A diet regimen that is gaining in popularity in many parts of the world is based upon the dining practices of the people that populate the Mediterranean region. Many people have heard of the Mediterranean diet but are not particularly familiar with some of the specifics of the eating routine.
In order to assist you in becoming more familiar with the Mediterranean diet, a consideration of eight useful facts regarding the elements of this dining regimen can be most helpful to you. Of course, these are merely some basic talking points about this valuable dieting routine. Before you embark on any sort of diet plan, including the Mediterranean diet, you need to take the time to consult with your physician to make certain that a proposed regimen is appropriate to your medical status.
Eight General Facts About the Mediterranean Diet
The key elements of the Mediterranean diet are, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, fish, and wine in moderation. Because of this combination, the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest dieting regimens to be found anywhere on the planet.
Meat and animal products are consumed in very small amounts in the Mediterranean diet. Indeed, when meat is included within the diet scheme, it is poultry or fish in the vast majority of instances. Red meat is not a staple in the Mediterranean diet and is rarely eaten by adherents to this dieting routine. The people who actually populate the countries around the Mediterranean Sea are rarely seen eating red meats of any kind. In addition, dairy products are used only sparingly within the Mediterranean diet. For example, if milk is included in a meal or in the preparation of food, it is of the low fat or non-fat variety. Eggs are rarely included in Mediterranean meals. Indeed, a heavy egg eater is one who has four eggs a week.
With the moderate consumption of fish, the Mediterranean diet allows adherents a tremendous source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Research has demonstrated that a diet flush with Omega-3 fatty acids works to prevent heart disease, stroke and even some cancers.
Many uninformed people can be found making the statement: “The Mediterranean diet just isn’t for me — it is too high in fat.” In truth, the Mediterranean diet is high in certain types of fat. Upwards to thirty-five to forty percent of the calories taken in through this diet do come from fat. However, the Mediterranean diet is remarkably low in saturated fat. It is saturated fat that has negative consequences on a person’s health and wellbeing.
The diet relies heavily on olive oil. (This is the primary reason why the diet is higher in fat than one might expect.) Olive oil is proven to increase the level of HDL cholesterol (also known as “good cholesterol”).
The Mediterranean diet is extremely high in antioxidants and fiber, two elements that have been proven to be helpful in preventing heart disease and some types of cancer.
The dietary practices of the Mediterranean region trace their origins back to the days of the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, beginning in about the Fourth Century BC.
The Mediterranean diet became of more international interest in modern times as early as 1945. A medical doctor named Ancel Keys was responsible for encouraging his own patients in the United States to turn to the Mediterranean diet scheme. His advocacy increased the awareness of the Mediterranean diet in other countries around the world as well.
Armed with these basic, elementary facts about the Mediterranean diet, you will be in a better position to determine if this diet regiment is appropriate for you and your lifestyle. As can be seen, the Mediterranean diet has been followed by people in many parts of the world beyond the Mediterranean Sea region for quite an extended period of time.