Written by: Domonique Whitehurst
What is the Mediterranean Diet?
Discovered around the 1950s, the Mediterranean diet’s purpose is to provide sustainable nutrients for the heart. During this time heart disease in Mediterranean countries was significantly lower when compared to the United States. On setting this heart-healthy eating plan. The Mediterranean diet is based on the eating styles of countries like Greece, Italy, and others that surround the Mediterranean Sea. Studies show that this diet aids in preventing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and strokes.
What Can You Eat With This Diet?
When approaching the Mediterranean diet understand that there are no strict rules per se because of the individual eating habits that come from each Mediterranean country. Instead, this heart-healthy eating plan aims to incorporate general eating habits that are shared across the regions. A typical diet will consist of the following foods:
• Healthy Fats: Olive oil is the main source of fat
• Plenty of fruits and vegetables
• Whole grains, nuts, legumes
• Lean meats, like chicken; seafood, and fish.
Compared to a standard American diet, a Mediterranean diet tends to shy away from heavy carbohydrates and meats. Instead, it indulges in more plant-based and good fats. When planning your meals you want the vegetables, whole grains, and beans to be the main indulgence. Some meal plans may only incorporate meats and a diary twice a week. Olive oil is the primary fat because it contains monounsaturated fat. This is qualified as a “good fat” because it aids in lower cholesterol.
With the Good Comes the Bad
Just like any diet, there are chances of complications. That’s why it is always important to speak with your doctor before making the final decision concerning your health. Because the Mediterranean diet shies away from meat and dairy consumption both iron and calcium levels
can decrease. Weight gain is another possibility if one goes over the recommended fat intake. Despite the downside, the Mediterranean diet has been around for decades and has proven positive health results. When approached and maintained correctly this plant-based focused lifestyle can help the heart pump a little harder, just like the engine of your car.
Find the recipes here (p. 45)…