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Mediterranean Diet: Why Choose This Eating Practice?
Mediterranean Diet: Why Choose This Eating Practice?

Video: Mediterranean Diet: Why Choose This Eating Practice?

Video: Mediterranean Diet: Why Choose This Eating Practice?
Video: Why is the Mediterranean diet good for your heart? 2023, May

Beach lovers know that the sculpted bodies that we proudly show off in summer are currently formed in winter. So, now is the right time to change your habits to lose weight effectively. If you've ever had a bad experience with extremely restrictive diets like the ketogenic diet or the vegetarian diet, and you're now keen on trying a balanced diet, we present to you the proper Mediterranean diet to stick to for the long haul. Recommended by health specialists around the world, it is rather a lifestyle that aims to prevent cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and cognitive decline, as well as to refine the silhouette in addition. Let's do a complete decryption to reassure you!

The basic principles of the Mediterranean diet

Cretan diet what to eat health longevity
Cretan diet what to eat health longevity

When you think of Mediterranean cuisine, you might imagine pizza and pasta from Italy or lamb chops from Greece, but yes, you are not on the right path. A true Mediterranean diet is based on fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seafood, olive oil and traditional dairy products from the region. This is how people in Crete, Greece and southern Italy ate around 1960, when their rates of chronic disease were among the lowest in the world and their life expectancies among the highest. despite limited medical services.

Eating the Mediterranean way isn't just about eating healthy foods. Daily physical activity and sharing meals with others are essential. Together they can have a great effect on your mood and your physical and mental health. Plus, the basic rules of this diet are very easy to follow for people who are trying to get away from the convenience of processed and takeout foods.

In reality, there is no such thing as a standard Mediterranean diet as at least 16 countries border the Mediterranean and eating styles vary from region to region due to differences in culture, ethnicity, religion, location. economy, geography and agricultural production. However, there are some common factors related to the foods eaten and what to avoid on the menu.

healthy menu mediterranean pyramid food allowed
healthy menu mediterranean pyramid food allowed

What to eat ?

  • Eat Guilt-Free: Vegetables, Fruits, Nuts, Seeds, Legumes, Potatoes, Whole Grain Breads and Pastas, Herbs, Spices, Fish, Seafood, and Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Consume in moderation: poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt
  • Eat rarely: red meat

Vegetables: tomatoes, broccoli, kale, spinach, onions, cauliflower, carrots, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, etc.

Fruits: apples, bananas, oranges, pears, strawberries, grapes, dates, figs, melons, peaches, etc.

Nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.

Legumes: beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas, etc.

Tubers: potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, yams, etc.

Whole grains: whole oats, brown rice, rye, barley, corn, buckwheat, whole wheat

Fish and seafood: salmon, sardines, trout, tuna, mackerel, shrimp, oysters, clams, crab, mussels, etc.

Poultry: chicken, duck, turkey, etc.

Eggs: chicken, quail and duck eggs

Dairy products: cheese, yogurt, etc.

Herbs and spices: garlic, basil, mint, rosemary, sage, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper, etc.

Healthy fats: extra virgin olive oil, olives, avocados and avocado oil

Cretan diet weight loss foods allowed
Cretan diet weight loss foods allowed

Foods to avoid:

  • Sugar
  • Refined grains: white bread, pasta made from refined wheat, etc.
  • Trans fat
  • Refined oils: soybean oil, canola oil and others.
  • Processed meat: sausages, hot dogs, etc.
  • Highly Processed Foods: Anything labeled "low fat" or "diet" or which appears to have been manufactured in a factory

What health benefits can you expect?

Mediterranean diet for weight loss basic principle
Mediterranean diet for weight loss basic principle

Prevention of heart disease and stroke

The Mediterranean diet is associated with limiting the consumption of refined breads, processed foods and red meat and encouraging the consumption of red wine instead of hard alcohol, all of which can prevent cardiovascular disorders..


If you are an elderly person, the nutrients gained from the Mediterranean diet can reduce your risk of developing muscle weakness and other signs of frailty by about 70%.

Reduced risk of Alzheimer's

Research suggests that the Mediterranean diet can lower bad cholesterol levels and stabilize blood sugar levels, which in turn protects you from Alzheimer's disease or dementia.

Reduced risk of Parkinson's disease

The high levels of antioxidants in the Mediterranean diet can prevent cells from going through a damaging process called oxidative stress, thereby halving the risk of getting Parkinson's disease.


Minimizing the risk of heart disease or cancer with this diet plan helps prevent spontaneous death at any age.

Protection against type 2 diabetes

Foods high in fiber are slowly digested, prevent large swings in blood sugar levels, and can help you maintain a healthy weight.

Improved quality of sleep

Research suggests that adhering to the Mediterranean diet promotes quality sleep in older people.


The Mediterranean diet accelerates weight loss. The authors of a 2016 review noted that obese people lost more pounds with the Cretan diet than with any other low-fat diet.

12 good reasons to choose the Mediterranean diet

Mediterranean diet buckwheat pancakes maple syrup crème fraîche berries
Mediterranean diet buckwheat pancakes maple syrup crème fraîche berries

1. No need to count calories

You won't need a calculator for this meal plan. Instead of adding up numbers, you're replacing bad fats with heart-healthy fats like olive oil, nuts, and fish.

2. Fresh food is worshiped

The emphasis is on seasonal foods prepared in a simple and appetizing way. For example, prepare a delicious spinach, cucumber and tomato salad. Add classic Greek ingredients like black olives and feta cheese.

Mediterranean diet grilled salmon with lemon spices
Mediterranean diet grilled salmon with lemon spices

3. Bread is not forbidden

Choose whole grain bread. It contains more protein and minerals and is generally healthier than that made with white flour.

4. Fat is also allowed

You just need to look for the right guy. You'll find it in nuts, olives, and olive oil. Basil pesto is a tasty way to incorporate it into your diet.

5. The menu is very varied

Indeed, it is more than Greek and Italian cuisine. Search for recipes from Spain, Turkey, Morocco, and other countries.

6. Abundance of spices

Bay leaves, cilantro, rosemary, garlic, pepper, and cinnamon add so much flavor that you won't need to use the salt shaker.

mediterranean salad pasta feta cheese red peppers
mediterranean salad pasta feta cheese red peppers

7. Easy to cook recipes

Greek dishes are often small, easy to assemble. For a cold aperitif, you can prepare, for example, plates of cheese, olives and nuts. Also check out recipes made with quinoa and beans.

8. You can drink wine

A glass of red wine a day with the meal is common in many Mediterranean countries where tasting delicious food has become a ritual.

9. Forget the cravings

You will have the chance to eat rich tasting foods whose slow digestion will make you feel full for longer.

10. You will get back in shape

You would think that it would take a miracle to lose a few pounds if you swallow nuts, cheese and oils. However, these foods, along with the habit of eating more slowly and exercising regularly, will contribute to lasting change in your body.

11. Your heart will thank you

Almost everything about this diet is good for your heart. Olive oil and nuts lower “bad” cholesterol. Fruits, vegetables and beans keep the arteries clear. Fish lowers triglycerides and blood pressure.

12. Useful food for the brain

Forget about bad fats and processed foods that cause inflammation. Instead, snack on foods rich in brain-friendly antioxidants.

How to start the change?

Cretan diet recipe banana bread peanut butter chocolate
Cretan diet recipe banana bread peanut butter chocolate

1. Eat lots of vegetables. Try a simple plate of sliced tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and crumbled feta cheese, or have your pizza topped with peppers and mushrooms instead of sausage and pepperoni. Salads, soups and vegetable platters are also excellent options.

2. Always eat breakfast. Fruits, whole grains, and other high fiber foods are the right way to start your day.

3. Eat seafood twice a week. Fish like tuna, salmon, herring, cod, and sardines are high in omega-3 fatty acids, and shellfish like mussels, oysters, and clams have similar benefits for brain and heart health.

4. Prepare a vegetarian dinner once a week.

mediterranean diet quinoa salad chickpeas cucumber
mediterranean diet quinoa salad chickpeas cucumber

5. Eat dairy products in moderation, especially those with a high fat content.

6. For dessert, eat fresh fruit. Instead of ice cream, cake, or other baked goods, opt for strawberries, fresh figs, grapes, or apples.

7. Use the right fats to prepare your daily meals. For example, sauté foods in olive oil instead of butter.

8. Choose whole grain breads and pastas.

9. Eat red meat no more than twice a week.

Mediterranean diet chocolate mousse recipe
Mediterranean diet chocolate mousse recipe

What to replace junk food?

  • Chips, pretzels, crackers and dips - carrot sticks, cucumber, cauliflower florets, some radishes, cherry tomatoes, celery, broccoli
  • French fries - baked sweet potatoes
  • Pizza with chorizo or ham - homemade vegetarian pizza
  • White rice and red meat - quinoa with sautéed vegetables
  • Burgers with white rolls, steak, cheddar and sauce - whole wheat tortillas with vegetables
  • Ice cream, crème brûlée, chocolate - fruit sorbet, fruit yogurt

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