Mediterranean Diet a Complete Beginners Guide

The Mediterranean diet has been described by many doctors and healthcare practitioners as probably the healthiest diet of all types in the world.

The Mediterranean diet can also help fight all kinds of illnesses including certain cancers, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

The Mediterranean diet is recommended by dietary guidelines for Americans, world Health Organisation, and the united national educational scientific and cultural organization. In the following article, we will be looking at what is the Mediterranean diet is and all the benefits that go along with it. (1,2,3)

What is the Mediterranean diet

mediterrean sea

Well, it’s not really a diet per se it’s adopted from the meaning “diet” which means what the people ate in the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea it’s followed by countries such as Greece, France, Spain, and Italy and started to get popular in the 1960’s when studies showed that Mediterranean people risk of cancers, disease, and premature death were drastically lower than that of European and us people all because of what they ate. (4,5,6)

The Mediterranean diet focuses on healthy lifestyle or patterns which consist of three core believes namely “being active” getting “enough rest” sharing “meals for the family and friends

Understanding the Mediterranean pyramid

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We will be going through a food pyramid which is much easier to understand the pyramid will be based on cuisine eaten by Mediterranean people so let’s begin.

The Mediterranean pyramid will consist of three core settings namely daily weekly and monthly inside these three would be the pyramid so let’s start.

Daily physical activity

This is a daily routine and a very important base of the Mediterranean diet with exercise or physical activity forms the bottom of the pyramid as this is the most important aspect of the daily physical activities can include dancing, walking, running, anything the elevates the heartbeat for a period of time.

Whole grains, fruits, vegetable, beans, herbs, and healthy fats

whole grains

This is a daily routine and formed the core of the diet the olive oil is based on all cooking taking place within the Mediterranean diet you will have the base every meal of these so call Foods later on we will be giving you a list of foods you can and cannot eat on the Mediterranean diet.

Fish and Seafood

This is a weekly routine and in design forms, the central part of the pyramid, for the intake of protein fish such as tuna, Herring, is rich in heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. Shellfish including mussels and shrimp have similar benefits you can go so far as to eat these types of dishes twice a week.

Yogurt cheese poultry and eggs

Form the central part of the Mediterranean diet together with fish and seafood.This is a weekly routine and are eaten in moderate sizes for instant cheese are eaten in small portions but Eaten regularly.

 Meats and Sweets

This is a monthly routine these types of foods are better to eat in moderation or not to eat at all. If you can’t resist the cravings you can eat it in moderation on a monthly basis if you eat sweets and meats eat smaller portions of lean cuts such as tenderloin, shoulder, or T-Bone.Sweets should only be enjoyed in days of celebration.

What can I drink?

winebottle

Water, tea, or coffee with little to no sugar you may have 1 – 2 glasses of red wine with the Mediterranean diet always consult your health practitioner before going on on any diet or drinking any alcohol or any other substance.

Foods you can eat on a Mediterranean diet

Avocados –  High in fiber and full of monounsaturated fat avocados are available all year use them in salad and dips.

Fish –  Fish contains healthy Omega-3 fatty acids twice a week would be enough to indulge mackerel, sardines, and tuna are great.

Tomatoes – A source of vitamin C a potent antioxidant tomato stimulates immune function and helps fight diseases.

Beans –  A great source of protein and fiber remember to always use fresh as possible if you use canned beans rinsed them under running water to get rid of some sodium.

Yogurt – A protein powerhouse it contains calcium to protect and strengthen bones and has beneficial bacteria that are important for the digestive tract health.

Wine –  Wine contains powerful antioxidants that come from grape skins and seeds has shown to reduce all the diseases that come from aging enjoy one to two glasses of red wine with your meals daily.

Whole grains –  packed with nutrients fiber and protein whole grains contain good carbohydrates and are important for healthy eating.

Olive oil –  olive oil you all know comes from the Olive Tree olives are picked and then pressed into a mash the best olive oils “namely extra virgin olive oil” are from the first pressing of these olives. Olive oils are cold-pressed which means there are no added chemicals processes or heat and this gives extra virgin olive oil its flavor.

Main types of all of the Olive oils

olive oil

Extra Virgin –  Highest quality oil made from first pressing with no heat or chemicals only cold-pressed olives used for dips salads and drizzled on fish.

Virgin –  Lacks perfect taste of extra-virgin but not refined use for frying grilling or roasting.

Olive –  blend of Virgin and refined chemically treated used when the flavor is not needed.

Light –  the word light means to olive oil has been refined used when the flavor is not needed.

Pomace –  lowest quality made by blending Virgin and pomace used for frying and cooking.

Other foods you can eat include…

Peppers, onions, eggplants, cucumbers, green beans, zucchini, garlic, peace, potatoes, Garrett’s almonds, walnuts, pistachios, feta cheese, mozzarella, ricotta, lentils, chickpeas,

Foods you cannot eat on the Mediterranean diet!

Red meat

Even though there is a monthly plan to eat meat with the Mediterranean diet it’s better to leave it completely out of the equation that goes for processed meat as well as bacon, salami, and sausage.

Avoid added sugars

Rather add Natural sweeteners like honey instead of syrup or sugar avoid sodas soft drinks which contain a lot of sugar.

Hard Liquors

Avoid alcohol at all costs if you are on the Mediterranean diet you want to drink red wine instead 1 – 2 glasses per day is enough.

White rice

Avoid white rice replace with brown rice instead.

Butter or Margarine

Avoid butter or margarine at all cars better go with extra virgin olive oil for flavour or virgin olive oil for frying and cooking

The Mediterranean diet can help with!

  • Lower risk of heart disease and high blood pressure
  • Aid in  your weight loss goals
  • Help fight depression
  • Protect against diabetes
  • Outside of Parkinson’s Disease
  • Help fight off Alzheimer’s disease
  • Prevent asthma
  • Stock your kitchen for the Mediterranean diet

 In the pantry

mason jars

Beans – chickpeas, kidney beans, and lentils.

Bread – bread crumbs, whole-grain, lavash.

Canned seafood – anchovies, clams, mackerel, sardines, and tuna.

Capers – once open keep in the refrigerator

Cereals – oatmeal

Crackers– look for labels that list whole-grain ingredients first

Dry fruits – blueberries raisins prunes and cherries

Garlic – keep a head or two close by

Grains – oats couscous bulgar

Herbs and Spices – basil bay leaves black pepper cinnamon cloves coriander crushed red pepper curry powder ginger garlic powder paprika rosemary saffron thyme

Honey

Nuts –  almonds hazelnuts peanuts walnuts

Olives – of all types 

Pasta – all types

Potatoes

Red wine

Salt – kosher  sea salt

Seeds – fennel sesame

Tomatoes– can’t paste sundry

Vinegar – balsamic cider red wine vinegar 

Following below is an image of the different types of food groups, the servings per day and the, serving sizes for easy reference

FAQ Mediterranean diet

Why is it called the Mediterranean diet?

It falls under the eating habits of the Mediterranean Sea and the countries close by linking Greece, France, and Italy.

Is it really a diet?

 It’s not really a diet per se but their lifestyle choice study shows that people on the diet live longer and are more protective of diseases.

How can I follow the diet?

If you google Mediterranean diet or Mediterranean meal plan you will find lots of info about this all you can do is just follow this article or look it up on the net.

Can I go out to restaurants?

Yes you must definitely just asked the waiter to fry your food in extra virgin oil and eat mainly fish or chicken also stick to whole grain bread.

How does a Mediterranean plate look like

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Typical North American diet against the Mediterranean diet 

Meal planner Mediterranean diet 

Monday

Breakfast: Bircher muesli

Lunch: Quinoa and Stir-Fried Veg

Dinner: Grilled chicken, with vegetables


Tuesday

Breakfast: Banana Yogurt Pots

Lunch: Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup

Dinner: 3-4 ounces broiled fish brushed with olive oil, seasoned with lemon


Wednesday

Breakfast: strawberries and oats.

Lunch: 1 plum

Dinner: Spicy Mediterranean Beet Salad

 Thursday

Breakfast: 1 slice whole-wheat toast with ¼ cup mashed avocado

Lunch: Brussels Sprouts Salad with Crispy Chickpeas 

Dinner: Grilled Vegetables with Bean Mash

 Friday

Breakfast: Eggs and vegetables, fried in olive oil.

Lunch: Med Chicken, Quinoa and Greek Salad

Dinner: Grilled lamb, with salad

Saturday

Breakfast: Tomato and Watermelon Salad

Lunch: Tuna on a bed of greens with a vinaigrette.

Dinner: Dijon Salmon with Green Bean Pilaf


Sunday

Breakfast: Blueberry Oats Bowl

Lunch: Moroccan Chickpea Soup

Dinner: Green Salad with Pita Bread & Hummus

Does the Mediterranean diet help with weight loss

According to olivetomato (1) 

You can lose weight on the Mediterranean Diet.

New research coming from the now known PREDIMED study, a long-term nutritional intervention study aimed to assess the efficacy of the Mediterranean diet in the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases, showed that people lost slightly more weight when following a Mediterranean diet, compared to a low-fat diet.

They also had the least increase in waist circumference compared to the low-fat diet.

Of course, this is not the first time the Mediterranean diet has been associated with weight loss, another study in 2008 published in the New England Journal of Medicine also showed that there was greater weight loss with the Mediterranean diet compared to a low-fat diet.

Other studies have also associated the Mediterranean diet with a healthy weight in children as well as in pregnant women.

Mediterranean diet versus the keto diet

pizza

The ketogenic diet involves eating high-fat foods with moderate amounts of proteins and a low amount of carbohydrates.

This diet tricks the body into burning fats and ketones over carbohydrates.

The Mediterranean diet focuses on plant-based foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, and eating lean proteins learn more about the keto diet here.

Conclusion

The Mediterranean diet is not really a diet per se it is a lifestyle choice.

The Mediterranean diet gets its name from the Mediterranean Sea and surrounding countries like Spain Italy and France and is based on all foods eaten by these people namely fresh fish vegetables fruits and legumes.

The Mediterranean diet is probably the healthiest diet on the planet today people that have been on this diet shows signs of prevention against diseases like cancer Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease

The Mediterranean diet is not only about food but family and friends as well they are three main components to the Mediterranean diet namely exercise food and sharing of these foods with friends.

I hope you have enjoyed this article about the Mediterranean diet please let us know what you think in the comment section have you been on the Mediterranean diet.

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