When we talk about Mediterranean diet, the first thing that crosses our minds is vegetable salads, fish dishes, fruits, whole-grain bread, and a lot of olive oils. It is indeed true that Mediterranean diet is mostly composed of these healthy ingredients, thus the reason why most people who live in the coastal regions of Crete and Greece are lean and slender.
The Mediterranean diet has dated back in the 1960s and it has not been until the mid 1990s when it was clearly defined by Dr. Walter Willet of Harvard University. According to Willet, an authentic Mediterranean diet is based on the food patterns of the people who live in Southern Italy and Greece during the 1960s.
He further explained that this diet, along with regular exercise, should be mainly consists of plant foods. Fresh fruits and vegetables are the main source of vitamins and minerals, olive oil as the main source of fat, cheese and yogurt for calcium, whole-grain breads for carbohydrates, fish and poultry is consumed in moderate amounts for protein. Egg consumption is limited to a maximum of four pieces for the whole week. Wine may be taken but in low to moderate amounts. The total amount of fat in the diet should only be around 25% to 35% of calories.
If you can observe, the Mediterranean diet is actually a non-restricting diet which allows you to continuously eat healthy foods. In fact, it has been recommended by many nutritionists because it emphasizes the importance of having a balanced diet.
Moreover, Mediterranean diet has also been practiced in different parts of the world because of its many health benefits. One of which is its ability to help a person lose some weight.
Since the types of food in Mediterranean diet are mostly eaten raw, this implies that they contain fewer calories which contribute to weight loss. Furthermore, Mediterranean diet has been closely associated to negative calorie diet where you lose more weight as you eat more often.
Because Mediterranean diet has been proven to help a person maintain or lose weight, other weight-related benefits are also experienced by people who are into this diet. These includes but are not limited to decreased chance of getting cardiovascular diseases (contributing factor includes olive oil that contains very high level of monounsaturated fats), reduced cholesterol levels, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, and prevents obesity and type 2 diabetes due to the high proportions of plant foods.
So, if you plan to engage in a certain type of diet to lose weight, Mediterranean diet may be your best shot. It helps you lose weight without starving to death.