The Mediterranean diet is a modern nutritional recommendation originally inspired by the dietary patterns of Greece, Southern Italy and Spain in the 1940’s and 1950’s.
The principal aspects of this diet include proportionally high consumption of olive oil, legumes, unrefined cereals, fruits, and vegetables, moderate to high consumption of fish, moderate consumption of dairy products (mostly as cheese and yogurt), moderate wine consumption, and low consumption of non-fish meat and non-fish meat products.
According many researches conducted, the Mediterranean diet may reduce the risk of heart disease and help you lose weight.
Unlike highly restrictive diets, the Mediterranean diet meal plan makes it easy to cook meals for the whole family, eat out at restaurants, and maintain a normal weight.
In this diet, you will eliminate butter and margarine from your diet and replace it with healthy olive oil. You will cook your own meals and flavor them with spices and herbs instead of salt.
The diet also recommends that you create the foundation for each meal from plant-based foods and add fish or poultry two or more times per week. Limit your intake of red meat should to just a few times each month. If you enjoy wine, this diet enables you to drink it in moderation.
Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan
Loosing weight by Mediterranean diet meal plan, depends on the number of calories you take in and burn each day. To lose weight, you might follow a Mediterranean diet 1,200-calorie meal plan. Within that calorie limit, you could follow meal plans that include dishes such as:
- Breakfast: oatmeal and Greek yogurt with fresh fruit
- Lunch: a whole-wheat pita stuffed with hummus and vegetables, a salad drizzled with olive oil, and a piece of fresh fruit
- Dinner: grilled salmon, cooked quinoa, and sautéed vegetables
Health Benefits From Mediterranean Diet
- Improves health of the eyes
- Lowers cholesterol levels
- Helps reduce blood pressure
- Reduces the risk of heart disease
- Boosts brain function
- Reduces likelihood of Alzheimer’s disease
- Reduces risk of Parkinson’s disease
- Cuts down on the risk of cancer
Your meal options are endless, which is helpful when you are trying to lose weight:
- In the morning, you might have a breakfast sandwich made with whole-grain toast, avocado, tomato, and egg
- At lunch, try a large citrus salad, whole-grain pita with hummus, and two squares of dark chocolate
- For dinner, you can eat pasta with butternut squash and sage, topped off with a glass of red wine
Eat smaller portions and avoid eating large quantities of fat.
Gluten Free Meals
If you need to live a gluten-free lifestyle, you can still follow the Mediterranean diet and lose weight. Most of the foods on the diet are naturally gluten-free, particularly when you choose fresh vegetables and other unprocessed foods. If you are avoiding gluten, all of the following foods are safe and allowed on the Mediterranean diet:
- Gluten-free whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, and amaranth
- Rice or quinoa pastas
- Fresh vegetables and fruits
- Gluten-free breads
- Fish and seafood
When it comes to following Mediterranean diet recipes, you will need to replace pitas, pastas, and breads with gluten-free equivalents. In that case, you can avoid preservatives by looking to gluten-free bakeries for fresh breads. Whenever possible, choose gluten-free products that use recognizable ingredients and few preservatives.
Preparing The Meals
It can take time to adjust your schedule to fit in time to cook. To make it easier, buy individual serving sizes of Greek yogurt, cut vegetables, and hummus. Another challenge is the cost; foods like nuts, olive oil, and fresh fish don’t come cheap. Buy frozen vegetables instead of fresh and choose cheaper fish options . You can also save money by buying in bulk; find a Mediterranean diet meal plan free online to make it easy to plan your shopping.4
To stay healthy and increase your chances of losing weight and enjoying other health benefits, aim for a balance of nutrients at each meal.
There are no dangers or side effects of the Mediterranean diet, as long as you eat each food in moderation.