The Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean Diet – Discover The Miracle Diet

The Mediterranean Diet is the only diet to have been declared an Immaterial Human Heritage by UNESCO.  This is because it is not a “diet” in the way that we think of diet as eating plans to lose weight, but is a lifestyle.  For centuries, people in the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea ate the foods that were available to them naturally, led moderately active lives, and enjoyed their meals surrounded by family and friends.  The Mediterranean Diet, as it is advertised today, includes these lifestyle features.

Rachel Ray, Brooke Burke, and Penelope Cruz all follow the Mediterranean diet as a lifestyle and a way to stay in shape.  Rachel Ray loves the diet because she can still enjoy happy hour with friends since red wine is part of the plan. Brooke Burke states she tried many other fad diets before finally landing on the Mediterranean Diet.  It fits in well her life as a busy mom, and she has incorporated it into her lifestyle.  Penelope Cruz grew up with this lifestyle, though she is careful to caution that bread, pasta, and oil should be eaten in moderate quantities.

Like so many diets, the Mediterranean Diet has unlimited fruits and vegetables as the base of its pyramid.  Whole grains, olive oil, beans, nuts, legumes, seeds, and herbs and spices complete the pyramid base.  Olive oil should be the main oil used in cooking, and should be pretty much the only fat you consume.  Traditionally, Mediterranean culture sees people dipping whole grain bread in olive oil, not spreading it with butter.  Their whole grain bread is made from a starter, not store-bought yeast.

It is recommended to eat oily fish, such as tuna, trout, mackerel, herring or salmon two – four times a week.  These fish are high in the Omega 3 fatty acids that help lower bad cholesterol.  Fish should be grilled or broiled, and not breaded or fried.

Poultry, cheese, eggs, and yogurt are on the next level of the pyramid.  These foods should be eaten in smaller portions, and poultry and eggs should not be eaten more than a few times during a week.  Try to stick with low-fat dairy options so you are not eating too much fat.  Fresh goat cheese is the cheese that was available to people on the Mediterranean basin in the days before cultures began mixing their foods.

At the very top of the pyramid are meats and desserts.  It is okay to indulge in a moderate portion of these treats once or twice a month.  Traditional Mediterranean desserts are all sweetened with honey.  While red wine is not on the pyramid, a glass or two is often enjoyed with a meal.

The Mediterranean Diet is a heart healthy diet.  If you are looking for a way to lower cholesterol and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, this is a great diet to consider.  It is easy and does not require any extra cost, beyond your grocery bill.  The foods are widely available so it does not cut into your options much if you go out to eat with friends, and you can still enjoy happy hour while sipping a glass of red wine.


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