Mediterranean diet for a better and healthier general condition

Are you fed up with strict diets or are you combating a disease? Chose Mediterranean diet and you will also lose weight more easily.

10.10.2019

Mediterranean diet for a better and healthier general condition

Mediterranean diet is the traditional eating habit of the people who live in the region of the Mediterranean Sea. Due to its health-giving effect, it is recommended by a lot of physicians and dieticians. It helps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and it has an effect on overweight, too. And if all of this were not enough, research has shown that, among others, it also helps preventing heart attacks and diabetes type two.
It is one of the most easily applicable diets that provides solution for the whole family.

Let your goal was to lose weight be, or you would like to do more for the benefit of your health, in both cases it is a good decision.

 

The basics of the Mediterranean diet

The basics of the Mediterranean diet

Mediterranean diet is based on the traditional foods that people ate in Italy and Greece in 1960. We can find a great variety of vegetables and fruits in this region and in the neighbouring countries, moreover, there is also a wide range of supply from saltwater fish and seafood. Olive oil is also part of the diet, and all these are essential part of the daily routine characteristic to the people living in the region.

As there are numerous countries in this area, all of them following different traditions, the diet rules are not set in stone.

The key here is that the ones who follow this type of diet eat much more fresh products. The foundations of this diet are a great number of vegetables and fruits, whole grain cereals, healthy oils and fish.

 

For example, people who live in Greece eat only a very small amount of red meat, but instead, an average of 8-9 portions of vegetables and fruits rich in antioxidants are on their plates every weekday. We can state that this type of diet puts far more emphasis on foods of plant origin.

One glass of red wine is allowed per day, and instead of sugared soft drinks they drink water. It is regarded as one of the healthiest diets because it includes a lot of fresh primary food commodities of plant origin, good fats and fish. In addition, it does not contain much refined carbohydrates, trans fats and sweets. Instead of the before mentioned, protein sources, legumes, vegetables and whole grain cereals are the principles of this diet, with the use of which we can contribute to weight loss, too.

Good news is that if we follow the principles of the diet and vary our menu, then it could be a good choice of a long-term lifestyle program, too. Its primary advantages include the quality and choice of primary food commodities, and the minimised presence of processed food varieties.

Prohibitions and exercise during the course of the diet

Prohibitions and exercise during the course of the diet

It is one of the principles of the diet that you should eat breakfast, lunch and dinner too.

Keeping the relationship with other people is an important part of this lifestyle too, so share your meals, don’t rush and be in the company of others when you eat.

Eating foods as less processed as possible is the other principle of the diet, therefore you should avoid the following in any case:

  • refined foods, products made of white flour, breads, etc.

  • sweets, soft drinks containing added sugars

  • refined oils like soy oil, rape-seed oil, etc.

  • processed meat products, sausages, Frankfurter

  • highly processed foods (You can easily recognise them by the labelling of “light”, or by their colour and consistency being very different from normal.)

Regular exercise is also part of the Mediterranean lifestyle, that — in case the appropriate foods are chosen — is a very important part of maintaining the optimal body weight. The key to this is to do an exercise of about 30 minutes, if possible every day but at least three times a week. It could be a walk, cycling or even jogging, too. What is important that you should enjoy it, because this lifestyle is closely connected to finding delight in life.

If you get hungry, you can choose from a vast number of healthy snacks between the meals instead of eating sugary, unhealthy foods:

  • a handful of berries or walnut

  • a few grapes

  • Greek yoghurt

  • carrot or celery

  • few slices of apple with almond butter

  • avocado with whole wheat toast

The key of good health are wholegrain foods, exercise and your attitude towards food.

 


 

Weekly diet sample

Day 1

Breakfast: Greek yoghurt with cranberries and walnut.

Lunch: 2 cups of green salad mix with cherry tomato, olives and olive oil. Whole wheat pita bread and 4-5 tablespoons of humus.

Dinner: one portion of fried cod seasoned with garlic and pepper alongside roast potato with olive oil and chives.

Day 2

Breakfast: omelette with tomato and onion, alongside some low-sugar fruits.

Lunch: 2 cups of vegetable mix with tomato and cucumber, and a small portion of fried chicken.

Dinner: whole wheat pizza with tomato sauce, grilled vegetables, low-fat cheese  and pine nuts. You can sprinkle it with some diced fried chicken, ham or tuna.

Day 3

Breakfast: 1 cup of wholegrain oat with cinnamon, date and honey, sprinkled with  low-sugar fruits like raspberries.

Lunch: whole wheat sandwich with cheese and fresh vegetables.

Dinner: tuna salad with olive oil. One fruit as snack.

Day 4

Breakfast: two slices of whole wheat toast with soft cheese, like ricotta or goat cheese. It is more special with cranberries or figs.

Lunch: broiled salmon salad with tomato and olive.

Dinner: grilled chicken with vegetables and brown rice.

Day 5

Breakfast: 1 cup of Greek yoghurt with cinnamon, honey, diced apple and almond.

Lunch: 1 cup of quinoa, pepper, sun-dried tomato and olive, seasoned with oregano and thyme, alongside feta cheese and avocado.

Dinner: 2 cups of kale stewed with tomato, alongside olive, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese and grilled sardines with a slice of lemon.

Day 6

Breakfast: fried egg, whole wheat toast, grilled tomato.

Lunch: boiled haricot beans seasoned with laurel, garlic and fennel. 1 cup of salad made of tomato, cucumber and feta cheese heaped with olive oil.

Dinner: vegetables baked in wood-fired oven (artichoke, carrot, zucchini, eggplant, sweet potato, tomato) and 1 cup of whole grain couscous.

Day 7

Breakfast: 1 cup of Greek yoghurt, half cup of fruit, 1 tablespoon of almond.

Lunch: whole wheat sandwich with grilled vegetables (eggplant, zucchini, pepper and onion). Spread the bread with hummus or avocado and place the vegetables on the top.

Dinner: Grilled lamb with salad and roast potato. Fruit as snack.

Other positive effects of the Mediterranean diet

Other positive effects of the Mediterranean diet

Due to the fact that the main ingredients of the Mediterranean diet are foods of plant origin — namely fruits, vegetables, whole grain cereals, legumes and nuts —, those who follow this diet can easily provide their body with the adequate amount of vitamins and minerals. These help our body to operate normally and contribute to sustaining our health.

In spite of salt, herbs and spices are usually used for seasoning the meals, while  olive oil is used instead of fat, that helps reducing the LDL cholesterol level. Walnut plays a crucial role too as it has a remarkably high linolenic acid (Omega-3) content.

Doing regular sports is an equally important part of lifestyle.

When these are combined, they allcontribute to lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases, as it was supported by a study too: a reduction by 30% was observed compared to the control group.

If you eat a lot of fibres and vegetables, you help the operation and maintenance of your gastrointestinal tract, but these also play a crucial role in sustaining your optimal body weight. In case you do not have an optimal weight, you give ground to the breakout of a metabolic disease, called metabolic syndrome.

According to a research conducted in 2018, it is an effect of the Mediterranean diet, that the quality of sleep also improves. Thanks to lifestyle, sports, finding delight in life and keeping the relationship with others, the incidence of stress-induced diseases can be reduced.

Its efficiency is secured by avoiding processed sugared foods and replacing these with typically pure foods of plant origin, whole grain cereals and legumes. And good fats, like olive oil, seeds, walnut and fish oil will help you to maintain the vascular function of your body. Alongside the above mentioned, regularly doing sports is one of the other principles of a healthy lifestyle, that also contributes to the optimal operation of your cardiovascular system.

Social dining and finding delight in life provide you with an attitude with the help of which you can avoid stress-induced diseases that spread throughout the world in ever-greater numbers. Therefore, not only weight loss, but a better general condition, a higher energy level and an optimal metabolism function are also associated with the result of this diet.

You can easily maintain it in the long run, because it is not only a slimming diet but is rather a lifestyle.


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