You hear of all these different diet trends and fads all the time and they typically do work for lot of people but the moment you come off of that diet, all the weight you lost, somehow seems to find its way back to you… thus the name “yo-yo dieting” (where your weight goes up and down). Well, the Mediterranean diet is nothing like those diet trends… On this diet, you can enjoy the foods you love, fight inflammation that causes disease, and lose weight all at the same time!
The funny thing about the Mediterranean diet is that it wasn’t always a “diet” in the traditional sense. In fact, the Greek meaning of “diet” means “way of life.” So, the two words “Mediterranean diet” really means “Mediterranean way of life.” If you look back at the origins of the diet, you’ll see why.
For many years, the peoples of the Mediterranean countries have only eaten fruits and vegetables, nuts, proteins (in moderation), and foods high in fiber. Because of these eating patterns and traditional foods, the people living in the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea showed little to no signs of illness or disease, in comparison to the Northern European countries.
The lack of disease in those countries is what made researchers conclude that the way of life and eating traditions of the people living in the countries of Spain, Italy, Turkey, and Greece is why diseases like heart disease wasnt so prevalent there. This discovery is how researchers declared it not only as a diet but also as a healthier way of life.
Just for clarification, the Mediterranean diet is an eating pattern based on the traditional foods from the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. The diet consists of these foods:
According to US News, the Mediterranean diet ranked #1 in these categories:
Nutrition experts have declared the Mediterranean diet to be one of the most heart-healthy diets there is. It’s packed with foods that protect against heart disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity, and other inflammatory diseases. Those reasons alone are why you should incorporate it into your daily life. If you still need some convincing, take a look at all the benefits of the Mediterranean diet.
One thing you won’t have to worry about with this diet is your consumption of sugar or processed foods because this diet little to no room for it. All foods and ingredients in this diet are primarily foods that are close to nature. Things like high fructose syrup and flavor enhancers are ingredients you won’t find in this diet. When you have a hankering for something sweet, fruits will be your best friend. You can even make homemade desserts, just make sure you use natural sweeteners.
Weight loss isn’t what the Mediterranean diet is necessarily for… it’s to promote overall health; weight loss is just a pleasant side effect of the diet. The great thing about the diet is that the meals are delicious. It used to be that when you embarked on a diet, the meals were flavorless and hard to sustain but this diet is one that many people have adopted as a way of life.
The diet’s main focus is for you to eat healthy fats and keep your carbohydrates at a minimum, all while consuming lean meats and high-quality proteins. This will allow you to lose weight in a way that won’t leave you feeling food-deprived. Diets that leave you feeling like that will make you resort to eating more than you need to get a “full” sensation.
Mediterranean diet meals leave you feeling full without making you feel heavy… that’s why these are great meals for lunch at work. Italian baked chicken is a great healthy meal that follows the Mediterranean diet and won’t make you sluggish at work. Click here to get the recipe.
Studies have shown thar following the Mediterranean diet can greatly reduce your risk for heart disease. If you think about it, the reduced risk of heart disease is what researchers initially discovered before making the Mediterranean diet a global phenomenon. The monounsaturated fats, omega-3 foods, and alpha-linolenic acid all play a contributing role in the diet’s role in reducing heart disease.