What is Mediterranean Diet?
Basically, Mediterranean diet is plant-based diet. In this diet, there is no more restrictions to eat or not eat. The people who live near Mediterranean Sea are mostly use this diet such as, in Italy, Croatia, and in Greece. This diet is totally heart health and long-term diet. In fact, this diet is life changing diet.
Food Groups Include
The Mediterranean diet depends on all health and natural foods. The food group which are allowed are base3d on monosaturated fatty acids, omega 3 fatty acids and fibre.
In this diet such foods are include:
- High fibre carbs like whole grain breads
- Fresh fruits
- Many types of beans
- Olive oil
- Rarely deserts and sweets
Health benefits of Mediterranean diet
Although Mediterranean diet is the heathiest and social diet, that you can share your food with others. There are a lot of health benefits of Mediterranean diet, we are listed some health benefits:
1. Enhances life longevity.
2. It increases brain health.
3. Helpful in weight loss.
4. For good eyesight.
5. Improves your heart health.
6. Helps to take sound sleep.
7. Very helpful in depression.
8. It can help to maintain blood sugar level .
9. Decreases the risk of cancer.
10. This diet can inhibit the risks of heart stroke
11. Helpful in maintaining healthy weight.
12. Reduces anxiety.
13. This diet is very effective for menopause women.
14. Helpful in digestion and good for gut.
Is this diet helpful for weight loss?
The Mediterranean diet is quite simple and easy to continue even if you are travelling or go on trips. There are several restaurants available a in New York and other countries which have featured menu based on Mediterranean diet.
And ofcourse this diet is very helpful for loosing, maintaining and balancing the body weight. Several researches have shown that this diet to weight loss. Also, very effective for body health, specially heart health.
How Much Exercise Required with This Diet?
In Mediterranean diet you don’t need to follow high intensive gym or exercise. In this low-calorie diet, you just go for 30 mints walk, light physical activities to reduce weight and also risk of heart diseases.
For rapid weight loss results, one can do muscle strengthening exercises. Adults can follow these exercises in thrice a week along with Mediterranean diet for better results.
Easy to follow Mediterranean diet
Mediterranean diet is a lifestyle changing diet. Its reduces cardiovascular diseases. There are some simple and easy points, by which you can follow Mediterranean diet.
- In breakfast: you can take oatmeal with nuts like walnuts, almonds and served with yogurt.
- In lunch: you can eat a bowl of salad with fresh vegetables like tomatoes, avocado, lettuce leaves and green beans, topped with cheese and salsa.
- In snack time: you can eat fresh or dried fruits i.e cashews, almonds fresh or humus.
- In dinner: you can take barbeque marinated chicken breast served with cheese or meatless pasta and fresh vegetables salad with olive oil dressing.
Food to Eat in Mediterranean Diet
Mostly Mediterranean diet is highly plant based and low on meat and dairy. But in this diet food choices vary in different countries.
By following Mediterranean lifestyle, involves daily physical activities and freedom to enjoy meals with people.
These are some basic heathy and unprocessed foods for Mediterranean diet:
Fishes, crabs, shrimp, tuna, oysters, salmon etc.
Strawberries, figs, peaches, apples, oranges, grapes, banana, melons, etc.
- Nuts and seeds:
Cashews, almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews etc.
- Healthy Fats:
Olives, avocados, extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil.
Lentils, beans, peanuts, pulses and chickpeas, etc.
Yams potatoes, turnips and sweet potatoes etc.
Onion, cucumbers, tomatoes, cauliflower, spinach, broccoli, sprouts etc.
Chicken, turkey, duck, etc.
Cheese, yogurt, Greek yogurt etc.
- Whole grains:
Pasta, whole oats, grain bread, brown rice, corn, buckwheat, whole wheat, etc.
- Herbs and spices:
Pepper, basil, garlic, mint, nutmeg, rosemary, cinnamon, sage etc.
Chicken and duck eggs.
Complete Food List for Mediterranean Diet
Mediterranean Diet Food List:
The main source of fat in seafood is fish. Fresh fish is much better than canned one. In Greece and nearby areas, fish is not the main course. Also, mostly fish is consumed as frozen form or canned.
Fats and nuts
The main source of fat is olive oil. extra virgin olive oil is much better choice. It can be use for baking, dressing on salads, cooking. You can take almonds, peanuts, cashews, walnuts, sunflower seeds etc.
Beans are also very important in the Mediterranean diet. It can be used twice or thrice weekly. For easy way, canned beans can also be used.
Fruits are also highly recommended in Mediterranean diet. They may be seasonal or easily available. According to survey, citrus fruits are rich with antioxidants and they are more consumed in Greek.
This is an important tip in Mediterranean diet to eat more green vegetables like spinach, mint, broccoli and green beans etc.
Grains and Bread
Bread, pasta and rice are the main course of grains and bread in the Mediterranean diet. According to survey, 40% of this diet is comprises on carbohydrates. This is no high carb diet. These breads are served with different vegetables i.e with carrots, spinach or tomatoes etc.
Vegetables are the main course in Mediterranean diet. Seasonal vegetables are more preferably used. There is no need of make fancy diet by buying imported vegetables. Just cook a handful amount of easily available vegetables in olive oil and enjoy your meal in a healthy way.
Meat and Poultry
In Mediterranean diet red meat and chicken is commonly consumed only one time in a week. On parties and occasions, you can go for meat choice. Roasted chicken, lamb, and beef are common dishes.
Dairy sources are yogurt and cheese not milk. Milk is rarely used in the Mediterranean diet. High fat dairy is consumed in this diet.
Easy to Make Your Own Plate in Mediterranean Diet
Here we give you some important tips by which anyone can easily make their own plate in Mediterranean diet. These tips also help you to follow Mediterranean diet on daily basis. Start change in your life and make it healthy.
- Always try to cook fresh and the good quality food.
- 70% portion of daily meal must be vegetables.
- Mostly try to consume water all day and some wine in moderation in replace to other alcoholic beverages.
- Always try to use extra virgin olive oil daily in your every meal.
- In snack time mostly use avocadoes, nuts and olives.
- Switch all white grains and breads into brown rice and whole grains in food.
- Add legumes in your diet trice a week.
- Try to add meat in less in menu.
- Try to take sugar and sugary beverages in minimum amount.
- In snack time mostly use avocadoes, nuts and olives.
- Eat desserts rarely.
Food to Avoid in Mediterranean Diet
First of all you must see ingredients and macros labels carefully on any food item. These are some processed and unhealthy foods which you should avoid in the Mediterranean diet.
- Refined oils:
Canola, soybean and cottonseed oil etc.
- Refined grains:
White rice, white bread, refined pasta etc.
- Added sugar:
Table sugar, ice cream, soda drinks, sweet candies etc
- Unhealthy processed meat:
Hot dogs, etc.
- Processed foods:
Foods which contains trans and unhealthy fats.
In snack time, we give you some healthy options with in the Mediterranean diet.
Preferable snacks are:
- You can eat fresh fruits like strawberries, grapes and oranges etc.
- You can consume a small cup of yogurt
- You can take a handful number of nuts.
- You can take one whole-grain toast with avocado.
- You can take figs and apricots as dried fruits.
Drinks are the main important factor by which you can lose weight easily. These are some healthy drinks for Mediterranean diet.
The good news is Mediterranean diet allowed intake of alcohol and wine but in moderate level. Red wine is allowed in this diet, as it act as antioxidant and boost the metabolism of body.
Water : Water is the main drink to keep hydrated and maintain all the body activities. As 6 to 8 glass of water recommended in a day. Water also helps to flushes body toxins, speed up bod metabolism.
Fresh Fruit Juices
Fruits are highly recommended in Mediterranean diet. Huge amount of fibre can be taken by fresh fruits. Fruits juices, fruit salads, smoothies are the common way to intake fruits. They are high source of vitamins and minerals.
Greek yogurt drinks are also allowed in the Mediterranean diet. These drinks keep body calcium, vitamins and protein up to date.
Coffee and Tea
Coffee is main activator in the Mediterranean diet. A cup of coffee is less in calories and good for all day activeness. But as, caffeine is high in coffee is it should be just two cups a day is enough. Latte is also consumed in the Mediterranean diet.
7-Day Mediterranean Diet Plan
There are many options to add the delicious foods of the Mediterranean diet into your daily meals. Here are some ideas to get you started Mediterranean diet.
|Day 1||1 whole grain bread with any two veggies with low fat cheese||Slices of cucumber with mashed avocado||Fresh vegetable soup with parsley dressing and one whole-grain bread||Some amount of strawberries or blue berries||Grilled shrimp, roasted fennel and quinoa salad, and broccoli|
|Day 2||Scrambled Veggie, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil||A small cup of Greek yogurt||A Greek salad bowl mixed with greens, olives and parsley, topped with feta and sliced chicken||Hummus with veggies||A bowl of brown rice served with stir-fried chicken in extra virgin olive oil and served with green peppers, cauliflower and broccoli|
|Day 3||Whipped Greek yogurt topped with walnuts and fresh berries||Some fresh cherry tomatoes and slices of cheese||A plate of whole grain crackers, grilled chicken and some raw vegetables||Chickpeas roasted||A small bowl of pasta served with chopped parsley and bbq sauce|
|Day 4||Spinach, mushroom omelet in extra virgin olive oil||Some Cashews and figs||Mozzarella cheese vegetarian pizza topped with fresh oregano, onions, carrots and peppers||Some dried fruits||Fish cooked in extra virgin olive oil and served with toasted green salad|
|Day 5||A cup of Greek yogurt served with fresh berries and honey||A bowl of tomatoes and olives||Salad with red peppers, dried tomatoes, and drizzle with freshly squeezed lemon||Hummus with vegetables||Vegetable grilled kabobs served with nuts|
|Day 6||A boiled egg with whole-grain bread slice and one fruit||Handful of cashews or pistachios||Whole grain pita with quinoa salad and greens||Some amount of almonds||Steamed salmon with quinoa salad|
|Day 7||A bowl of salad of fried veggies, with tomatoes and broccoli served with grilled small chicken breast||Greek yogurt with some almonds||A salad of some chicken pieces, topped with green beans, olives, and peppers||Some dates with cashews||Grilled shrimp with roasted sprouts and some greens|
Rule of Mediterranean Diet
There is no such rule for this diet. But you must set a scale for food groups, if you are following this diet:
- You should fill the maximum portion (70%) of your plate with vegetables i.e green leafy and other vegetables, fresh fruits, lentils or pulses, whole grain breads, olive oil and nuts.
- Eat all dairy products, meat, red wine and fishes on a moderate level.
- Mainly fat source is olive oil.
- Minimum intake of deserts, sweets and eggs.
Heart healthy fats are including in Mediterranean diet.
Guideline for Mediterranean diet
You should divide your all-day food in 5 portions that is breakfast, snack, lunch, snack and dinner.
There are some basic healthy tips which will help you to get started Mediterranean diet:
- Minimize red meat
- Always use healthy fats i.e olive oil
- Consume dairy products on moderate level
- Eat more sea food
- Eat whole grains i.e farro, pasta, cereals and breads
- You can drink wine occasionally
- Reduce you sweet tooth
- Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water or other drinks.
The best thing of this diet is you don’t need to stop eating anything. In Mediterranean diet, you can eat almost all food groups in moderate level. No hard and fast rule for this diet.
All age groups can follow this diet
There is no age limit to follow this diet. Researches in British Journal of Nutrition have found that the people of older age who follow the Mediterranean diet can live longer.
Some other studies have shown that Mediterranean diet can prolong the life span, improve your heart and helpful for brain functions.
Infact, we can say this diet is more beneficial for older age group people. This diet reduces the risk of death.
Macros of Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet is easy to follow. The main course of this diet is depending on plant-based foods and whole grains. Fats, carbohydrates and proteins are not precisely measured.
Here’s is basic estimate of the macros and calorie count of a Mediterranean diet:
- 40-50% calories come from carbohydrates i.e fruits, nuts vegetables, whole grains etc.
- 35-40% calories come from monosaturated fats
- 15-20% calories come from protein
How much money required for this diet?
The Mediterranean diet is quite cheap and pocket friendly. If you go simple and natural in Mediterranean diet, this diet cost not more than your monthly grocery bill.
But if you go on fancy foods and processed foods, thie diet become expensive.
Last note on Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet is really effective for maintain a healthy body weight. As long as you can follow this diet. It reduces the risk of chronic cardiovascular diseases.
One should follow this diet for life time healthy change. The Mediterranean diet has many food options and variations in fruits and vegetables. It also increases the life span of a person. After many health benefits and easy ways to follow this diet, no one will miss it.