The Mediterranean Diet



med-dietDozens of studies are showing that a diet from this part of the world has many health benefits. A diet rich in vegetables, fruits, olives and whole grains is not only good for your waist line, but for your heart too. The diet also focuses on eating a lot of healthy oils, such as olive oil, nuts and fatty fish that contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to be good for the heart. The focus is not on reducing the amounts of fats that you eat, but eating oils that are high in healthy fatty acids. Whole grain breads are also an important part of the Mediterranean diet. However, bread is not usually eaten with margarine or butter, which contain high amounts of saturated fat.





How the diet works:
Instead of counting calories, the idea is to eat the way they do in the Mediterranean. With a focus on whole foods and healthy oils and fats. The diet is not as much oriented around weight loss as it is around eating healthily. It focuses around watching portion sizes, enjoying the food you eat, drinking lots of water, getting moderate amounts of exercise and rest and relaxation.

What you can eat:
Meals should be designed around fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, moderate amounts of meat and healthy fats and oils. For those who want precise amounts, it lists a food pyramid with serving sizes for several food groups.

Pros:
  • Studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet is a very heart healthy diet, and many people may find it enjoyable.
  • There are numerous Mediterranean diet recipes on the Internet, so you won't get bored from a lack of variety.

Cons:
  • It puts more emphasis on healthy eating rather than weight loss. However, If you want to lose weight on the Mediterranean diet you will need to restrict your calories also.

Bottom line:
Although the Mediterranean way of eating is a healthy one, compared to how the average American eats, you probably won't lose weight on it unless you restrict your calories too. Most of the benefits of the diet come from the fact that it is low glycemic and high in healthy fats and oils, with a moderate amout of fats from meat.