Mediterranean diet focuses on what you can eat, instead of what you can’t have. It includes the very best, freshest, and healthiest of foods. It is a modern, nutritional recommendation that has been inspired by the traditional dietary patterns of the poor coastal regions of Southern Italy, Crete and coastal Greece. The diet includes high consumption of olive oil, legumes, unrefined cereals, fruits, and vegetables; moderate consumption of dairy products, fish, and wine; and low consumption of meat and meat products. The diet is associated with various health benefits. Read through the following lines to know about the benefits of a Mediterranean Diet and also explore how you can plan one.
Benefits Of Mediterranean Diet
Mediterranean diet plan is a healthy way of eating, which focuses on having healthier fats and whole grains, including plenty of fruits and vegetables. The benefits of the diet are:
- Mediterranean diet speeds up the weight loss process without depriving the body of the much-needed vitamins and nutrients. Though weight loss rates vary, many people have reported losing an average of 10 pounds per month.
- The foods included in this diet, such as fruits and vegetables, lower the amount of toxins in the body that cause certain types of cancer.
- Mediterranean diet recipes promote heart health. They help to lower cholesterol and maintain the blood flow to the heart at a normal rate.
- This diet is rich in nuts, vegetable oil and fish that reduce the risk of gallstones or eliminate them altogether in some people.
- Mediterranean diet recipes usually involve roasting or grilling, rather than frying; thus, more nutrients are retained in the food and less fat is consumed.
- This diet also helps to lower and regulate blood pressure. By consuming less fatty foods, salt and healthier vitamins and minerals, blood cholesterol levels return to normal levels.
- Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of blood clotting, diabetes, and other life-threatening diseases.
Planning Mediterranean Diet
When planning a Mediterranean diet, keep the following tips in mind:
- Drink a lot of water.
- Make sure to get regular exercise, rest and relaxation.
- Strive for seven to ten servings per day.
- Have generous amounts of fruits and vegetables.
- Include healthy monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil and canola oil.
- Replace salt with herbs and spices.
- Increase the intake of nuts. Consume walnuts, almonds, pecans and Brazil nuts as a snack, whenever required.
- Lower your consumption of red meat.
- Include low-fat and non-fat dairy or soy products, fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads, pastas and cereals, seeds and beans, in your diet.
- Have skinless poultry, fish, shellfish, eggs, lean pork, lower-fat cheeses like part-skim mozzarella, and natural sweeteners like honey, as weekly foods.
- Consume fish frequently, as it contains heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids and low amount of saturated fat.
- Consume high-fat meals and cheeses, desserts, candy, butter, margarine, coconuts and vegetable oils other than olive and canola, once in a month.
- When going for fish, choose water-packed tuna, salmon, trout, mackerel and herring.
- Eat natural peanut butter, instead of the one having hydrogenated fat.
- For quick, satisfying snacks, keep along baby carrots, apples and bananas.