The Mediterranean Diet - What's it About?

Published on 19/04/2010 in Spanish Lifestyle

Contrary to having diet in its name, the Mediterranean diet is nothing like what you may be used to. Instead of restricting foods like a typical diet, the Mediterranean diet opens the door for a plethora of food and wine choices so that you can enjoy your food and your life.

Mediterranean dietThis heart healthy diet consists of a variety of vegetables, lean meats and fish, olive oil, and red wine in moderation. This type of food intake helps decrease risk of heart disease, stroke and cardiovascular disease. The reasoning behind this is due to the decreased levels of unhealthy fat consumption coupled with an increase of good fats, from food choices such as olive oil, seeds, and nuts. Persons following the Mediterranean diet are known to have a lower LDL, or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol which is associated with heart disease.

The focus of the Mediterranean diet isn't to be low fat - it is to make healthy decisions regarding the fat sources that go into your body. Monounsaturated fats such as olive oil and polyunsaturated fats such as nuts are the ideal choices to make. Not only do they taste great, but they will leave you more satisfied after meals and snacks, help with weight loss, reduced visceral (abdominal) fat and even lower the risk of many types of cancers.

Here are some of the key components of the Mediterranean diet:

* Eating roughly 10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily by making them the base of your meals as often as possible.

* Choosing healthy fats over unhealthy ones and eating them on a regular basis such as small portions of nuts or seeds every day.

* Using various herbs and spices to create flavor in your meals instead of salt.

* Having small amounts of red wine with your dinner.

* Limiting your intake of red meat and opting for chicken and fish more often.

* Getting regular exercise by walking or running every day.

* Balancing your life with an active social life.

There is a reason that the smaller, less wealthy regions of Italy, Greece, and Spain all have a similar daily intake of fat yet are much leaner and healthier than other Europeans and North Americans. It is their custom to create a healthy atmosphere surrounding food to ensure proper nutrition and a healthy weight. It is significantly different from any other diet; it is a long-term lifestyle change.

Written by: Jeff Enfield

About the author:

Jeff likes to write on diverse subjects and has been doing so for several years. His most recent web page is which provides people with information on KitchenAid blender parts.

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Comadreja said:
16 February 2011 @ 14:40

They forgot to mention the churros y chocolate, and the three kilos of cake that the average Spanish person eats every week ... OK I'm exaggerating but as Jenny says, obesity is a growing (!) problem here. The abuelas grew up in the days when a fat baby was regarded as a healthy baby, and that attitude still prevails especially in rural areas.

Jenny Rees said:
29 April 2010 @ 21:50

Surely some mistake.....Spain is full of massively overweight adults and children...

Leo Leon said:
25 April 2010 @ 09:27

Great nutritional advice, but as always we only hear of 'Servings'
I believe the standard British recommendation is 5 'Servings' of fruit or Veg.
The Med diet suggests 10 'Servings'

But just what is a 'Serving' ?
100gm? 150gm? 1 Large Apple? 2 small apples? half a cabbage? 3 carrots?

Perhaps 1 'Serving' = 0.3 of a portion. or is that a morsel?
Or is it 1 Portion that = 0.3 of a 'Serving? The morsel can then go out for the cat.
Either way it beats the pips out of me.
I would appreciate a recognised accepted standard amount for a 'Serving'

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