What Is The Mediterranean Diet?

Mediterranean is a healthy eating plan based on typical foods and recipes of Mediterranean-style cooking inspired by the traditional dietary patterns of southern Italy, Greece, and Spain. Key components of Mediterranean diets are heart-healthy olive oil, protein-rich legumes, fish and whole grains with moderate amounts of wine and red meat. It is a great way to lose weight or improve your health.

Key components of the Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes:

•    Eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, cereals and cereal products.

•    Replacing butter with healthy fats, such as olive oil

•    Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods

•    Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week

•    Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month

•    Avoid sausage, bacon and other high-fat, processed meats

•    Low quantities of eggs, sweets and sweet desserts

•    Limit higher fat dairy products, such as whole or 2 percent milk, cheese and ice cream.

•    Drinking red wine in moderation (optional)

Health Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet:

Following a Mediterranean diet can reduce the chance of developing conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and even Alzheimer's disease. Research shows that people who adopt a strict Mediterranean diet and take regular exercise, often find this helps keep their weight under control.

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