The Mediterranean diet is a diet plan that was inspired by some of the traditional cuisine of the Mediterranean region. It is widely regarded as an extremely healthy way to eat and began to gain popularity in the west sometime in the 1990s. The Mediterranean diet is both a way to lose and maintain weight as well as a way to promote overall health and well-being. Some studies have shown the diet has been linked to a decrease in the risk of heart disease, cancer and overall mortality. Not only that, but there may be reason to believe it promotes healthy brain function as well.
The basics of the Mediterranean diet plan is an emphasis on creating meals centered around vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes. High quality olive oil is a dietary staple and one of the predominant forms of dietary fat every day. The secondary staple of the diet is fish and seafood, consumed at least twice a week. Lean meats, such as poultry are consumed moderately along with cheese, yogurt and eggs. Red meats consumption is fairly limited, however red wine consumption is encouraged in moderation. Red wine and olive oil may be one of the keys to the diet’s heart smart nature. Sweets and processed foods are almost entirely removed. The more herbs and spices that can be used in place of salt the better.
Along with these culinary factors, the Mediterranean diet plan suggests maintaining a physically active lifestyle. Exercise, along with a little bit of sun (don’t overdo it) can go a long way towards promoting a healthy body and mind. It also recommends long, leisurely meals with friends and family. Dining is meant to be enjoyed and slowing down dinner and adding in conversation combats accidental overeating.