Healthy Mediterranean Diet Plan and Lifestyle

Healthy Mediterranean Diet Plan and Lifestyle
Studies shows a healthy Mediterranean diet plan can help you lose weight and live longer. But many different countries border the Mediterranean Basin and the native cuisine is varied.

So what constitutes a healthy Mediterranean diet plan can be confusing.

Here's what the research shows. The traditional healthy Mediterranean diet, before the 1960's, in countries like Southern Italy and Greece, was much healthier than the typical modern diets today. Life expectancy was higher, with a lower incidence of heart disease and diabetes.

Mediterranean Diet and Healthy Lifestyle Basics

The Traditional healthy Mediterranean diet plan was abundant in fiber, antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids.
  • They ate mainly plant foods – whole grains, beans, seeds, nuts. And fresh fruits and vegetables were eaten in large quantities, up to ten or more servings a day.
  • Organic olive oil was used generously. Total dietary fat content could be up to 35% of calories. But saturated fat was only 8% or less.
  • Fish was eaten at least two or three times a week. And poultry was served weekly.
  • Dairy products were consumed daily in small amounts, mainly as yogurt and cheese.
  • Whole eggs were served several times a week, often in whole grain baked goods.
  • Lean red meat was eaten just few times a month.
  • Honey, as the principle sweetener, was used only occasionally.
  • Drinking one or two daily glasses of wine was common.
Mediterranean life was a healthy lifestyle. Healthy living, including the daily physical labor necessary for survival, provided lots of exercise. Social and family ties were strong and supportive. People got together for fun and relaxed meals and often took midday rests.

Making the Mediterranean Diet Work for You

Since it doesn't require radical restrictions of fat or carbohydrates, this healthy Mediterranean diet plan is probably the easiest to maintain on a long-term basis.
  • Eat an abundance of natural whole plant foods, with at least 5 to 9 daily servings of fresh fruits and vegetables. A healthy daily salad is an excellent idea.
  • Include high fiber foods, like 100% whole grain pasta and sprouted breads.
  • Use organic extra virgin olive oil on salads and bread (instead of butter). But remember, olive oil has 100 calories per tablespoon, so use it sensibly.
  • Incorporate plenty of fatty fish in your diet, such as salmon, trout and tuna, or take daily omega 3 fish oil capsules.
  • Keep saturated fats to a minimum. Choose fish, lean poultry and low-fat dairy over red meat. And use cheese and butter only in moderation.
  • Serve beans with meals and eat almonds or walnuts for snacks.
  • If you drink alcohol, red wine is preferable, with a limit of one or two glasses daily.
  • Avoid Trans-fatty acids (found mainly in deep fried foods and partially hydrogenated oils) and limit high glycemic foods index carbohydrates (such as white pasta).

    With this healthy lifestyle, which includes as much regular physical activity as possible, hanging out with positive people and making sure your calorie intake supports a normal healthy weight, your healthy Mediterranean diet plan is on its way. So chow down – and bon appetite!

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    Note: The information contained on this website is not intended to be prescriptive. Any attempt to diagnose or treat an illness should come under the direction of a physician who is familiar with nutritional therapy.

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