There are a lot of different fad diets going around the last while. It seems like everything these days has an option for gluten-free, non-GMO, etc. In the 90’s all the rage was the Atkins Diet. These days we’ve been inundated with a few more that have become trendy.
This post is about one of those diets, the Mediterranean Diet. The foods in this meal plan are, as you can guess by the name, based on the food and drinks you would traditionally find in the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. Think Southern Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Spain. I’ll go into full detail below on what this all entails as well as the benefits for your health.
Understanding the Mediterranean Diet
The “Med Diet” has been acclaimed as one of the healthiest lifestyles in the world. What sets it apart from other fad diets is that not only does it involve eating foods that make you healthier and help you lose weight, it also is a total lifestyle. It includes food, activities, meals with friends and family, as well as imbibing on wine in moderation. Essentially, it can best be described as “a way of life”.
** Want to find out where you stand, health-wise? Take a look at this body fat analyzer scale)
Beyond just being healthy for you, another way it is different from other diets is that the meals are actually delicious and flavorful! Many of the foods that you crave are included in it. Think of pasta with vegetables, couscous, a Greek salad, pita bread with hummus, sauteed spinach and lemon. You’d probably order those when you’re out at a restaurant, right? All part of the Med Diet.
This diet has been around for thousands of years and has become one of the healthiest diets known to man. It came to prominence in the early 1990’s when a Harvard University doctor highlighted it as a great way to improve heart health, lose weight, and alleviate other health issues.
Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet
One of the biggest advantages of this diet is weight loss. Because you are eating so many vegetables, grains, and other high-fiber foods, your digestive process is functioning better and you metabolize food much more easily. It also includes quality fats and proteins that keep your body working at its best.
As mentioned above, it is also heart healthy. It is packed with anti-inflammatory foods, plant-based foods and healthy fats that clean your body from the inside out. Blood flow is increased, cell regeneration is promoted, and you overall just feel better. The foods in this diet can help ward off heart disease, metabolic issues, type-2 diabetes, obesity, depression, cancer, and even degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
The Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan & Recipes
While not limited to these, here are some of the foods that you can indulge yourself with when eating Mediterranean:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables – primarily leafy greens like kale or spinach, as well as non-starchy vegetables like tomatoes, cauliflower, artichokes, and eggplant.
- Whole grains
- Nuts and seeds
- Olive oil
- Seafood and other wild-caught fish, at least twice per week
- Poultry, eggs, milk, cheese, goat milk, and probiotic yogurt in moderation
- Red meat – once weekly
- Legumes and beans
- Plenty of water
- A daily glass of red wine! (like those found at California Wine Club)
As you can see, this is a diet that most of us could live with, and might already be on schedule for without even knowing that we’re doing it. You can eat many of the foods that you already enjoy, and live healthier and lose weight while doing so.
If this sounds like something that you think would incorporate well into your life, I encourage you to do further reading and begin meal planning. It’s a great way to live better, and your health will thank you for it.