Principle of the diet
The Mediterranean diet is a diet similar to that traditionally found in the countries around the Mediterranean Sea . This diet is rich in healthy fats from fish, olive oil, nuts and seeds, together with a plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. It is low in saturated fat (< 8% of total calories) with total fat 28% to 40% of total calories.The diet contains less of foods from animal sources, and plant foods make up the core of the daily intake. This balance increases the amount of vitamin B12 and iron available in the diet, and at the same time, keeps the amount of saturated fat low.
The Mediterranean Diet is suitable for
- Individuals who prefer fresh, unprocessed foods.
- Individuals who are looking for a plan that can lower rates of heard disease and cancer.
The Mediterranean Diet is Not suitable for
- Individuals who don’t like seafood, including shellfish.
- Individuals who need a convenience-based meal plan, including fast food.
Foods in The Mediterranean Diet
- Foods that can be eaten daily: Bread (without butter or margarine), Polenta, Pasta, Fruit, Vegetables, Grains, Potatoes, Rice, Olive oil, Cheese Yogurt and Wine.
- Foods that should be eaten a few times a week: Eggs, Poultry, Fish, and Sweet foods.
- Foods that should be eaten a few times a month, or in smaller amounts: Red meats.
Note: The fat source is mostly olive oil or monounsaturated fat.
Advantages of the Mediterranean Diet Plan
- The Mediterranean diet has a good history and many of evidences supporting it
- Lowers blood cholesterol and decreases the risk of cancer and heart disease.
- Has a lower risk of rebound weight gain.
- Tastes so good, that it’s fun!
- One of the best advantages of the Mediterranean Diet is that it appreciates fresh food. In addition to being filling, it is also healthier for you in the long run. For an American, the Mediterranean Diet may require a different approach than they are used to, but it is definitely one of the few high profile diets that show potential and balance.
The Mediterranean plan is generally a healthy meal plan and safe. If you have specific medical problems, you may wish to review your plan with a healthcare provider.
Sample meals of the Mediterranean diet
- Breakfast: 1/3 cantaloupe, 1 slice whole-grain toast, 2 tsp peanut butter, 1 apple
- Lunch: 2 cups fresh spinach salad, 2 ounces grilled chicken breast, 1 tbs. olive oil, 1 tbs. vinaigrette, 1 small whole-wheat pita, 1 apple
- Dinner: 5 ounces fish (cod, halibut, etc.), 1 small sweet potato, 2-3 cups broccoli, carrots, peppers, onions sauteed in garlic and olive oil, 1 cup fresh fruit
- Snacks (mid morning or mid afternoon) - 1 small handful of nuts (almonds, peanuts, pecans, walnuts, etc.)