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The Mediterranean diet is based on the traditional foods eaten in Mediterranean region near Spain, Italy and Greece. The Mediterranean diet is considered to be one of the healthiest way of eating and possibly has many health benefits. The basic diet includes fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains, and limit unhealthy fats while promoting the use of healthy fats such as olive oil, fish and nuts. The diet suggests eating 3 main meals (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) and two small snacks throughout the day. This style of eating throughout the day can help to maintain stable blood sugar and reduce risk of becoming hungry and overeating at the next meal. The proportions of meals can vary but a suggested ratio is 20% proteins, 30% Fats and 50% Carbohydrates.
In line with many healthy diets, the Mediterranean encourages not just healthy eating, but a full healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and social relationships. Proponents of the diet suggest that it is one of the most healthy diet and lifestyle guidelines in the world and can offer numerous benefits such as reducing your risk for many diseases, keeping your brain healthy, maintaining a healthy weight, increasing your energy, giving you good skin, hair and nails and adding years onto your life.
Basic Guidelines to the Mediterranean Diet:
- Lots of Vegetables and Fruits (7-10 servings a day)
- Whole grains ( minimally processed oats, quinoa, whole wheat, rice )
- Fish and poultry
- Legumes and nuts (nuts are high in calories and should be eaten in moderation. A handful a day is plenty )
- Low fat dairy ( 1-2 servings a day )
- Healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil while reducing saturated fats like butter
- A wide variety of herbs and spices flavor foods while reducing salt
- Limiting red meat ( few times a month)
- Buy foods that are minimally processed and in season
- Red wine in moderation (optional)
- Limit sugary, processed and high fat foods
- Get plenty of exercise
- Enjoy meals with family and savor the foods you are eating
Mayo Clinic. “Mediterranean diet: Choose this heart-healthy diet option,”www.mayoclinic.com, August 20, 2011, http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/mediterranean-diet/CL00011
Mediterranean Book. "The Mediterranean Diet” Mediterranean Book, August 18, 2011, http://www.mediterraneanbook.com/the-mediterranean-diet.
MediterraneanDiet.gr. “the Mediterranean Diet and Food,” Mediterraneandiet.gr, May 25, 2011, http://www.mediterraneandiet.gr/index.html
Alessia . “Basic Guidelines to the Mediterranean Diet,” Best Mediterranean Diet Online, August 20, 2011, http://www.bestmediterraneandietonline.com/mediterranean-diet/basic-guidelines-of-the-mediterranean-diet.html/
Oldways. “Mediterranean Food Alliance ,” Oldways, August 20, 2011, http://www.oldwayspt.org/mediterranean-foods-alliance-mfa
The Mediterranean Food Diet Pyramid. “Mediterranean Food Diet Pyramid,” July 30, 2011, http://www.safe-and-easy-weightloss.com/MedDietPyramid.htm