The Mediterranean diet, as the name suggests, is about the type of foods consumed by people living around the Mediterranean Sea in countries like France, Greece, Turkey, Slovenia, Southern Italy, and Spain.  This customized diet drastically reduced the cases of prevailing obesity and heart issues in many places. Here, we’ll try to understand the Mediterranean diet, its benefits, myths, and recipes.

What is the Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean diet recommends all that body needs like carbohydrates for energy, healthy fats for upgrading cell membranes, protein for muscle building, natural fibers for the better digestive system, and vitamins & minerals for the growth of mind and body. This diet emphasis is on fewer carbs, as today people are leading a more sedentary life.

Benefits of Mediterranean food plan

  • Prevents cardiovascular diseases
  • Promotes weight loss
  • Controls Alzheimer’s
  • Fights cancer
  • Decreases inflammation and metabolic syndrome
  • Improves cognitive behavior
  • Decreases type II diabetes
  • Regulates blood pressure and increases the life span

Dos of the Mediterranean Diet

Choose and include the following in your diet plan:

Vegetables: Green beans, tomato, broccoli, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, spinach, Swiss chard, asparagus, zucchini, bell pepper, pumpkin, bottle gourd, snake gourd, bitter gourd, okra, eggplant, radish, turnip, beetroot, carrot, sweet potato, potato with peel, radish, etc.

Fruits and vegetables are major part of Mediterranean food.

Fruits:

Papaya, Grapes, grapefruit, apple, lime, lemon, orange, plum, pear, peach, figs, blueberry, strawberry, star-fruit, green apple, watermelon, and muskmelon.

Protein-Pack:

Fishes, prawn, crab, squid, mussels, skinless chicken breast, eggs, a moderate quantity of beef & pork, also beans, lentils, and legumes.

Beverages:

Coconut water, freshly extracted fruit juice & vegetable juice, buttermilk, green tea, herbal tea, and black coffee.

Don’ts of Mediterranean Diet

Interestingly, Mediterranean foods strictly prohibit sugar but suggest a moderate quantity of Red Meats and dairy products once in a while.

  • Red Meat is shunned from the diet plan as it encourages Type 2 Diabetes, hypertension, and heart problems. This despite being a good source of protein and vitamins, it has overpowering fat contents and calories that increase body weight and cause all sorts of health problems.
  • Excess sugar in food invites extra insulin in the bloodstream that could affect your arteries, circulatory system, and blood thickening. Its impact causes changes in the thickness of the arteries walls, damaging the cardiovascular system and enhances obesity.



Myths of the Mediterranean diet

Here are some of the major apprehensions about this diet.

The Mediterranean diet only works in the Mediterranean area:

It’s a myth, as the Mediterranean diet can be consumed by anybody and in all the regions of the world. There are certain foods available only in the Mediterranean area. However, those can be substituted as per the availability of other foods with similar nutrients in other geographical areas.

Mediterranean type of diet comprises only Pizza, Pasta, and Cheese:

Mediterranean diet has more diversity in veggies, pulses, and fruits. Although, today most of those foods are available everywhere in the world.

Mediterranean food is high in fat:

Recommended fat content from foods in the Mediterranean diet is healthier for the heart. Mediterranean diet includes fish, nuts, and olive oil that are low in saturated fat. In comparison, Mediterranean food is devoid of red meat, a big source of unhealthy fat.

The Mediterranean food plan isn’t easy to practice:

It’s a myth, as following the Mediterranean food plan is easier. However, it may be difficult for those who find it hard to shun their age-old habit of indulging in the wrong kind of food. You must prefer to cook at home to get accustomed to the new diet plan.

Recipes:

Breakfast: Mediterranean Vegetable Frittata-

A savory combination of tomatoes, basil, bananas, peanut butter, apples, cinnamon, strawberries, and cream cooked with two to four eggs batter make for a healthy breakfast. Enhance its taste by sprinkling fresh oregano leaves and crumbled feta.

Lunch: Mediterranean Salad-

Typical Mediterranean ingredients in aromatic salad look and taste wonderful. Throw ingredients in a bowl including virgin olive oil, cut onions & tomatoes, low-fat feta cheese, dark leafy greens, and beans. Toss them well and eat a hearty lunch.

Dinner: Mediterranean Baked Fish Recipe with Tomatoes and Capers-

This Mediterranean fish recipe is mouthwatering and healthy. This Mediterranean baked fish is baked with simple sauce with tomatoes and capers. Give it 35 minutes to bake and enjoy a delicious, healthy low-carb and low-calorie food.

Recipe links:

  1. https://greatist.com/eat/mediterranean-diet-recipes-for-beginners#Breakfast
  2. https://recipes.heart.org/en/recipes/mediterranean-salad
  3. https://recipes.heart.org/en/recipes/mediterranean-salad
  4. https://www.nutritionbycarrie.com/2017/09/mediterranean-diet-myths.htm