Are you in search of a diet that satisfies your taste buds but, at the same time, it is healthy for your heart and health? Full of fresh fruits and vegetables, it also provides healthy fats that do not predispose you to cardiovascular diseases.
You have landed right. Let's introduce one of the healthiest diets. If you are a fresh fruit lover, this diet is for you.
What is the Mediterranean diet?
The Mediterranean sea is a sea touching the southern shores of Europe and North Africa. The most important countries in this belt are France, Spain, Greece and Turkey.
The incidence of heart diseases in the US is high due to the extensive use of processed foods, dairy products and fried foods containing saturated fats.
The dieticians developed an interest in the Mediterranean diet because they noticed a reduced occurrence of obesity, chronic diseases, coronary heart diseases, and other cardiovascular diseases in Mediterranean countries.
A study involving 7447 people in Spain noted that the people taking vegetable-based diets have a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases compared to the rest of the population.
Since the 1950s, various studies have focused on the composition and benefits of the Mediterranean diet.
What are the main components of a traditional Mediterranean diet?
Surprisingly, the Mediterranean diet incorporates almost all components of the modern diet. The only difference is that the source used for each component is healthy and of good quality. It is surprisingly easy for you to follow the Mediterranean diet plan.
A variety of Mediterranean diet recipes are available according to the likeness of people. However, its main components could be divided into three categories based on their health benefits.
Extremely beneficial- you can take as much as you like
These components of the Mediterranean diet are most beneficial, and you can take as much as you like.
Olive oil serves as the main source of fats. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats, healthy for your heart. It is used in large quantities in most recipes.
To Take full benefit, it is recommended that you use extra virgin olive oil. This is the least processed form of olive oil and retains the most beneficial components.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are also to be used abundantly. The most common vegetables are beets, cabbage, cucumbers, carrots, eggplant, lemons, onions, mushrooms, peppers, legumes, and spices.
Fruits included in the Mediterranean diet are apricots, apples, oranges, olives, strawberries, pomegranates, dates, grapes, figs, melons, cherries, peaches, tomatoes etc... These fruits are used either as snacks or in desserts.
Somewhat beneficial- you can take them in moderate quantities
These components of the Mediterranean diet are helpful, but their use should be guarded. Excessive use may be harmful. They include dairy products (e.g., Greek yoghurt, cheese, skim milk etc...), poultry, seafood, and red wine etc...
Less beneficial- avoid overtaking
These components of the Mediterranean diet are to be used with caution. Their overuse can be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease development.
They are Sweet potatoes, red meat, refined carbohydrates, refined grains, soft drinks, processed foods and sugars.
What benefits could be expected from a Mediterranean diet?
Before investing in the Mediterranean diet, you might be interested to know the potential benefits to be expected. This diet is beneficial for your general health. Some of the benefits are summarised below.
If you are interested in losing weight through diet, the Mediterranean diet is for you. Years of research have established the benefits of the Mediterranean diet for reducing body weight.
However, you have to stick to it for at least six months and keep a rigorous eye on your weight.
The polyphenols present in olive oil are known to have anti-cancer properties. So, it is fair to expect moderate weight loss if you are on a Mediterranean diet plan.
Reduced incidence of heart diseases
Most recipes and components of olive oil are free of cholesterol and saturated fats, the primary cardiac risk factors. Therefore, shifting to this diet can be healthy for your heart.
Maintain your blood glucose levels
Don't worry about your blood glucose if you are on a Mediterranean diet plan. It would help if you used refined whole grains in limited amounts.
The vitamins and minerals in this diet help your body to cope with the sudden rush of refined sugar in case of a sugary diet.
Healthy for your brain
Your brain functions begin to decline as you enter your old years. This is due to a decline in the cognitive processes of your brain. You begin to lose your learning abilities.
Research has shown that regular use of plant foods can preserve your brain's cognitive functions and improve brain health. Moreover, the people on this diet plan also have a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
Mediterranean diet recipes
If you are impressed by the Mediterranean-style diet, the next step is selecting a suitable recipe. You can choose anyone from an unlimited list of delicious recipes. A list of recipes is provided. You can choose according to your likeness and enjoy.
For a meat lover
The Mediterranean diet may or may not include meat. The choice depends on your taste. These dishes are served with leafy greens, vegetables and white bread. Moderate low-fat fresh foods are part of every meaty, healthy eating plan.
Mediterranean style beef kofta
Baked thighs )beef or poultrY
Roasted lamb thighs
chicken or beef spaghetti
Deli meats (cooked and ready to serve.
Baked or roasted chicken breast and many more.
For a seafood lover
Seafood is an excellent source of lean proteins and omega-3 fatty acids. They are also good for your heart health.
Eating fish is practised throughout the Mediterranean region.
Whitefish fried in olive oil
Mediterranean fish soup
Fried Spanish shrimp
For a vegan
Italian pasta with olive oil and garlic
Whole wheat bread
Spanakopita: Warm spinach with a filling of feta cheese
Mediterranean diet pyramid
The components of the Mediterranean diet are represented in the form of a pyramid. The pyramid base contains the foods that should be a regular part of your diet, e.g., fruits and vegetables and less important things go higher in the pyramid.
Keeping a pyramid with you may be a good idea to remind you of a healthy diet. Keep a keen eye on your health parameters and opt for the Mediterannean diet as soon as possible because there is no substitute for health.
A meal plan and beginner's guide
Richly loaded with flavourful ingredients including vegetables and fruits, the Mediterranean diet is equally delicious and nourishing. It can be used for several different reasons including improving brain function, heart health, controlling diabetes and more. Although there are no definitive rules about following the Mediterranean diet it is advisable to follow several general guidelines for the diet that will guide your everyday life. This article examines the benefits of the Mediterranean diet for preventing illness from occurring.
Enjoy fruit for dessert
Featured Recipe: Salad of red fruit. Fresh fruit is very nutritious and provides good fibre, vitamin C and antioxidants. If this helps you eat more, sprinkle sliced pear with honey or sprinkle some brown sugar onto grapefruit. Keep fresh fruits available in the household and a bit in the workplace so you can eat healthy snacks if you get a stomach cramp. Most supermarkets carry exotic foods. Try new things each month and broaden your fruit horizon.
Cook with olive oil
Make a switch to extra-virgin olive oil when cooking in a dish made from vegetable oil. Olive oil has high levels of monounsaturated fats, which can help lower cholesterol. HDL cholesterol is absorbed by the liver and eliminates bad LDL from the bloodstream. Use olive oil for homemade dressing or vinaigrette recipes. Drizzle over cooked dishes, as it boosts the flavours. Use butter to make mashed potatoes, pasta or whatever else you want.
Eat Veggies All Day Long
This featured soup recipe is a cooked vegetable soup and when it seems that your diet doesn't contain greens, then you should add veggies. You can also make one serving of these snacks for lunch or dinner, such as slicing down bell peppers and putting a couple of spinach pieces in a smoothie. Serve two servings daily. There's something better in it. Three servings may be helpful when dealing with stress.
Snack on Nuts
The almond nuts have a Mediterranean diet as well. Picking up shards of pistachios and almond seeds is a tasty and easy snack for the day. One study in the "Nutrition Journal" reported the effect of almonds on weight loss by replacing cookies or snack bars with almond chips in the diet. Nuts have more fibre and minerals like potassium.
The Healthy Pasta Meal
Modern pasta recipes originate in ancient times. Thousands of years ago farmers ground wheat to make flour paste, dried them and boiled them for use as part of meal preparation. Today's consumers welcome pasta to their plates because they have so many options. Continue reading.
Can the Mediterranean diet help with weight loss?
Mediterranean food is an ancient way of consumption for many people around the World and there is no substitute for reducing weight. Apparently, a healthy diet is also good for shedding weight. How do I lose weight and improve my health?
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