The Mediterranean Diet focuses more on vegetables, nuts, legumes and less on meats and carbohydrates. The Diet is high good sources of fat like olive oil which helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. People who live in the Mediterranean region (Spain & Italy) have been eating this type of Diet for centuries. Following the Mediterranean Diet may lead to lower cholesterol, stable blood sugar levels and lower the risk of heart disease.
Introduced in 1993 by the Harvard School of Public Health and the European Office of the World Health Organization the Mediterranean Diet has become a staple diet for those who want a healthier life style. One key factor of this diet is the lack of refined foods in ones diet. Consisting of healthy organic non processed foods.
Basic Components of the Mediterranean Diet
- Meals consist mostly of vegetables, legumes and nuts. Meats & chicken are a small portion of meals.
- These foods are naturally high in fiber
- Fish and other types of seafood are used instead of red meat
- Olive Oil is a staple of this Diet. Olive oil is a good source of monosaturated fat.
- Foods are seasoned with basic ingredients. Sauces and gravies are not used.
Foods that are avoided or consumed in small amounts in the Mediterranean Diet
- Red Meats
- Sweets and other refined carbohydrates
Possible Issue and Health Concerns
No Diet is perfect. There could be some side effects from using this type of Diet.
- Weight Gain from the amount of fats consumed in the olive oil and nuts. This could be offset with a good exercise regimen. Which in itself would be beneficial to your over all health.
- Low iron levels. Consume vegetables that are high in Iron and Vitamin C to help offset this issue.
- The Mediterranean Diet does call for the consumption of wine with meals. This component of the Diet is not essential but this may not be the best Diet option if you are susceptible to alcohol abuse, pregnant or at the risk of breast cancer.