November 12, 2018 6 min read

There exists a diet that is all about following the diet of people who lived in the the Mediterranean countries during the 1960s. It focuses on eating raw and whole foods, and is considered to be an incredibly heart-healthy diet that boosts the cardiovascular system and promotes a healthier lifestyle. It’s probably one of the most delicious ways of living healthy and staying fit. Are you ready to embark on the mediterranean diet?

What Is The Mediterranean Diet?

The mediterranean diet is a diet that is focused on eating whole and raw food in order to supplement the body’s nutritional needs. It is mostly a plant-based diet that encourages a person to reduce red meat from the diet, and to eat more lean sources of protein. The diet also encourages drinking of red wine and unsweetened beverages, and seeks to promote a diet that is intrinsically healthy.

The diet’s effectivity is dependent on the quality and variety of the food that you eat because having a wider range of food to choose from will also mean that you get a wider range of nutritional benefits. Similarly, the source of your food also has an impact on the nutritional content of your food. If you choose to go for organic produce and meat, it will be more nutrient dense than its commercialized counterparts.

The diet is focused on eating a diet with mostly whole, raw food

What Can You Eat When Doing This Diet?

The diet encourages people to eat more whole and raw food as part of their daily meals, and to be aware of the kind of food that they eat - the quality, the freshness, and the way the food was prepared. While there are a lot of food that you can eat on this diet, there are some that are an integral part of the diet itself.

Olive Oil is the oil of choice in Mediterranean countries. It is abundant in their land and is their first pick among other choices - and for good reason. Olive oil is a type of monounsaturated fatty acid which is known to be the source of good cholesterol. This helps in taking out the bad cholesterol that may have found its way into our diet. The fruity flavor of this oil makes it the perfect choice for salad dressings and as the oil used when cooking savory dishes.

Extra virgin olive oil is widely used in the Mediterranean diet

Fish like salmon are high in omega-3 fatty acids which benefits the heart and brain.

Nuts and seeds carry quite a nutritional punch in such tiny pakcages.

Fatty Fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are good for the heart and for the brain, and are considered to be the better source of protein because they are leaner compared to red meat because it does not increase the blood cholesterol level and is also easier to digest than red meat. These fishes are also known to contain selenium which is essential for our bone development and in preventing thyroid-related diseases.

Nuts and seeds are the go-to snack option, salad topping, and cereal of choice in this diet. They are a good source of good fat which can actually help lower cholesterol levels and they are full of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients which bring a wider variety of health benefits from reducing inflammation, reducing stress, and fighting oxidative free-radicals that can cause long term damage to our cells. Coincidentally, some varieties of nuts aid in healthy cellular growth and supports a healthy digestive system and as we all know, the healthier our digestive system is, the stronger our immune system will be, while some varieties of seeds are known to help in keeping the brain healthy and functioning well.

Fruits are considered to be the dessert of choice for those following the diet. Because they are naturally sweet, they help in satisfying one’s sweet tooth without the need for added sugar but with so much health benefits. Fruits not only contain fructose and glucose, which are the two types of sugar that can be easily digested by the body, they also contain dietary fiber which aid in digestion. Not only that, fruits contain vitamins and minerals that support different functions of the body such as boosting the immune system, fighting oxidative free radicals that lead to the premature aging of our cell, and they also help keep us feeling full and satisfied for a longer period of time.

Vegetables, which can be as colorful as the rainbow, takes center stage in this diet. This diet encourages that a person eat its fill of green leafy vegetables such as kale, brussel sprouts, and spinach, and to eat them raw as much as possible. Vegetables are naturally low in calories but are incredibly nutrient dense which makes them a good option to fill you up whenever you feel hungry. Vegetables are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that not only make the body feel and look healthier, it makes the body stronger as well. Plants make up a good amount of space in the superfoods category and it’s truly well-deserved.

Fruits are an excellent dessert option because they are naturally sweet.

Vegetables are filled with essential nutrients that our body needs to function optimally.

A good bottle of wine is a great way to cap of a delicious meal.

Wineis possibly the reason why a lot of people became excited about this diet is because wine is encouraged to be a part of it. Red and crisp, wine has always been known to be a heart friendly beverages that can be enjoyed in many different ways. You can include it in your pasta sauces, in stews, or you can enjoy it perfectly on its own. However, note that drinking too much wine can still cause some health concerns. For those who would prefer to not have a sip of this alcoholic beverage, drinking grape juice is a viable alternative.

What Food Items Should You Avoid While On This Diet?

When you follow the Mediterranean diet, you will end up realizing just how much calories have been wasted from eating food that are lacking in nutritional value. All food items which you do not see in raw form should be avoided because these have definitely been refined and is probably lacking in nutritional content, if it even has any at all.

The fresher the food is, the better it is for you.

Trans fat from margarine, refined oils, and grains, refined and added sugar, and highly processed and packaged meat products should be avoided at all cost because the nutrition in them have been extinguished during their production process and they pose more harm to your health when you eat them. Processed and pre-packaged food also usually contain high sodium content which can lead to a plethora of health issues from heart disease, osteoporosis, to kidney and liver failure. The fresher your ingredients and your food choices are, the healthier they will surely be.

What Are The Benefits Of Following The Mediterranean Diet?

The proponents of the Mediterranean Diet believe that following the lifestyle choices of this diet will encourage a stronger cardiovascular system which in turn promotes a lower mortality rate all around. It is also considered to be a good way of living a clean lifestyle since you are encouraged to prepare your own meals and to savor the different flavors that you can create with the wide range of ingredients at your disposal.

Because the diet also focuses on food high in dietary fiber and in good fats, it does support healthy weight loss, and promotes a healthier digestive system. The diet is also a good option for those who have type II diabetes because the diet can help in lowering the blood glucose levels. The diet has also shown to promote healthy and long-term brain support because of the omega-3 and unsaturated fats that can be derived from this diet.

Preparing your own meals makes you more aware of how nutritious it can be for you.

Enjoying the Mediterranean Lifestyle

The Mediterranean diet focuses on eating whole foods and savoring the flavors that are present in each dish that’s placed before you. It not only promotes a healthier lifestyle, it also promotes a healthier way of eating because it encourages a person to eat the food at a leisurely pace and to enjoy every bite of it. This is the reason why food is a main reason for gathering in the Mediterranean countries because it is best enjoyed with family and friends gathered together.

This lifestyle is a lifestyle that encourages a reflection on your life choices and how you can improve your health and the health of the people around you as well. It encourages an inclusive lifestyle that celebrates good food, good times, and family.