Friday, January 15, 2016

The Mediterranean Diet

Based on the traditional cuisine of the Mediterranean countries of Europe and Northern Africa, this diet option provides a number of proven health benefits in addition to offering a good weight loss option for dieters. The diet includes a vast selection of antioxidant-rich vegetables, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. The Mediterranean diet plan incorporates a reduced consumption of dairy products and meats, as well as a moderate intake of alcohol.

The Mediterranean diet works by providing all the nutrients your body needs in a healthier form – primarily from fruits, vegetables, beans and grains. While the diet does not restrict carbohydrate consumption, the Mediterranean approach does emphasise that dieters should eat whole, fresh foods over processed breads and pastas. The silver bullet of the Mediterranean diet is the fact that over half the fat calories consumed by Mediterranean dieters are monounsaturated, or ‘good’ fats – these are primarily from fish, nuts, seeds and olive oil.

The importance of eating minimally processed, seasonally fresh, locally grown food is paramount to the Mediterranean diet – the fresher the produce is, the greater the micronutrient and antioxidant content of the food.
The key principles of the Mediterranean diet are:

1. Eat more fresh bread.

2. Eat more root vegetables and green vegetables, try to change you choices with the seasons.

3. Eat oily fish (mackerel, sardines, salmon and even trout).

4. Eat less red, fatty meats.

5. Eat a bit of fruit each day.

6. Replace butter, cream and similar fats with olive, rapeseed or ground-nut oils/margarines.

7. As an option, wine may be taken with meals, in moderation, to average no more than two glasses per day for men and one glass per day for women.

The Mediterranean diet is based on a significantly different version of the food pyramid that most dieters are familiar with. The Mediterranean food pyramid’s base is grains, bread, pasta, polenta, couscous and potatoes. The second tier is fruits, vegetables, beans and nuts. Above this is olive oil, followed closely by cheese and yoghurt. Those items are permissible for daily consumption. Moving up the Mediterranean diet pyramid further, one finds that weekly consumption of fish, poultry, eggs and sweets is permitted. And at the top, a monthly meat-based meal is also allowed.

The Mediterranean diet approach encourages daily physical activity as part of the healthy lifestyle it promotes. Additional benefits of the Mediterranean diet are reduced cholesterol levels, which yield a reduction in the chance of having a stroke or heart attack. The Mediterranean diet is also associated with reducing high blood pressure, as well as a potential reduced risk for a number of birth defects.

Dieters following a Mediterranean eating plan find that they are seldom bored with the options available as there are numerous books of diverse, satisfying dishes for all the family. This means that dieters aren’t forced to cook one meal for themselves and another for their guests, children or partner. more info click here

Criticism for the Mediterranean diet is solely based on the lack of access some people have to fresh fruit and vegetables – a cornerstone of the approach.

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