Mediterranean Diet Tips and Benefits

Mediterranean Diet Tips and Benefits

As soon as a new diet program or regimen appears, it attracts a whole army of followers and people, who are ready and willing to try it out and most probably enjoy the further benefits. The Mediterranean diet is definitely included in the list of those diet plans and that’s exactly why we are going to speak about specific Mediterranean diet tips and benefits, introducing the basic peculiarities and the methods using which you can achieve effective and cool results.

Mediterranean Diet Tips and Benefits

Mediterranean Diet Characteristics and Peculiarities

Starting with the basic peculiarities and the descriptive elements that this diet includes, we can first of all discuss it in the framework of the general algorithm that works in case of almost all the diets. That is, every diet is made of a list of products that are allowed and recommended, and a list of those that are not. Still, there are a few diet programs that are created on the bases of a different principle, and this diet is one of those. The main aspect of this diet is that it’s built on the pyramid-like principle. To put the things clearer, what matters most in this case is the frequency of the usage of this or that product instead of rigid exclusion or too frequent consumption. Thus, all of the products that are included in the daily regimen of this diet have a certain frequency of usage and the ones placed on the bottom of the pyramid are the most frequently used ones. That is, they make the basis of the diet that should be used every day. Whereas those products that go to the top should not be used more often than once a week.

Still, this is not the only characteristic feature of this diet. The next descriptive and different aspect is the method according to which the food is made. The heat treatment is hardly ever used here, but it does work in case of meat and fish, as well as dishes made of cereal. As for the rest, raw products and those that are prepared without heating are generally used and whatever is prepared is meant to be used for just a day without the need to double heat anything.

Finally, there is an abundant usage of certain dishes on the menu, including olive and olive oil as daily accompaniments to the meals. As for spices, they are picked as natural antioxidants and options like rosemary and basil are the ones, which do not evoke thirst and do not create any irrelevant proportions of spicy or pungent taste.

Creating the Daily Diet

According to the pyramid created by those who came up with this idea, food based on cereals and flour should be consumed daily (not including the cookies and rolls), accompanied with fruits and vegetables, olive oil, and various types of nuts and peas.

• The proportion of the carbohydrates in this diet is quite significant, being picked with minimal glycemic index. Macaroni and cereals are the products that should be used daily, but the lightest variants of those are generally picked. The same goes for bread and cookies. And what’s most interesting is that the flour they are made of should not be of the highest quality but rather of the uncleaned type. It would be even better if you also had the oatmeal or the rye flour as frequent options taken with the cereals. Cuscus and bulgur are two of the most useful alternatives. If you have hard times getting them, you can also use buckwheat, lentil, or millet.

• Fruits and vegetables should be picked according to the Mediterranean kitchen. But this doesn’t mean that the traditional products like apples or oranges should not be included in the list. The supply of vitamins that you get does not depend on the particular type of fruit or vegetable, but rather on the possibility of getting fresh and natural products for each season. So any type will do if you can get the chemical-free products.

• As for the fats, they are included with some 30% in the diet, and secured with the consumption of nuts and olives. Olive oil is of course the next ingredient in this list, but taking into account the quite high prices you sometimes can’t afford, you can substitute it with any other type of unrefined oil including the traditional sunflower type.

• Coming to proteins, we should note the 10% of consistency in the whole diet in comparison with the 60% of the carbohydrates, and also note meat and fish as the basic sources of this ingredient here. The Lenten types of foods can be served up to 5 times a week, while red wine can be used twice in 7 days. Pork should rather be replaced with beef or chicken. As for fish, which should be used some 4 times a week, you can pick trout or sardine, as well as white halibut. Herring and salmon should be excluded from the list on the other hand. Finally, coming to seafood we should note the absolute absence of limitations and restrictions.

The General Menu of the Mediterranean Diet

There are no strict limitations or regimens in this diet, but the overall principles should definitely be taken into account. Particularly, it’s the importance of having light breakfast, which may sometimes be just a couple of slices of bread and a small proportion of fruits. There are no limitations for the latter, that’s why even bananas are allowed. Otherwise, you can also opt for any type of cereal.

As for lunch, it should be stronger. The characteristic aspects of the Mediterranean diet appear here including the seafood and the olive oil. The same is true for the dinner, but fish is generally replaced with meat, most frequently picking the Lenten type or with pea proteins. Finally, for the accompaniment you can also use some vegetables and olive oil again. If you need something more, you can also add Macaroni made of more durum types of wheat or rice.

What refers to dinner, it should be the source of proteins, and what’s most useful for that is fish but without oil. It includes light vegetables, and can also contain the dairy products, but such products are way fewer in this diet. The main accent is on the various variants of cheese of the curd type and the natural yogurts without any additives. You can also include 125 gr. of wine to your dinner, but that’s the maximum quantity that’s allowed for the whole day.

Being more particular with the proportions, we can also note meat being taken with 150 gr. once per day, similar quantities of fish, up to 3-4 eggs per week, some three portions of fruits per day, and dairy products being up to 200 ml. of yogurt and up to 30 gr. of cheese. The overall calories should total to 1000-1200 kcal.

Mediterranean Diet Tips and Benefits

Recipes of Mediterranean Dishes

As we noted in the beginning, the main types of dishes that are served to those who go for this diet are raw, and not heated that’s why the biggest number of those dishes are generally salads and meat-made options. Fish most frequently comes grilled or cooked with vegetables in the oven.

One of the most interesting parts, however, is the breakfast, if it’s not limited to oatmeal or bread with cheese. For instance, you can use some curd and cucumber mash taken with equal proportions equaling to 80-100 gr. and make a useful and tasty cream for difference. In addition, you can make it even tastier adding a bit of greens and garlic and eating it with cereal bread.

On the other hand, those who appreciate exotic tastes and don’t know what to do with the combination of nuts and cheese can use the idea of washing a papaya, cutting out the pulp and mixing it with curd cheese (nearly 70 gr.) not forgetting to add a bit of cashew. Finally, what you need is to place this mixture inside the papaya and eat it with small pieces of bread.

If you are wondering about suitable options for snacks, the diversity of fruits and fruit-plus-milk mixtures are at your disposal. The carrot juice is ideally compatible with that of artichoke taken with 3:1 proportions. What you need to add here is 1 tsp. of olive oil, some honey and lemon juice. Otherwise, you can also whip it all with a blender making a natural yogurt with banana and a pinch of cinnamon.

Passing to dinner, we can suggest using a ragout with aubergine, Bulgarian pepper, tomato, and marrow. Onions and spices will be just ideal here. And again not forgetting about those, who appreciate usual tastes, we can recommend eating the sauce with paprika, which can also accompany the chicken, marinated in lemon juice beforehand.

And for suggesting one general recipe as a bonus, we can suggest doing the following: you can take 4-5 radish, wash them and shred, cut the tomatoes and the Bulgarian pepper, take a stem of leek and marinated cucumber again further cut into small pieces. Olives, wine vinegar and olive oil are later used to pour on the mixture.

Main Results and Efficiency

Speaking about the efficiency of this diet, we can note that many specialists name it as an effective way of not only losing weight but also a great method for cleaning the liver and strengthening the vessels. This positive influence on the organism happens due to the balanced regimen and the vegetable food. In addition, the high consistency of vitamins is also significant here, secured with the minimal heating used for food. As for the negative feedback, it almost doesn’t exist, which is quite normal taking into account the general aspects and methods included in this diet.

One more advantage of this diet is that it doesn’t get you to the irresistible feeling of hunger and preserves the vital energy. The only thing that might seem a bit difficult to accomplish is the reduction of carbohydrates and the exclusion of fried food. Despite that fact that this is what makes the most of fast food, you should avoid using such products for your own sake.

Finally, as in case of any diet, patience is one of the most important things that you need to take into account when opting for this option. The results are not going to be immediately noticeable or even after a couple of weeks you might not be able to have more than 1-2 kg of weight loss. But the overall process should go smoothly and what you need to do to preserve the results is continuing to keep this diet for a considerable period of time, and even if you can’t have it for the whole life, you can keep it as long as possible. The frequency of repeating this process is just as important as the preservations of the dos and don’ts, because only that way you can be sure of never gaining the excess weight again.

It is, in fact, difficult to find any diet, which will be reasonable in terms of restrictions and effective enough for opting for it. But this diet is really a good one in that respect. And despite the other options that you might happen to consider, we can name this diet as a basic and principal alternative capable of becoming your guarantee of slim and beautiful looks. In addition, this system will enable you to create correct eating habits and will improve the overall condition of your organism, perfectly securing you against the comeback of those frighteningly high numbers and figures. Thus, you are again to decide whether or not you can go for this diet, being sure that if you manage to preserve all of the conditions, you will also be able to have effective and great results and forget about excess weight after some time. So gather your power of will, decide on your daily regimen and diet and go for the Mediterranean diet confidently because afterwards you are going to enjoy your impeccable looks even more.

Photos courtesy of Shutterstock

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Written by Rima Kh.
Rima is a great fan of arts, poetry, cultures and fashion. She's interested in everything that's extraordinary and different. Find her on Google+