So is this a lifestyle or just a guide on how you can eat healthily? Well actually it's a combination of both as it provides you with advice on which specific foods you should have in your diet as well as some basic rules on when you should be eating them!
In the mid 1950's the Mediterranean Diet finally came into the public eye. With a pyramid of food as a guide and some basic rules, you can embrace a healthy lifestyle diet that is high in antioxidants and low in cholesterol.
Its name, Mediterranean Diet, is referring to the origins of the foods and diet, rather than to specifically telling you to eat Italian and Greek foods.
Due to the combination of foods, oils and limiting your red meat intake, the benefits can be seen in a reduction of the likelihood of your developing heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity.
A typical Western diet includes a lot of red meats, relatively few fresh vegetables and fruits and a lot of preservatives. Therefore, it means it's high in animal fats and also a lack of fibre. Increasing the amount of fresh fruit and veg and reducing red meat, to replace with white meats or fish has many positive benefits for your diet and your general health prospects.
If you want to follow this diet it's actually fairly easy and it is also relatively cheap too. But what are basic features?
The first thing you should know is that this is not about increasing intake of any super foods nor is it about following a very strict prescribed list of do's and don'ts. So the following are some guidelines and principles that you will need to stick to :
Following the above guidelines is not just about a short term fix. This is a long term lifestyle change in the way you eat.
Research looked at what the people of Greece were eating, particularly Crete, due to the fact they had the longest life expectancy in the world. This showed the key aspects of the Mediterranean diet to be high consumption of:
Cereals, Grains, Vegetables, Dried beans, Olive oil, Garlic, Fresh herbs, Seafood, Fruit
Moderate consumption of:
Wine, Meat and poultry (with poultry more common than red meat)
Almost no consumption of animal fats such as:
Butter, Cream, Lard
Although the Mediterranean diet is approximately 10% higher in total fat than a typical western diet, Cretans and other Greeks are 20% less likely to die of coronary artery disease than Americans, and suffer 35% less cancer.
The key elements seem to be:
While there's no guarantee that eating this way will make you any slimmer, you will certainly be a lot healthier.