Mediterranean diet: instructions and product list


We have compiled detailed instructions for everyone who is going to switch to the Mediterranean diet: its rules, history, list of products, as well as scientific rationale.

The Mediterranean diet is based on scientific evidence that people in Greece, Italy and Spain who adhere to traditional dietary principles for their region have better health indicators than people in other countries.

Mediterranean diet: instructions and product listMediterranean diet: instructions and product list

We have compiled detailed instructions for everyone who is going to switch to the Mediterranean diet: its rules, history, list of products, as well as scientific rationale.

The Mediterranean diet is based on scientific evidence that people in Greece, Italy and Spain who adhere to traditional dietary principles for their region have better health indicators than people in other countries.

Their main diet is plant foods: fruits and vegetables, cereals, legumes and nuts. Animal fats are being replaced with healthy vegetable oils: olive and rapeseed. Spices and herbs are used to add flavor to the dishes, thereby reducing the amount of salt.

Originally, the Mediterranean diet was developed based on medical research to prevent and reduce the manifestations of heart disease.

However, while this type of diet promotes weight loss and improves health, it has not become the diet of choice in the fitness industry. However, many people on other diets borrow its basic principles from their kitchens.

Useful article: Why you need to eat more vegetables and fruits

History

The Mediterranean diet is one of the best studied in recent years, and much is known about its history. Scientists created it in the 1960s based on the traditional healthy diet of Mediterranean people, whose life expectancy was very high and the number of chronic diseases was low, despite the lack of quality medical services.

In 1993, several organizations introduced the classic Mediterranean diet, as well as its graphical representation in the form of a food pyramid.… This food pyramid underwent changes until 2008. At the last stage, herbs and spices were added to the diet, and the amount of fish and seafood was also reduced.

Key points and product list

This diet focuses on plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and whole grains. It is also encouraged to replace butter and animal fats with olive oil and salt with spices and herbs. Red meat should be eaten no more than a few times a month, and fish and poultry are the main sources of protein. If desired, you can consume a small amount of red wine (1-2 glasses a day).

The daily menu includes

• fruits,

• vegetables,

• greens,

• whole wheat bread,

• whole grain pasta,

• porridge,

• legumes,

• nuts,

• seeds,

• olive oil.

3–5 times a week you can additionally eat

• fish,

• seafood,

• poultry meat,

• eggs,

• cheese,

• milk products.

Not more than once a week are allowed

• sweets,

• red meat.

Regular exercise is as important as nutrition and is one of the key principles of the Mediterranean diet.

Read also: List of Foods – Major Sources of Vegetable Protein

Who is the Mediterranean diet for?

This diet is suitable for people who do not want to complicate their diet too much, since there are no strict restrictions in it. Those who are uncomfortable with following strict rules, who are used to relying more on the quality of food than on the calculation of calories and nutrients, also pay attention to it.

Health conscious people can follow this diet to reduce the risk of chronic disease. There is scientific evidence that the Mediterranean diet has a positive effect on weight loss and cardiovascular health.

Ease of compliance

The Mediterranean diet is easy to follow as it lacks clear guidelines for calories and nutrients. Also, there is no need to exclude any foods from the diet. By reducing the amount of certain foods in the diet, such as red meat and butter, we are not completely eliminating them.

There are no clear recommendations on the number of meals a day, as well as on when and what to eat. Therefore, such a diet fits well into any daily routine.

In addition, the Mediterranean diet described in the scientific literature lacks any steps.

All this leads to the fact that the diet can be followed for years without creating difficulties for yourself or your loved ones. However, such flexible rules may not be suitable for people who are accustomed to more understandable eating patterns.

Good to know: How many times a day do you really need to eat

Scientific research and data interpretation

Today, the Mediterranean diet is one of the most studied. The US National Library of Medicine alone contains more than 4500 references to it. It is impossible to list all the studies, so below we will highlight a few of the most important areas in which this diet has shown the best …


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