main source of fat, with other vegetable oils and nuts as good sources of protein. This food plan has also been noticed to lower the risks of having a heart attack, stroke, type 2 diabetes and obesity.
The Mediterranean diet originates from the foods eaten by the people of the Mediterranean region in the year 10th century. It’s based on fruits, vegetables, cereals and seeds, dairy products, red meat, poultry, fish and poultry products as the main source of protein. Scientists noted that people in this region were exceptionally healthy when compared to Americans and actually had a very low incidence of various lifestyle diseases. This was primarily due to the fact that they ate a varied amount of foods, including nuts, legumes, seeds, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, cereals, beans and fish. It’s been noted that people living in this region are able to meet all of their food requirements without getting hungry, which is a remarkable achievement considering that almost half of the Mediterranean region is covered with water.
However, the Mediterranean way of eating doesn’t just refer to eating healthy. It also refers to a balanced diet, which means that you should include all major food groups in your daily meals. For instance, you need to eat protein, carbohydrates, fiber, fat, vitamins, minerals, fat and water to make sure that you get all the nutrients your body needs. As you can see, there is no single food group that can be considered the “one size fits all” food group in the Mediterranean diet.
The most important food group in the Mediterranean diet is fruits and vegetables. A lot of people around the world either don’t eat enough fruits or are too busy to even eat them. If you follow the Mediterranean diet like the way the people in this region do, then you will be eating fruits almost every day. You can eat as many different kinds of fruits as you want and it will not leave you unsatisfied. For example, you can eat fresh mangoes, banana, papaya, figs, dates, melons, kiwi, pineapple, berries and even cantaloupe.
Meat is also an essential part of the Mediterranean diet. You can find meat in most of the foods in the Mediterranean. This includes poultry, goat, cow, sheep and fish. These animals provide protein, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and essential fatty acids that the body needs. As you go on with your healthy diet plan, you will gradually add more meats to your list of healthy foods.
The second most important type of food in the Mediterranean diet food list is vegetables. The vegetables that you eat should be a very small portion of your total food intake. This will help you maintain a healthy weight and keep your blood sugar levels at a healthy level. Vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplant, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, green beans and onions are on this type of diet. Some other vegetables on this pyramid are legumes (beans), onions, garlic, potatoes and carrots.
The last two on the essential food lists for the Mediterranean diet are nuts and seeds. There are not that many nuts and seeds included in this list. You can easily find nuts and seeds by going shopping in your local grocery store or even your spice rack at home. Cashews, almonds, walnuts, pistachios and just about any other kind of nut can be used to cook with. Nuts are great because they are full of protein and have plenty of healthy fats to keep you from getting too hungry while eating a big portion of them.
Last, and possibly least, are the alcoholic beverages. If you are only going to have one alcoholic beverage per day, this is the minimum that you should include in your diet. You should limit your consumption of red wine to one glass per day. For red meat, you are allowed up to two ounces of red wine per meal. Again, moderation is key when it comes to alcoholic beverages.