The Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet is not a diet as in “go on a diet”, rather it is a way of life and a way of eating that could promote optimal health and weight loss. It has actually been recognized as a way of eating by the medical profession since the 1940’s. However, it was not until the 1990’s that it became a mainstream model as a healthy plan of eating. It still continues to make health news headlines today as a diet that lowers cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes. As little as two weeks ago, this diet was credited for reversing stroke risk in Heart.org, a journal for cardiologists.
And all this despite that this diet is not a low fat or low sodium diet!
The Mediterranean diet secret may lie in the abundant use of Virgin Olive Oil. Olive oil contains a very high level of monounsaturated fat, including oleic acid which has been linked to a reduction in the risk of heart disease. Other characteristics of this diet include a high consumption of fruits, vegetables and unrefined grains, a moderate consumption of fish, dairy and red wine, and a low consumption of red meat.
Add to this, that with the exception of city dwellers, the people of this area lead a much more physically active lifestyle and you have a great model for healthy living in general.
- Real whole foods that we can easily obtain
- The whole family can enjoy this healthy way of eating
- It is not a ‘diet’, it is a healthy lifestyle, therefore easier to maintain.
- This is not about the diet, but more of a perception that people have. I have seen people who feel that a plate of pasta and a bottle of wine ‘qualifies’ as a healthy ‘Mediterranean diet’ meal.
- People want instant gratification and because this is not a fast weight loss diet, it is a long term way of eating to promote health, people tend to abandon it in favor of a crash diet.
If you would like to obtain some free articles and a newsletter concerning The Mediterranean Diet, you can get those here.
I have a co-worker who is Italian and has managed to stay very slim all of her life. She grew up eating the Mediterranean foods as a natural way of eating and is very liberal with olive oils, avocado and other natural fats. I love eating at her place and to me she is a living testament of how Mediterranean meals can be a way of life and a very healthy and enjoyable one at that!
Check below for some recommended books on getting the Mediterranean foods into your life!