I was recently asked a question about what Mediterranean diet foods to eat if you are embarking on a weight loss program. I have to admit at first I was a little stuck with the question so I looked into the subject further. I gathered my research, gave the answer needed and then decided to share the research with you in this post! So without further ado lets look at the best Mediterranean diet foods to eat…..
Key Ingredients – Healthy Days Ahead!
The key Mediterranean diet foods to eat always include olive oil, fresh fruits, vegetables and legumes. It is one of the healthiest and tastiest diets around! Instead of fatty red meats it is usually advisable to use poultry or fish as the source of protein within your dish.
Red wine is also used in the cooking process but don’t let that put you off – it’s only in small quantities!
There are so many benefits in choosing Mediterranean diet foods to eat. First of all the weight loss factor is very good with these dishes. Secondly, the blood sugar levels even out easier and this can reduce the risk of depression in an individual.
There is research out there that points to the Mediterranean diet reducing the risk factor for heart attack, stroke and Alzheimer’s.
No More Butter or Margarine!
The first step when looking for Mediterranean diet foods to eat is to remove the butter and margarine from the refrigerator. If you can use olive oil as some sort of replacement for these two then you are onto a winner!
All your cooking and baking should really be centered around olive oil as often as possible. It is a very tasty alternative and a great source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. You are basically trying to stay away from the saturated fats associated with butter and margarine.
Juggle About The Protein Content
With Mediterranean diet foods to eat there is no real room for red meat! Instead you have to try and get your protein fix from elsewhere. I was recommended skinless chicken and fish – both delicious in their own right if used correctly!
You have to sort of treat the meats in your meal as flavorings – the main focus should be on the vegetables and whole grain contents. Fish seems to be the easiest route to take so start off trying out with salmon or tuna and see where it takes you. Both give good protein and are high in omega-3’s.
Out of all the Mediterranean diet foods to eat vegetables are the key to success. Eat them all day long and whenever the need takes you! You should really be aiming for color in your salad layouts – get as many different colored veggies you can onto the plate!
So Where Did This Mediterranean Diet Come From?
The Mediterranean diet was created in the early 90’s by Oldways, Harvard School of Public Health and the World Health Organization. It’s based on the food eaten in the Mediterranean regions because of their good record with diseases like cancer and cardiovascular symptoms.
Oldways constructed something called the Mediterranean Diet Food Pyramid for all dieters to follow as closely as possible. The bottom of the pyramid is where all foods like potatoes, pasta and whole grains rest and from there upwards you hit foods like legumes, nuts and vegetables. Poultry, eggs and fish are recommended for weekly consumption but red meat is only allowed once a month at the most!
If you are unfamiliar with legumes or nuts in your diet I suggest you start introducing them slowly now. The pyramid recommends eating them because of their diversity and the fact they are high in protein, fiber and nutrients.
The Mediterranean diet foods to eat when losing weight should also be accompanied by at least six glasses of water a day. I also recommend grabbing a couple of bottles of red wine on your weekly shop. Strangely enough the pyramid backs a few glasses of red wine a day!