Here is how to take advantage of Mediterranean diet plans for yourself or your family.
The Mediterranean diet is known as a good way to enjoy a healthy diet. Here are some pointers as to how and why that diet might be a good choice. If you want to ensure a sustainable and healthy eating plan - whether it is for weight loss, or just for keeping yourself healthy - a Mediterranean diet program might fit the bill.
The Mediterranean diet is a very green approach to healthy living. On a Mediterranean diet you will eat relatively little meat and the emphasis is on masses of quality vegetables, grains, oils and fruits.
The Mediterranean diet is also very suitable for anyone interested in organic foods. Organic foods are an important part of green living because they place far less stress upon the environment. As a Mediterranean diet is relatively low in expensive animal proteins, going organic becomes more affordable.
Most people say the Mediterranean diet is high in fat. However there is not necessarily much saturated fat involved. Most of it comes from vegetable origins and is high in poly-unsaturated fats and mono-unsaturated fats. It is also high in Omega 3s, nutrients which help prevent inflammation and are now regarded as extremely beneficial for health.
Please see the pages on nuts and rapeseed oil for more on the benefits of Omega 3s.
Sticking to a Mediterranean diet plan will not necessarily help you to lose weight unless you also exercise in a healthy way and make sure that you are not consuming too many calories for your lifestyle. However, as you go on with a Mediterranean diet, you should feel increasingly healthy - and this in turn makes exercising more like a pleasure than a chore!
A standard western or American diet tends to be very high in saturated fats. Many of these fats are from hydrogenated oils which are very hard for our systems to digest. It is one of the scandals of the modern food industry that so much junk food is sold to so many people in so many guises.
Adopting a Mediterranean style diet lets us get back to something much more like a traditional peasant diet; high in vegetables, fiber and fruits but low in animal protein and fat. People around the world have thrived for generations untold on similar diets.
The main elements of a Mediterranean diet are abundant fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, cereals and some animal proteins such as free-range chicken, pork and fish.
As we all know, many modern Americans (and many people around the world) now eat a diet loaded with saturated fats, hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup. These foods are destroying health. High fat and salty snacks and sugary soda drinks of various kinds add to the metabolic burden!
Ironically, one of the main-stays of this modern fast-food diet tends to be pizza, the amazing food invented (probably) in Italy as a way of using up scraps. Modern industrial pizzas are often a far cry from that wholesome, simple food.
While many of the American invented pizza styles may be delicious, they are often high in fat and contain a high proportion of fried foods. Deep-pan pizzas, for example, can contain a lot of fatty, high protein food, as they are more like pies in size and depth. There also may be additives to the simple doughs which are the base for original Mediterranean style pizza.
Numerous studies have shown the benefits of a Mediterranean diet for preventing heart disease.
Heart disease is the scourge of the standard western diet, with its emphasis on red meat, lots of dairy foods and high sugar and fat content. When heart disease became the number one killer of middle-aged men in Finland, the government launched a huge campaign to improve people's diets and to get everyone exercising. The fall in heart-related deaths was staggering over a short time span.
Omega 3s in natural oils such as olive oil and fish oils help prevent cardiac conditions arising.
Sufficient exercise is an important part of a Mediterranean lifestyle. Even in Italy, heart of Mediterranean culture, many people are now overweight. This is almost certainly because physical exercise has declined as a part of normal daily life. As we all know, it is easy for most people to avoid physical exertion these days.
There is no substitute for a well-organised exercise routine which replaces this missing part of our lives. If you adopt a mediterranean diet, don't forget to put in a good workout of some kind at least three times a week. Even brisk walking will do a lot.
A low carb diet relies upon the dieter eating relatively large quantities of meat or other protein. This is only sustainable for a short period as it can place a strain on the kidneys. It is also not especially sustainable from a green living standpoint.
The Mediterranean diet has a far lower protein intake, typically 15 - 20% which is more than adequate for most people.
Wine is an enjoyable art of Mediterranean culture.
Most studies show that wine is good for your health if taken in moderation. Red wine contains resveratrol which has been shown to be a super-nutrient. It may even promote longevity. It's certainly a sociable and relaxing drink which goes well with a leisurely, Mediterranean style supper.
The bad effects of over-indulgence are well known. Moderation is certainly the key. New guidelines in the UK recommend that your intake is no more than 14 units per week. This might affect your interpretation of Mediterranean diet plans, as this is a lower level of intake than was recommended formerly. The new recommendations apply to both men and women.
There are plenty of good books outlining Mediterranean diet plans, including some from Amazon.
You can explore some of these in the link below (to Amazon).mediterranean diet
Mediterranean Diet Plans - copyright Greenfootsteps.com 2013