The Mediterranean Diet Plan and Lifestyle
But what is the Mediterranean diet? Many different countries border the Mediterranean Basin and Mediterranean cuisine is varied.
So sorting out a healthy Mediterranean diet plan can get confusing.
The traditional Mediterranean diet, before the 1960's, in countries like Southern Italy and Greece, was mainly fresh vegetables, fish and healthy fats – a good deal healthier than typical modern diets today.
Life expectancy was high, with a much lower incidence of degenerative diseases like heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer and diabetes.
What is the Mediterranean Diet and Lifestyle?
The traditional healthy Mediterranean diet plan was abundant in fiber, antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids.
- They ate mainly plant foods – whole grains, beans, seeds, nuts. And fresh fruits and vegetables were eaten in large quantities, up to ten or more servings a day.
- Organic olive oil was used generously. Total dietary fat content could be up to 35% of calories. But saturated fat was only 8% or less.
- Fish was eaten at least two or three times a week. And poultry was served weekly.
- Dairy products were consumed daily in small amounts, mainly as yogurt and cheese.
- Whole eggs were served several times a week, often used in whole grain baked goods.
- Lean red meat was eaten only a few times a month.
- Honey, as their principle sweetener, was used just occasionally.
- Drinking one or two daily glasses of red wine was common.
Social and family ties were very strong and supportive. Everyone got together for fun and relaxed meals and they often took a midday rest.
The Mediterranean Diet Plan Best for You
Since it doesn't require radical restrictions of fats or carbs, this healthy Mediterranean diet plan is fairly easy to maintain on a long-term basis.
- Eat an abundance of natural whole plant foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. A healthy daily salad is an excellent idea.
- Include plenty of high fiber foods, including fruits, vegetables and 100% whole grain cereals, pasta and sprouted breads.
- Use organic extra virgin olive oil on salads and bread (instead of butter). But remember, olive oil has 120 calories per tablespoon.
- Incorporate plenty of fatty fish in your diet, such as salmon, trout and tuna, or take daily omega 3 fish oil supplements.
- Keep saturated fats to a minimum. Choose foods with healthy fats like omega-3 fish, lean poultry and low or non-fat dairy over red meat. And use cheese and butter only in moderation.
- Serve beans with meals and eat almonds or walnuts for snacks.
- If you drink alcohol, limit it to one or two glasses daily.
- Totally avoid Trans-fatty acids (found mainly in partially hydrogenated oils and deep fried foods) and eliminate all high glycemic foods index carbohydrates (such as white pasta).
Also make sure that your calorie intake supports a normal healthy weight.
Now that you know how to follow the Mediterranean diet plan for good health, it’s time to get started. So chow down – and bon appetite!
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Posted in: Diet & Nutrition
By Moss Greene Google+
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