Mediterranean diet is very beneficial and heart-healthy eating plan based on the elements of Mediterranean-style cooking. This diet plan incorporates the basis of healthy eating with a lot of olive oil and red wine. Mediterranean diet is more than a diet. For most of the people this is a lifelong living style.
It is estimated that people bound to Mediterranean Diet have a 70% more of expectancy of life and a 80% of better quality life, supposing they do not smoke. Mediterranean diet became popular in 1990s, because of its paradox: although the people living in Mediterranean countries tend to eat relatively high amounts of fat, they have inferior rates of cardiovascular disease.
Characteristics of Mediterranean diet
The basis of this diet include high olive oil consumption, large amounts of legumes, unrefined cereals, fruits and vegetables, with moderate consumption of dairy products and fish.
Meat and meat products are used in very small amounts. This diet plan recommends three to four eggs per week and one or two small glasses of wine per day. This diet also recommends nuts as snacks and appetite suppressants. The combinations of food depend on whether the patient wants to lose weight or not. If the weight loss is one of the reasons for starting this diet, patient will have to choose the less caloric nutrients.
People bound to Mediterranean diet should avoid artificially hydrogenated products and derivates, and anything containing of being suspect of contain trans-fat.
Health benefits of Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet is low in saturated fats and high in monounsaturated fats and dietary fiber. The health effects of olive oil included in the Mediterranean diet, are especially beneficial for cardiovascular health. The moderate consumption of red wine is also beneficial, as it contains flavanoids, powerful antioxidants able to fight against free radicals.
Flavanoids may help to prevent many cancers and heart-related diseases. Results of one study show that people who followed the Mediterranean diet were less likely to develop depression. It has been hypothesized that some components of the Mediterranean diet may provide protection against skin cancer.
Mediterranean Diet Menu Plan
A mediterranean diet plan is a diet that should be followed at least 6 weeks. Combined with physical exercise it should result in significant weight loss and dramatic health improvement. Diet is low in unsaturated fat and rich in proteins. That is the magic formula for building up muscles and losing fat.
Great recommendations for complete meals are baked, not fried, falafel with a whole-milk tsatski sauce. An excellent side dish are hummus and babaganoush, both rich in high-protein tahini.
A mediterranean dinner may consist of oven-baked salmon seasoned with basil, oregano, garlic, parsley and balsamic vinegar. Every meal can be accompanied with healthy salad made of argula, spinach and romaine lettuces. Salads may be tasted with cheeses such as feta and sirene or mozzarella.