Unlike other diets, the Mediterranean diet is not only a weight loss diet with banned and allowed foods. The Mediterranean diet is healthy all round and even brings a little of the good mood holiday feeling.
How does the Mediterranean diet work?
The Mediterranean diet is not a classical diet designed to lose weight. Rather, it is a diet of a particular region that has evolved over centuries. The Mediterranean diet is so popular because it represents a balanced and healthy diet that doesn’t require strict rules. This diet, which is typical in Mediterranean countries such as Greece, Italy, Spain and Croatia, is said to be closely linked to low cardiovascular disease.
Mediterranean diet: These foods are one of them
The Mediterranean diet is a healthy mixed diet. It consists mainly of a lot of fruit, vegetables, olive oil, fish and seafood, nuts, poultry and small amounts of red meat.
- Olive oil replaces all fats, especially animal ones. The unsaturated fatty acids contained have a positive effect on cholesterol levels.
- In the Mediterranean diet, sugar is significantly reduced and replaced by honey if necessary.
- Cow’s milk products are exchanged with sheep’s or goat cheese and Greek yoghurt if possible.
- Fresh, dried or cooked fruits, raw or steamed vegetables, salad, legumes, cereal flakes, wholemeal bread or sourdough bread.
- Fish and seafood in all variations and several times a week.
- Maximum 1 to 2 glasses of red wine per day, because of the antioxidants contained, especially polyphenols.
- Fresh herbs and spices make meals perfect.
Losing Weight with the Mediterranean diet
The term Mediterranean diet is somewhat misleading. So diet generally suggests weight loss. However, the Mediterranean diet is more about the diet typical of the Mediterranean region. The great acceptance success with purple kilos in no time will not exist in the Mediterranean diet. It is primarily a long-term change in eating habits that has a positive effect on health.
In order to lose weight even with Mediterranean food, as with any classic weight diet, more energy must be consumed than is absorbed. But here, too, it is important to reduce the amounts of fat, carbohydrates and, above all, sugar. A variation of the Mediterranean diet to a flexi carb diet based on Mediterranean cuisine could be a good way to lose weight. With tempting dishes such as pickled antipasti, tapas, pizza and pasta, it’s not that easy.
However, the Mediterranean weight loss diet fortunately only recommends restraint and not outright renunciation. The quality of the food, not the quantity, is crucial. For many very pleasant: No calories are counted in the Mediterranean diet. Depending on the starting weight, the Mediterranean diet is particularly suitable for holding a weight.
Studies on the Mediterranean Diet
The so-called PREDIMED study (the study was reviewed again in 2018) showed that there was 30 percent less likely to experience severe cardiovascular disease (death from cardiovascular causes, heart attack and stroke) in the study group. This followed a Mediterranean diet supplemented with a bottle of olive oil or 30g nuts a day per week.
Another research group has compared several studies with regard to the effect of a Mediterranean diet on metabolic syndrome. The findings were published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology in 2011.
The researchers ‘ conclusion: A Mediterranean diet with olive oil and lots of fruit, vegetables, fish and seafood can be used to prevent metabolic syndrome and subsequent diseases such as vascular calcification, diabetes, heart disease and strokes.
Daily Plan Mediterranean Diet:
For example, a typical menu for the day with a Mediterranean diet might look like this:
- Breakfast: Wholemeal bread with honey, Greek yoghurt, fresh fruit and nuts
- Lunch: Tomato rocket salad with olive oil, feta, chickpeas and steamed vegetables
- Snack: Pear with cinnamon
- Dinner: Chicory salad with orange and nuts, fish or seafood, with wholemeal bread or wholemeal rice with steamed vegetables, a glass of wine
Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet
- The Mediterranean diet is not only healthy, but also pure enjoyment.
- Occasional restaurant visits are less problematic than other diets.
- The Mediterranean diet is suitable for those who feel more comfortable in their skin while at the same time wanting to announce signs of aging and obesity.
- Due to its balanced food composition, the Mediterranean diet is suitable for permanent dietary change.
Disadvantages of the Mediterranean diet
- The diet only shows long-term success, as the dietary habits have to be fundamentally changed first.
- In order to declare the fight, a calorie deficit must be achieved here as well. Exercise and sport have a supportive effect.
- Otherwise, there are few notable drawbacks: The biggest difficulty is adopting new habits and resisting sweedouts such as churros, pita, pizza and pasta in bulk.
- The Cretan diet is very similar
- As early as the 1950s, there were initial studies on diets in Crete that yielded similar results. According to this, cardiovascular mortality in Cretan diet is much lower than in other Western countries. A phenomenon that can allegedly be explained by the Cretan diet, which is very similar to the Mediterranean diet, but not equal.
In contrast to the classic Mediterranean diet, the Cretan diet allows to eat fish, increased poultry, hardly any red meat and less cereal products or fried foods several times a week.