The term Mediterranean Diet refers to the traditional delicacy of various nations in the Mediterranean region such as Greece, Crete, Spain and Southern Italy. It’s actually a cultural heritage of these nations including Morocco in North Africa. Recently in 2010, UNESCO recognized the awesome benefits of the diet to mankind as well as its contribution to promoting international culture on the global scene. The diet is no longer considered as the prerogative of the Mediterranean nation. It has already assumed a worldwide status. Anybody from any part of the world can partake of it.
However, Mediterranean Diet as seen today is not actually prepared to look very much like the Mediterranean cuisine. Several countries have now come up with their own recipes for the diet. In Northern Italy, butter and lard are usually used in preparing the diet. The Italians also use olive oil for the dressing of the cooked vegetables and salads used for the diets. In Northern Africa, the diet is also richly prepared in grand style. In most cases, the olive oil and sheep’s tail fat together with butter are used in preparing the diet.
Meanwhile, Mediterranean Diet has attracted lots of researches and writings over the gears. So many dieticians and scholars have come up with their own versions of the diets. Some recipe books have also been published concerning the diet. A good number of such resources are now available online. You can even download many of them in PDF formats.
Basic Components of the Diet
There are lots of components usually used for the preparation of the Mediterranean Diet. It all depends on the particular version of the diet you’re preparing. Generally lots of plants resources are used in the preparation of the diet. Fresh fruits are normally used as desserts for the diet while olive oil serves as the major source of fat for it.
Dairy products such as yogurt, cheese, and fish are also part of the diet. They are usually consumed in smaller amounts. The diets may involve the consumption of 1 to 4 eggs per week. It also involves the consumption of low amounts of red meat weekly. Wine is also consumed in low amounts weekly in the diet. The total fat in the diet stands at 25% to 35% of calories. Saturated fat in the diet stands at 8% or less of calories.
In any case, the major aspects of the diet involve the high intake of olive oil, unrefined cereals, fruits, legumes and vegetables. It also involves moderate consumptions of dairy products such as yogurt and cheese. The diet also involves a high consumption of fish with low intake of meat as well. Wine in the diet is also taken moderately.
Meanwhile, the olive oil is the principal characteristic of the diet. It usually contains high levels of monounsaturated fats known as oleic acid. This is very vital for the reduction of coronary heart disease. The olive oil also contains lots of antioxidants which help a lot in improving cholesterol regulation in the body system. The olive oil also has lots of anti-hypertensive and anti-inflammatory effects when consumed regularly in the diet.
In any case, a typical Mediterranean Diet is expected to the following characteristics:
• High level of virgin olive oil
• High level of fruits, legumes and vegetables
• Availability of non refined carbohydrates
• High level of oily fish
• Availability of dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheeses. The types with saturated fats are preferred.
• Availability of 1 to 4 eggs to be taken per week
• Moderate consumptions of saturated fats and meats
• Daily Wine intake (1 or 2 glasses per day). Red wine is preferred but you can also take beer and white wine as alternatives.
• Availability of nuts to be used as snacks
The Pros of Mediterranean Diet
There are lots of benefits you stand to gain when you go for Mediterranean Diet on weekly or regular basis. If you must gain more from the diet, you have to adopt it as a lifestyle. Actually, the diet used to be a way of life for many people in the Mediterranean region especially in Greece, Spain and Italy. Hence, if you must enjoy the benefits of the diet, you also need to adopt it as a way of life.
Mediterranean Diet is considered as one of the healthiest diets in the world today. This is because of the rich benefits loaded in it. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits.
• Mediterranean Diet helps a lot in keeping your body in good shape.
• It makes your skin look clean and smooth all the time.
• it cleanses your internal organs and makes them perform maximally
• When thinking of losing weight, the diet can help you a lot. It’s actually a natural diet that can help you slim down very easily.
• Mediterranean Diet doesn’t endanger your health in any way since it’s’ components are purely natural.
• It balances your daily nutrition when taken regularly
• The diet helps a lot in disease prevention. It improves your immune system and helps your body to stay clear from all kinds of illnesses. In most cases, the diet tackles stroke and brain ictus which are the leading cause of untimely death in women. The diet also deals with heart attack which is the leading cause of untimely death in men. It also helps in the prevention of asthma, lung diseases, Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, and other allergies that plague the lives of various individuals. The diet also reduces the incidence of cancer in the human body.
• Mediterranean Diet helps a lot in the prevention of metabolic syndrome which includes health disorders such as excess fat around the waist, high blood pressure, unbalance levels of cholesterol, high insulin level, and so on.
• Mediterranean Diet increases live expectancy. People who take it have 70% of life expectancy. They also have brighter chances of enjoy better living.
How to Benefit More from Mediterranean Diet
Having seen the above rich benefits of Mediterranean Diet, you need to discover how best to benefit from it. In the first place, you have to learn how best to prepare and follow the diet. You can follow specified recipes and guidelines on that. To get the recipes, you simply need to go online. There are lots of guidelines on how to prepare it. Most of the guidelines will always contain the basic components of the diets already discussed above.
Again, there’s every need for you to adopt the diet as a way of life. This helps you a lot to gain more from it. You have to include it in your daily habit. You must follow it consistently in order to gain from it. You may need to set up a time table for the intake of the diet. You have to make sure you follow the time table in order to enjoy more of the diet.
Meanwhile, you need to check your eating and drinking habits in order to benefit from the diet. You have to avoid junk foods and other food items that can interfere with the rich benefits of the diet. You must avoid smoking at all cost since it interferes with the rich benefits of the diet. You must also avoid taking hard drugs and alcohol if you must gain more from the diet. This is because alcohol can limit the action of the diet when you take it. The same scenario applies to hard drugs. When you take cocaine, heroin or other drugs alongside with the diet, the drugs are likely to have a very bad effect on the richness of the diet. In fact, the diet may turn poisonous when contaminated with the drugs. You must avoid that at all cost.
However, it’s important you obtain useful pieces of advice from a good dietician before you go for Mediterranean Diet. You’re sure to discover the right components to go for when you locate a reliable dietician. In most cases, he or she wills advice on the right amounts of components to use in preparing the diet. The dietician will also let you know the right way to take the diet. If you’re on medication or you’re having series of health challenges, you need to consult your doctor before going for Mediterranean Diet. Your doctor is in the best position to let you know how to go about taking the diet. He or she will also let you know the right time to use the diet.
In all, Mediterranean Diet is indeed a very rich and nutritious diet to go for. It’s actually loaded with the best of benefits that can transform your life. The diet is now available through the internet. There are several websites that offer the diet in various manners. You’re sure to have a better life when you begin to take the diet on weekly basis.