The Mediterranean diet is an easy way to eat well. The main thing in the diet is the replacement of animal fats with vegetable ones, as well as the daily consumption of fish and seafood – sources of iodine and omega-3. Research suggests that it helps improve metabolic function.

The diet itself is based on the use of fresh vegetables and aromatic herbs – with a moderate amount of cereals. Dairy products are allowed in small quantities, and meat – no more than once a week. Also the Mediterranean diet allows wine.

// What is the Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean diet is a generalization of the eating habits of the inhabitants of Portugal, northeastern Spain, southern France, Italy, Greece and other Mediterranean countries. The term was coined by American nutritionist Ansel Keyes in the 1940s and has been popular for weight loss since the 1990s.

Mediterranean diet versions vary by country, as well as the list of foods available in that region. At the same time, the most healthy, Italian, version of the diet, Italians call “cucina povera”, Which can be translated as“ food for the poor ”.

Studies show that a Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease by 30%, and the risk of developing cancer by 24%. In addition, long-term adherence to dietary guidelines is beneficial for diabetes and hypertension2.

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Nutrition principles

The main rules of the Mediterranean diet are the replacement of animal fats with vegetable oils, the consumption of large amounts of fresh vegetables, nuts, legumes, unrefined cereals, as well as the daily consumption of fish and various seafood:

  1. Substitution of vegetable oils for animal fats – mainly olive oil; as well as avocados, various nuts (almonds, hazelnuts) and seeds.
  2. Eating a lot of vegetables – every meal on the Mediterranean diet should include seasonal vegetables and berries, and moderate consumption of fruits is also allowed.
  3. Daily seafood consumption – the cuisine of coastal countries is based on the use of fish and seafood in various variations.
  4. Replacing meat with lentils – the diet means limiting the consumption of beef and poultry, while lentils and other legumes become a source of protein.
  5. Moderate amount of wine allowed – Research suggests that a small amount of red wine is associated with longevity in the Mediterranean region.

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Mediterranean diet for weight loss

Strictly speaking, the Mediterranean diet can be used for weight loss only when controlling the calorie content of the daily diet – the dietary rules and nutritional principles themselves do not impose restrictions on portion sizes or the ratio of BJU.

On the other hand, replacing saturated animal fats with vegetable oils and unsaturated fats from marine fish actually helps you lose weight. The researchers also note the fact that the inhabitants of the Mediterranean countries lead an active lifestyle, doing a lot of daily work.

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Why is the Mediterranean diet good for you?

First of all, the Mediterranean diet is beneficial due to the daily consumption of seafood – a key source of iodine. In addition, many types of fish also contain important omega-3s that the body needs to fight microinflammation.

Olive oil contains high levels of vitamins E and K, which are responsible for immunity and energy processes in the body. Among other things, oleic acid contained in vegetable oils (up to 70% by volume) belongs to omega-9 fatty acids and is a strong natural antioxidant.

Basically, eating a Mediterranean diet lowers cortisol, improves metabolism and slows the aging process – both through healthy fats and the high amount of vegetables (sources of fiber and nutrients) in the diet.

Sample menu for a week – by day

Below is a sample Mediterranean diet menu for a few days. The daily calorie content of the diet is 1300 kcal. The nutrition program is designed for smooth weight loss for men and women by nutritionists of the “Balance of Taste” campaign – 10% discount according to the FitSeven code.

The first day

// Breakfast

  • Drink with ginger and lemon
  • Oatmeal with milk, natural yoghurt and berries

// Lunch

// Dinner

  • Ministrone
  • Fish soufflé
  • Mashed potatoes with ghee

// Afternoon snack

  • Cherry jelly with yogurt

// Dinner

  • Mixed salad of avocado, red cabbage and chickpeas
  • Cucumber sauce
  • Steamed shrimp

Second day

// Breakfast

  • Baked granola with raisins, cranberries, chia seeds and nuts
  • Almond milk

// Lunch

// Dinner

  • Sauerkraut soup with porcini mushrooms
  • Haddock in lemongrass and aromatic salt
  • Quinoa tabbouleh with herbs and vegetables

// Afternoon snack

  • Makovnik
  • Lingonberry fruit drink

// Dinner

  • Grilled lemon thyme prawns
  • Saute of vegetables

Day three

// Breakfast

// Lunch

// Dinner

  • Marseille seafood soup
  • Pkhali from white cabbage
  • Rice mix with stewed vegetables and olive oil

// Dinner

  • Cod baked with Provencal herbs
  • Blanched vegetables

Day four

// Breakfast

  • Orange-sea buckthorn cocktail
  • Spelled porridge in almond milk with figs and poppy seeds

// Lunch

  • Apples are red

// Dinner

  • Tomato, rucola and daikon salad
  • Balsamic sauce
  • Fusilli pasta with salmon in creamy tomato sauce with crispy broccoli

// Afternoon snack

  • Dried apricot candies with seeds, almonds and protein

// Dinner

  • Salad leaves with tomatoes, cucumber and quail egg
  • Pesto sauce
  • Seabass with pistachios

You can order the Mediterranean diet menu in the “Balance of Taste” campaign – 10% discount with the “FitSeven” code.

***

The Mediterranean diet is a generalization of the dietary rules in the Mediterranean countries. The diet includes the daily consumption of fish and seafood, a large amount of seasonal vegetables and the replacement of animal fats with vegetable ones. However, for weight loss, it is important to control the calorie content of the daily diet.

Scientific sources:

  1. Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet, source
  2. Dieta mediterráne. Universidad de Navarra, source
  3. Health Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet: An Update of Research Over the Last 5 Years, source
  4. The health benefits of mediterranean diet, pdf

Date of the last update of the material – May 26, 2020

 
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