What is the Mediterranean Diet?
Mediterranean diet is known as a modern eating habit, firstly inspired by Greek eating habits, France, southern Italy and Spain in the 1940s and 1950s. The main features of a complete mediterranean diet plan that will help your weight loss include:
- a proportionally high consumption of olive oil, pulses , raw cereals, fruits and vegetables.
- moderate to high consumption of fish.
- moderate consumption of products like mainly cheese and yogurt.
- moderate wine consumption and low meat consumption.
The term Mediterranean diet was conducted by a physiologist named Ansel Kis to describe the pattern of diet followed by the peoples of the Mediterranean countries such as Greece, Italy, Spain, Morocco etc. At the International Conference on Mediterranean Nutrition in 1993 it was decided what is considered as a healthy, traditional Mediterranean diet and in 1995 a team of scientists from Harvard University created the “Mediterranean Diet Pyramid” . Take a pen, write the foods that you will find in the food pyramid and it will help you you’re your mediterranean meal plan for weight loss, shopping list.
- Abundant dietary fiber (fruits, vegetables, bread / cereals, potatoes, juices).
- Fewer processed products
- Dairy products (mainly cheese and flavor) daily in small to moderate quantities
- Fish and birds in small to moderate quantities
- Red meat 2 times per month
- Olive oil. This the main source of fats.
The particular nutritional composition of the Mediterranean diet results in low fat and low cholesterol levels and a high carbohydrate and fiber content. Daily consumption of olive oil results in high dietary content of monounsaturated fatty acids.
In 2013, UNESCO added the Mediterranean diet to the Representative List of Foreign Cultural Heritage of Italy, France, Morocco, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus and Croatia. The Mediterranean diet plan includes one a set of rituals, symbols , skills, knowledge and many traditions such as harvesting, cultivation, fishing, stockbreeding, processing, production, preservation and the provision and consumption of food.
Benefits of Mediterranean diet plan
In the last decades, the scientific community has recognized, through a variety of clinical and epidemiological studies, the important role of Mediterranean Diet, both in the prevention and outcome of complex diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases.
The Mediterranean Diet, with its proper meal ratio, abundant nutrients, and big quantities of olive oil, has not stopped being the source of many studies around the world.
Recent results from the Spanish PREDIMED study explain the efficacy of eating a Mediterranean diet for the prevention of diabetes (type 2) in people having a high risk for cardiovascular disease. Specifically, a group of 418 non-diabetic volunteers, aged from 55 to 80 years old, with more than 2 risk factors for cardiovascular disease, were divided into 3 groups and studied for approximately 4 years.
The first group followed a Mediterranean diet supplemented with virgin olive oil (1 liter per week), the second group followed a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts (30 g a day) and the third group (control group) followed a low-fat diet plan. After about 4 years of follow-up, it was found that the more faithful the maintenance of the Mediterranean diet was, the smaller the cases of type 2 diabetes (inversely proportional).
In addition, when the results of the Mediterranean diet groups were compared with those of the control group, there was a reduction in diabetes cases of 52%. This study, published in the Scientific Review of Diabetes Care, with the conclusion that the Mediterranean diet book, without calorie restriction, appears to be effective in preventing type 2 diabetes to people that have
However, the research on the Mediterranean diet does not stop there. In another European randomized clinical study (EUROLIVE), the researchers found that the polyphenols of olive oil, a key ingredient in the Mediterranean diet, promote antibody production (OLABS) against oxidized LDL cholesterol and that this build-up is enhanced when lipid oxidative damage is increased. This form of badly oxidized LDL has a particularly active role in the formation of atherosclerosis.
In contrast, the creation of antibodies (OLAB) by our organism, against this oxidized form, appears to be protective. 200 healthy male Europeans who consumed high-, medium- and low-level phenolic components for three weeks were involved in the study.
The analysis of the results showed that
a) the OLAB concentration of volunteers’ blood plasma was inversely proportional to oxidized LDL (p <0.001),
b) the higher the phenolic content of the olive oil they consumed, the greater the antibody production OLAB (p <0.023).
The Food Pyramid of the Mediterranean Diet
The Food Pyramid of the Mediterranean Diet includes 3 levels depending on the consumption frequency of these foods. At Pyramid’s base are the foods that should consumed daily and in significant quantities, while at the top you will find foods that should be consumed rarely and in small quantities.
More specifically, starting from the base of the pyramid you should consume:
- Cereals and related products such as bread, rice, pasta
etc. Particularly the untreated products provide energy, are low in fat, help good bowel function and lower cholesterol.
- Fruit and vegetables. They are a good source of antioxidants and many
vitamins,while protecting against cardiovascular disease and various forms of cancer.
- Pulses and nuts. They have many fiber and vitamins giving energy to your body.
- Olive oil. Protects against coronary heart disease, reduces levels of “bad” cholesterol, while increasing “good cholesterol.”
- Dairy products. They are a good source of calcium to help maintain the bone mass, preventing the risk of damage. It is good to contain low fat.
Few times a week
- Fish. Because of the omega-3 fatty acids they contain, fish can reduce the possibility of coronary heart disease.
- Eggs. It is rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals.
- Poultry. They provide proteins of high nutritional value, as well as iron.
- Sweets. They should be consumed in moderation.
Few times a month
Mediterranean diet and weight loss
The Mediterranean diet is rich in protein, Omega-3, minerals, vitamins and most importantly is poor in fats, flour and industrial sugars. It is one of the most successful mediterranean meal plan for weight loss. Let’s look at it more closely.
It is true that there are many diet plans, perhaps too many to decide which one you should follow. But experts say that you should look for those who are healthier – those that besides helping you lose weight, provide you with the necessary nutrients. The Mediterranean diet is an excellent choice that you should not miss.
The Mediterranean diet is rich in protein, Omega-3, minerals, vitamins and, most importantly, is poor in fats, flour and industrial sugars. Let’s look at it more closely.
How can the Mediterranean diet help me lose weight?
First of all, we should mention that the Mediterranean diet is not essentially a method for weight loss. It is a very healthy eating habit, which regulates your weight because of the materials it contains. Dieticians say that, as a result, you can lose one kilo per week. In other words, a mediterranean 7 day meal plan diet is not only beneficial for
The benefits of Mediterranean diet are based on its excellent healthy fat content. These are monounsaturated fats derived from olive oil and fatty acids like Omega-6. Excludes animal protein as well as red meat. It is the richest diet in antioxidants: fruits and nuts, vegetables and legumes. It is an excellent source of fiber.
Thanks to the Mediterranean diet, you can lower cholesterol in your blood, protect yourself from cardiovascular disease and control your weight, thanks to the balanced amount of nutrients that block fat that harms your body.
What foods does the Mediterranean diet contain?
Vegetables, nuts such as nuts, legumes, fruit such as oranges, lemons, melons, apples, grapes …
- Olive oil. The most important part of the diet and the main source of fats.
- Wine when consumed in moderate quantities. Not more than a glass a day.
- Fish such as tuna, salmon, cod …
- Pasta as the main source of carbohydrates.
- If you eat meat, it should always be chicken, or even better turkey. These are lean meats.
Combined with this balanced eating habit, lifestyle also plays an important role. Daily exposure to the sun for the absorption of the necessary vitamin D, the importance of a proper breakfast, the family meal with relaxation and tranquility are habits that we sometimes forget because of our obligations. But they are an essential part of your health.
Rules for maintaining a Mediterranean diet
Consume five meals a day: breakfast, lunch, two snacks and dinner. The goal is to eat balanced amounts five times a day and never too much.
- Do not miss the breakfast. It is essential to ensure the energy you need to start your day as well as to balance the amount of energy required throughout the day.
- Do not use butter. Always replace it with olive oil.
- Evening meal should essentially be based on vegetables.
- Do not omit the bread, it is essential to ensure fiber. Select whole grain. Rye and oats are highly recommended.
- Herbs are also highly recommended: oregano, basil, parsley and especially garlic.
- Sweets are not allowed. Replace cow’s milk with herbal milk.
- We also recommend drinking a glass of wine a day as well as two liters of water.
Weekly Mediterranean diet meal plan – Mediterranean diet for beginners
Follow the mediterranean 7 day meal plan diet and speed up your weight loss.
Mediterranean diet breakfast ideas
Breakfast, according to many people and diet experts, is the basic and most important meal of the day. You can have one of the following Mediterranean diet breakfast ideas:
- Coffee without sugar and milk, toast with 1 slice of turkey and 1 slice of cheese.
- 1 glass of sugar-free juice with a toast of butter and honey.
- 1 cup of tea with a toast of butter and honey.
Meal between breakfast and launch
- 1 fruit or 1 sugar-free gel snack or 1 bar of cereal
1 roast steak with salad (unlimited quantity)
Omelette with 3 eggs but only 1 yolk, salad, a piece of white cheese
1 serving of green beans or okra with a little cheese
1 serving of roast fish with salad
1 portion of spaghetti with red sauce
1 serving of roast squid with salad
1 fillet of chicken with salad
1 yoghurt (0% -2% fat), or 1 sugar-free gel snack
1 large salad with grilled and fresh vegetables
1 serving chicken breast with green salad
3-4 chicken straws and salad green
1 salad with tuna in water
A salad with boiled vegetables and a boiled egg
1 serving roast fish and salad green
1 serving of potato salad with tuna, lettuce, tomato and herbs
Mediterranean diet recipes
Experts recognize that mediterranean diet meals bring health, well-being , longevity and of course weight loss. Researchers publish one survey another, demonstrating its role in shielding our organism from all kind of diseases. And, of course, it is also delicious. Do you need more reasons to follow a Mediterranean diet plan? Let’s have a look at some delicious Mediterranean diet recipes:
Grilled with tomato in the oven
Materials (for 4 servings):
1 kg of relatively large sprigs, 4 tbsp. olive oil, 2 cloves of chopped garlic, 1 chopped celery (without leaves), 600 grams tomatoes grated on grater, 1 bunch of finely chopped parsley, salt pepper, ½ teaspoon of sugar (if necessary), 1-2 pinch of oregano
Clean spoonbills from the scales and offal. Wash them well and keep them aside. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees. In a “flat” cookware that goes into the oven, warm the olive oil (if you do not have a platter, use a pan) and add the garlic and celery. Season with moderate heat for about 2 minutes (care not to blacken the garlic). Add the parsley and stir for half a minute. Add the tomatoes, oregano, salt and simmer for 3-4 minutes to thicken the sauce. Try the sauce, if necessary with salt and pepper.
Remove from the fire and top the marshmallows (if you put the sauce in a pan, move it and spread it on a dish). Salt the fish slightly and bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes (the time may vary depending on the size of the fish).
Penne with grilled vegetables
Materials (for 4 people):
500gr pene, 300gr tomatoes, 4 cleaned courgettes, 1 small onion in rings, 5 cloves of garlic (whole, with peel), 2 tbsp. olive oil, oregano or dried basil, freshly ground black pepper, salt, feta cheese or Domokos stick (optional).
Prepare all the vegetables and put them in an oven pan: the chopped tomatoes, the onion slices, the zucchini on the slices. Leave garlic with peel to cook and soften in it. As you wait to boil the water for the pasta, preheat the oven to 200 ° C. Add the herbs, some olive oil and salt to the vegetables. Stir the vegetables to go everywhere oil and salt. After the water has boiled, pour the pasta and put the vegetable baking pan in the oven for 10 minutes. They will be ready almost simultaneously.
Once the pasta is ready, strain it and put it back in the saucepan. Pour the cooked vegetables, along with all the juices left in the baking pan and a little freshly ground pepper. Stir well and add some more olive oil if you see it is dry. Serve in a deep dish. Cook toasted garlic can be left or removed.
Cuttlefish with spinach
1kg of cuttlefish, 1kg of spinach, 1 glass of oil, 2 onions, 1 wineglass white wine, a little dill, mint, salt, pepper.
Clean the cuttlefish, sauté the onions with the oil and add the dill and the mint and then the cuttlefish in small pieces. When they boil, turn off the wine, put some salt and pepper and two glasses of water and let the food be half-cooked. Add the finely chopped spinach and in 10 minutes the food is ready.
Mediterranean kiwi salad
200 grams of couscous (no boiling, but only water), 1 large red pepper, 1 courgette, 4 fresh onions, 10-15 olives (preferably no kiwi), half a bunch of parsley, 100 grams of watermelon chickpeas, 50 grams of tomatoes sunscreen, 1 lemon, olive oil, salt, freshly ground pepper
Put the 200 grams of couscous into a wide and deep bowl (or pyrex) and pour 250ml (1/4 liter) of boiling water. Cover and allow it to inflate. Chop the pepper, zucchini and fresh onions and pour them on an already warm pan and sauté until golden. Blend the couscous by stirring it with a fork to separate it, and add the cooked vegetables. Next, finely chop the parsley, the olives, the sun dried tomatoes and add them to the couscous. Also put the chickpeas, the juice of a lemon, a little olive oil (quantity of our liking) and salt pepper.
How much weight loss on a Mediterranean diet
In most cases, people who followed an integrated Mediterranean diet managed to lose easily and without hungry, about 4-5 kilos per month. However, there are only a few cases that combined with a simple exercise, those who followed the diet managed to lose up to 10 kilos in a month.
Many celebrities have benefited from the Mediterranean diet book
As researchers love to say, the Mediterranean diet book is one of the healthiest eating habits an individual can embrace to start looking and feeling better. Many celebrities decided to stock up with olive oil and vegetables in order to lose weight and feel better with their body. Some of them are:
- Penélope Cruz
- John Goodman
- Brooke Burke
- Rachael Ray
- Susan Lucci
- Selena Gomez
Shopping grocery list on the Mediterranean diet
With Beans you can add fiber and protein to your meals. Replace the red meat with beans at least once a week. If using canned, rinse and drain them before you eat them in order to remove some of the sodium they contain.
- Black Beans
- Chickpeas (Garbanzo)
- Pinto Beans
- White Beans
Nuts and Seeds
Both nuts and seeds are a nice source of proteins, healthy fats and fiber. But you must remember that they are high in calories.
- Pine Nuts
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Sunflower Seeds
- Bread (e.g. Loaf, Pita)
In general, white fish are the best for lean protein. Oily fish like salmon are a great source of healthy omega-3s.
You should not buy processed cheese foods just real traditional cheese.
- Low-Fat Milk
- Plain or Greek Yogurt
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Canola Oil
- Grape Seed Oil
Fresh vegetables are important for weight loss and good health. You can also get some low-sodium canned vegetables.
- Bell Peppers
- Green Beans
- Leafy Greens
- Tomatoes (Fresh, Canned, Sauce)
Fruits are very important to a complete diet. They will help you control your weight and have a better health. You can also buy some frozen or canned fruits but without added sugars.
Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices is a great choice in order to add a great flavor to your foods, without adding extra salt or fat.
- Bay Leaves
Pros and cons of the Mediterranean diet plan
People who follow the Mediterranean diet tend to have significant health benefits, from lowering sugar in their blood to better memory.The following are some of the top benefits of the Mediterranean diet:
1. Keep your memory. Full of healthy fats for the brain, the Mediterranean diet can do good to stimulate brain power and prevent miscarriage. In a study, the researchers found that high attachment to a Mediterranean diet was associated with a 40% reduced risk for cognitive impairment.
2. Reduce the risk for heart disease. Studies show that with a Mediterranean diet the risk for cardiovascular diseases such as thrombotic disease, myocardial infarction (heart attack) and cerebral cause can be greatly reduced. This is likely to be due to the positive effects of the Mediterranean diet on cardiovascular risks, including high blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol.
3. Stronger bones. A study shows that some compounds in olive oil can help maintain bone density by increasing bone growth and maturation. Another study found that dietary patterns associated with the Mediterranean diet can help prevent osteoporosis.
4. Manage diabetes and check sugar in blood. The Mediterranean diet has shown positive results for diabetes. It may be able to prevent type 2 diabetes and can help improve blood sugar control and cardiovascular risk in those who already have it. When the Mediterranean diet was compared to a low-fat diet, people with type 2 diabetes following the Mediterranean diet developed much better. Fewer people needed treatment and experienced greater weight loss.
5. Fight depression. People who follow the Mediterranean diet can also be protected from depression. A 2013 study found that people who followed the Mediterranean diet more closely had a 98.6% lower risk of developing depression than those who did not follow.
6. Protect against cancer. Good maintenance of the Mediterranean diet can help fight cancer. A systematic review of the studies found that overall people who follow the diet have a 13% lower mortality rate than cancer. These cancers include breast cancer, colorectal cancer, gastric cancer, liver cancer, and head and neck cancer.
Like any kind of diet, the Mediterranean diet also has its cons. Certainly the benefits that someone will gain are much more and of great importance. However, we also have to mention the negatives of this diet. This particular diet, as a major negative factor, does not specify exact quantities of food that you consume. Many times you will notice expressions such as “abundance”, “often” and “low to moderate intake”. These expressions clearly do not provide a detailed calorie count to those who want to accurately calculate them.
Also, one of the main features of the Mediterranean diet is wine. You will see that this diet suggests drinking a glass of wine a day (sometimes even two), which does not consist of people who take specific medications that prohibit the consumption of alcohol.
In conclusion, taking all the above into consideration, it is clearly that the Mediterranean diet is a way of life that helped, and will help many people. If you are seriously thinking about your health and weight loss, you should try the Mediterranean plan for a period and it is guaranteed that you will see great results.
Of course, the dedication is very important to achieve this weight loss goal. Start today in combination with a solid expertise Mediterranean 7 day meal plan for weight loss and feel the difference in your body and lifestyle!