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The Mediterranean Diet Explained. Weight Loss and Benefits Included
What is the Mediterranean diet?
The Mediterranean diet is a type of eating that focuses on diets in Mediterranean countries like Greece, Spain, France, and Italy.
The Mediterranean diet has been created because people of these countries have fewer health issues than in America and other European countries.
While there is real research to back up this claim. Studies show that the Mediterranean diet can improve both cardiovascular and cognitive health. (1)
Here is the Mediterranean Diet Explained with Weight Loss and other benefits included:
Mediterranean Diet Food choices
Now that we know the main benefits of the Mediterranean diet, let’s talk about what we can eat. After all, if a diet is not enjoyable, most people will not stick with it for very long.
Foods to eat/shopping list
- Collard greens
- Swiss chard
- Brussel sprouts
- Green Beans
- Bell pepper
- Sweet potatoes
- Whole oats
- Brown rice
- Whole-grain bread
- Whole Wheat Pita bread
- Whole Wheat Pasta
Nuts and Seeds
- Macadamia nuts
- Pine nuts
- Sesame seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sea bass
- Cornish game hens
- Greek yogurt
- Avocado/Avocado Oil
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Macadamia Nut Oil
Other Mediterranean Diet Foods (in moderation)
- Honey (Raw)
- Red Wine * (in moderation 1-2 glasses a day maximum)
Herbs and Spices
Foods to avoid eating
- Refined grains
- Processed meats
- Refined oils
- Sugar-sweetened beverages
- Processed foods
- And anything with added sugars
Generally speaking, you want to avoid processed products with a long list of ingredients.
Whole, unprocessed, healthy foods are the name of the game in the Mediterranean diet. As you can see from the list above, there’s much to enjoy about the Mediterranean diet.
Sample meal plan for the day
Here is a sample meal plan we have used since starting the Mediterranean diet. You will have to adjust calories depending on your body weight, but this can be used as a general guideline
1 sunny side up egg / ½ avocado on a piece of whole-wheat toast
Unsweetened full-fat or Nonfat Greek Yogurt mixed with blueberries
Grilled chicken on a whole wheat wrap with hummus and spinach
Grilled salmon with brown rice and asparagus
Our personal experience
On a recent trip to the dentist is what piqued my interest in the Mediterranean diet. When I got a filling done, and the dental assistant took my blood pressure.
I tend to get nervous when my blood pressure is taken (mainly due to my family’s history of heart-related and blood pressure health issues), and to my surprise, my blood pressure was very high. You see, I knew I haven’t been eating as healthy lately, but I didn’t realize it was affecting my health.
So I decided to make a change.
The more I examined my current diet, the more it made sense that I had high blood pressure. Lots of carne asada and french fry burritos, desserts, and other salty and processed foods were happening a lot more often. And even by adding vegetables here and there, my body was telling me to make a change.
While doing some research, My wife Laura and I found the Mediterranean helps with heart-related issues and lowers blood pressure.
So Laura and I started the Mediterranean diet two weeks ago, and we feel awesome eating this way. We enjoy having 4-5 smaller meals a day instead of 2 big meals. We have already lost over 3 lbs each!
Lastly, In the two weeks I have been eating the Mediterranean diet, my blood pressure went from 163/115 to 136/93!
Any Downsides to the Mediterranean Diet?
While any change in diet, your body will need to adjust. I have noticed is that I am craving beef a little bit more. Also, some of the foods can be more expensive. But foods like grains and other fruits/veggies are cheaper.
Remember that it can also be easy to get too many calories with certain Mediterranean diet foods. Just make sure to eat the nuts, seeds, and cheeses/daily in moderation and you should be good to go.
Finally, I want to talk about wine. While alcohol is still a toxin, 1-2 glasses of red wine are still allowed.
Besides that, I think the Mediterranean diet could be a smart and sustainable way to get healthier and lose weight. Make sure you consult your physician before changing your diet or exercise.