What is the Mediterranean diet

Tuesday, 16 Nov 2010 01:53 PM

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The Mediterranean diet is considered to be the healthiest diet in the world, with research showing that that people following a Mediterranean diet have 70% higher life expectancy and 80% better quality of life.

This diet is not just about what you put into your mouth, but also includes issues of health and lifestyle.
 
For example, this diet does not support smoking, but does encourage exercise, activity, healthy nutrition, and natural products. The Mediterranean diet is also something that you have to have a life-long commitment to, in order to reap its benefits.
 
The diet originated in the Mediterranean basin, especially in Greece, Italy, and Spain, and is a natural way of life for people in these areas.
 
The Mediterranean diet is known to prevent many diseases, particularly strokes, heart attacks, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes. It is also thought to prevent lung diseases, asthma, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and many allergies. The diet also appears to be responsible for maintaining  bone mass in elderly people. Recently, there have been correlations of the Mediterranean diet with low incidences of cancer.
 
So what does the Mediterranean diet consist? What do we need to do so as to avail of the benefits of this fantastic diet?

To follow the diet, you must:

-- Switch to virgin and extra-virgin olive oil.

--Have a high intake of vegetables, fruits, and legumes, which can be eaten as salads or vegetable preparations.

--Ensure that all carbohydrates are and therefore high in fiber.

--Consume fish three to four times a week, and the fish should be the oily variety or the type that are bluish.

--Consume milk products like cheese, milk, and yogurt in small quantities. Goat cheese is preferable.

--Consume three to four eggs a week.

--Reduce consumption of meats and saturated fats.

--Take one to two small glasses of red wine daily, white wine can be a substitute.

--Snack on fruit and nuts.

--Avoid products that contain artificially hydrogenated ingredients.

--Avoid anything that contains trans fat.

--Avoid food with sugars and artificial sweeteners.

--Restrict the meats to white meats, and grill or boil them.

--Consume honey instead of sugar, if you must sweeten a dish.

--Eat slowly. 
 
The Mediterranean diet ensures that you live a healthy lifestyle and eat healthy food. The benefits that you will experience with this diet will astound you.

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