This diet has got such a name after the region it originates from. The main feature of this diet is that it is light in fat. People living in the Mediterranean region are less susceptible to such conditions as cancer and heart illnesses in comparison to the people from other regions. High fat diets are frequently connected with high percentage of illness and death.
A lot of researches showed that the difference point of this diet is the presence of olive oil in majority of dishes. Being a mono-saturated fat, olive oil is considered the healthiest among the rest. It is very beneficial for the organism as long as it keeps blood vessels healthy.
However, it is wrong to attribute the success if the Mediterranean diet just to the effect of olive oil. The ingredients present and compulsory play also a very important role. The diet presupposes the intake of foods rich in fiber such as veggies, legumes and nuts, as well as the ones rich in antioxidants in great amounts. Moreover, all the products are low in saturated fat. Red meat and milk are not characteristic for the region therefore their intake is limited. Both yogurt and cheese are made from fresh goat milk, which is very much appreciated for its useful and healthy qualities.
There is a food pyramid for those people who want to follow the Mediterranean diet. First at the base there are grain breads, cereals, potatoes, pasta and rice. The next level comprises of fruits and legumes, nuts and vegetables. Cheese and yogurt in small amounts should be consumed daily as well as olive oil. You can have as much chicken or poultry, fish and eggs as you like but red meat should be limited. Hydration plays a very important role in the diet, therefore it is recommended to drink at least 6 glasses of water a day. Red wine is a good addition to your meals, but again, in moderation. The same goes for sweets: you can have some as soon as it is within certain limits.
First thing to start with if you want to follow this diet is to replace the oil you use with olive oil. From now on you should stop eating any margarine, or butter, or salad dressing oil. Instead you will have olive oil. It is a great cooking assistant – rich in taste and benefits. Another important constituent of the diet is vegetables. Therefore you will have to either start liking them or get used to them. There are a lot of recipes that you will find amazingly tasty. Make vegetable dishes a norm several times a week. Give your preference to fish (it is rich in omega 3 oil and low in fat) and poultry instead of red meat and pasta. Avoid white bread at any costs.
This diet also not presupposes anything fried or junk foods like hamburgers. If you feel that you miss red meat a lot, take a turkey burger will do a trick. All in all, find new recipes and invent new dishes. This diet will help you to become healthier as well as fit and it does not mean a lot of restrictions. Mediterranean diet is a good choice.