It doesn’t take much of a search to find a plethora of websites out there that make all kinds of claims about the Mediterranean diet, and its virtues for our health. It doesn’t take much to extoll the virtues of this program, and boy! they sure are virtues. Who doesn’t dream about moving to Italy, having their vineyard, eating olives freshly picked from their own trees during the midday summer sun. However, for the rest of us not blessed enough to live in this world, this diet purports to take the best parts of this lifestyle and concentrate them down for our own use without needing to leave our kitchens.
This diet actually originated from a period of time that British middle class people dreamed of retiring to their vineyards in Tuscany. Yet, this is hardly the reality we all get to enjoy. There are numerous studies, articles and reports that continue to surface about all of the fantastic benefits of a more Mediterranean diet, and this diet in fact is quite similar to the Paleo Diet. Dr. Oz touched on this recently as well, causing a huge spike in interest in this diet. It’s no surprise, a lot of the foods recommended on this diet such as kale, canola oil, chili powders and whole what pasta. Yet, how does this diet work and what are scientists saying about its use for weight loss?
The Down and Dirty on the Mediterranean Lifestyle
The foundation of this diet rests upon what people from the Mediterranean area eat, hence the name. The benefits promised by this diet, and supported by science, are things such as reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and even Parkinson’s. This diet was designed after it was noticed by researchers that after the Second World War, the Italian/Greece region had some of the lowest risks of cardiovascular disease in the world, and one of the longest average life spans.
If you are like a lot of Americans, you probably wouldn’t think this is so. They do eat a lot of olive oil afterall, and pasta, and we all know that fats and carbohydrates are bad for us. We often think of things like moussaka from Greece we we think of food from this region. How can this be healthier for our bodies? The daily diet of someone from the Mediterranean actually isn’t just pasta, olive oil, and other less than healthy foods. They eat a lot of fruit, seafood freshly caught, whole grains, olive oil and lots of vegetables. As a result, they are much healthier the their other Western counterparts, with many vitamins and minerals like Omega-3 and good fats in their diet.
What exactly do you eat on the Mediterranean Diet
There are some major differences present between the Mediterranean diet and other similarly popular and common weight loss plans. Beyond the foods that are selected, and how they lowered the risk of illness and weight gain, there was also the finding that people who were on this diet typically also exercised and maintained health through daily fitness. This active lifestyle is also at least partially responsible for the great results that are seen with this method. Even so, there are still some major things to consider on this program. There are in fact some food selections that you simply must follow in order to be successful in losing weight.
Several major foods should be eaten on this diet. You want to eat a lot of vegetables, primarily those low in starches. This includes things like tomatoes, cucumbers, legumes of all types, kale and other ingredients. You want to avoid skipping breakfast as having at least a small roll or similar is common in the region. Meat should be lean cuts, such as fish or very lean beef, lamb, or other foods commonly found in this regimen. Eat fish at least twice per week for the best results. The fats you have in your diet should come from wholesome and natural places, nuts, olive oil, or avocados for example.
The heart of the Mediterranean Diet rests in its scientific support. It has a long history of providing outstanding results to users, but also, has been well studied for its benefits to an entire group of people who practice it daily. Its no surprise, given this, that the diet has grown to be so popular.