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Mediterranean diet: what the reviews say about it
Mediterranean diet: what the reviews say about it
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Mediterranean cuisine is a prime example of a balanced menu, and a diet based on it has topped the list of the world's best meal plans for many years in a row. And, although you should not expect instant results from this diet, its advantage is in the maximum long-term effect. This is because this is not so much a weight loss plan as a way to accustom your body to healthy eating habits, and at the same time to improve health. It's also delicious! We have collected expert reviews on the Mediterranean diet, tell its pros and cons, and share menu ideas.

Mediterranean diet: what the reviews say about it

Read about the Mediterranean diet and find out how to reinforce healthy eating habits, enrich your diet with healthy foods and lose weight. Contents of the article 1. Mediterranean diet 2. What the Mediterranean diet is famous for 3. Advice from adherents of the Mediterranean diet and feedback on its rules 3.1 Eat more vegetables 3.2 Replace animal fats with vegetable ones 3.3 Choose fish or white meat instead of red 3.4 Give preference to whole grains 3.5 Lead an active lifestyle 4. Mediterranean diet: reviews of the pros, cons and contraindications 5. The main products on the Mediterranean diet: what is allowed and what is not 5.1 List of permitted foods 5.2 List of prohibited foods 5.3 Breakfast 5.4 Lunch 5.5 Dinner 5.6 Snacks Hide

Mediterranean diet

Duration: from a month.

Result: from minus two kilograms per month.

Rules: the diet is based on fresh vegetables and fruits, olive oil, complex carbohydrates, fish and seafood, that is, everything that is in the daily menu of the inhabitants of the Mediterranean.

Peculiarities: You don't need to count calories, you just need to choose the right foods.

Allowed Products: vegetables, fruits, berries, nuts, fish and seafood, healthy fats, poultry, eggs, dairy products.

Prohibited foods: foods with added sugar, convenience foods, fast food, refined butter, spirits, soda.

Contraindications: Because of its high fat content, the diet may not be suitable for people with liver or gastrointestinal problems. Some foods can cause allergies. Before starting a diet, you should consult your doctor.

What is the Mediterranean diet famous for?

The Mediterranean Diet is the most awarded, it is the only diet plan in the world, which has been added by UNESCO to the list of intangible cultural heritage. From other countries, only selected dishes were included in this list.

Basically, the Mediterranean diet is a set of dietary habits traditionally followed by Mediterranean people. In the fifties of the last century, American nutritionists Margaret and Ansel Keys noticed a paradox: residents of Greece, Spain, Italy, France do not deny themselves fatty foods, but they suffer from cardiovascular diseases much less often than residents of the United States, and live longer. Nutritionists analyzed the features of the habitual menu of centenarians, deduced patterns and gave the first reviews about the Mediterranean diet. She works! The diet has become famous, the reasons for its undoubtedly healing effect are still being studied by scientists, and doctors often recommend it to patients. By the way, Margaret and Ansel Keys themselves also adhered to these principles and lived happily ever after - 100 and 97 years, respectively.

Mediterranean diet - how to create a menu and adapt it in Russia

The Mediterranean diet is often visualized as a pyramid. It is based on physical activity, and the tiers above are the types of products allowed. The most voluminous, bottom - bread, pasta, rice, wheat groats, polenta and potatoes.Behind him - vegetables, fruits, nuts and legumes. Next - olive oil, then - cheese and yogurt. Dishes from the listed products can be consumed daily. On the next tiers, you can eat once a week. These are fish, poultry, eggs, sweets. Red meat is allowed once a month.

Advice from adherents of the Mediterranean diet and reviews of its rules

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Eat more vegetables

Fresh vegetables and fruits form the basis of the Mediterranean diet. Ideally, they should be farmed, if possible, grown in your region - this way more vitamins and microelements will be saved. The most common Mediterranean recipes include juicy tomatoes, eggplant, bell peppers, zucchini, garlic, onions, and of course olives. A lot of herbs and spices are used: thyme, rosemary, oregano and basil.

Replace animal fats with vegetable

Another important ingredient in the Mediterranean diet is olive oil, which is rich in antioxidants. Scientists from the Research Institute of the Hospital del Mar (Barcelona) have shown that adding olive oil to the diet increases the quality of "good cholesterol" and improves its performance. As a result, the risk of heart attacks and strokes is reduced by 30 percent - here's the secret to longevity. Choose extra virgin olive oil and skip animal fats whenever possible. At this point, the Russians can only shrug their shoulders - olive oil is not one of the local products, even in the southern regions of our endless homeland. To completely and adequately replace it on a budget, frankly speaking, there is nothing, but many Russian nutritionists are supportive of the fact that part of the olive oil in a healthy diet can be replaced with linseed oil, mustard oil, grape seed oil, fragrant sunflower oil. An important point: all these oils must be unrefined, and you cannot cook with them, just refuel ready-made dishes!

Choose fish or white meat instead of red

In the "food pyramid" of the Mediterranean diet, red meat occupies the top, narrowest segment. Beef, pork, lamb are allowed to be eaten only once a month. But fish and seafood can be on the menu almost every day. Of course, if you follow the traditions of the inhabitants of the Mediterranean, then the fish should be freshly caught. But in Russian realities it will be great if it is at least not deeply frozen. Adherents of this diet remind in their reviews: chicken and eggs are also allowed.

Give preference to whole grains

Dip bruschetta in olive oil, sprinkle generously with parmesan pasta - the inhabitants of the Mediterranean countries do not deny themselves either fats or carbohydrates. Only here the carbohydrates on the Mediterranean diet should be complex - if bread, then whole grain, if pasta - then from durum wheat. Whole grains are a source of B vitamins, fiber, selenium and zinc. Nowadays they can be easily found on sale even in economy class grocery stores, so this is not a problem or a major source of expenses in the Mediterranean diet.

Lead an active lifestyle

We agree that the recommendation is not the most original one. But in the case of the Mediterranean diet, this is really important, because here we really are dealing not only with the diet, but with the way of life. We are not encouraging you to work in the fields, as the inhabitants of the Mediterranean had to do decades ago, but it is definitely worth adding activity. If the thought of working out in the gym makes you annoyed or bored, try walking more - for example, going to outlying shops, giving up the elevator, or just walking in the park.

Mediterranean diet: reviews of the pros, cons and contraindications

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Scientists have recognized the Mediterranean diet as the best nutritional system for health and longevity. And her menu can be composed of truly delicious and even gourmet dishes. Let's take a closer look at the advantages of this diet. Reviews often list:

  • A varied diet, delicious meals. Bruschetta with garlic, olive oil and tomatoes, seafood soup, Greek salad, pasta with chicken and artichokes are just a few examples of dishes that the Mediterranean diet is free to tolerate. You won't be tempted to break down, and you won't even need cheat meals.
  • Less risk of heart disease and premature death. The study was conducted by cardiologists from the University Hospital in Saint-Etienne (France). For four years, they followed 605 volunteers who had suffered a heart attack six months earlier. People followed different diets. In the Mediterranean diet group, the risk of death from heart disease was 70% lower, and from all causes - by 45%.
  • Beneficial effect on bowel function. This study was carried out by an international team of scientists who monitored the health of 612 elderly people from Poland, the UK, the Netherlands, France and Italy for a year. Those on the Mediterranean diet slowed down the loss of bacterial diversity, which is important for proper bowel function. The number of "good" bacteria and beneficial fatty acids also increased.
  • Less risk of diabetes. Spanish scientists have assessed how the Mediterranean diet affects the risk of type 2 diabetes. A study of 418 people showed that the likelihood of developing diabetes is 52% less.

There are not so many downsides to the Mediterranean diet, but they are still there. According to reviews, these include:

  • Slow weight loss. Alas, you will not lose weight quickly on the Mediterranean diet. In the first month, a few extra pounds may go away due to the abandonment of fast food, but further, weight loss will be slow. The fact is that some of the foods that form the basis of the diet are high in calories. If you want to speed up weight loss, put more emphasis on vegetables, fruits, herbs and lean fish, and let pasta with cheese and bread appear on the menu a little.
  • Expensive products. The Mediterranean diet is not budget-friendly - fresh fish, seafood, extra virgin olive oil, some fruits and nuts are expensive if included in the daily menu. Above, we described how to try replacing olive oil with inexpensive options. And protein can be obtained from chicken and eggs available in Russia. But it's better not to get carried away with this approach.
  • The need to cook. Food on a Mediterranean diet should be fresh, and convenience foods are generally prohibited, so you will have to spend some time at the stove. If this is definitely not about you, then think about whether to start and then reproach yourself for the breakdown.

Although nutritionists praise the Mediterranean diet, like any diet that differs from the standard diet, it also has its own contraindications. The Mediterranean diet is high in fat and may not be suitable for people with liver or gastrointestinal problems. In addition, some foods can cause allergies or individual intolerances. In any case, before starting the diet, you need to consult with your doctor.

Mediterranean staple foods: do's and don'ts

The Mediterranean diet is not strict, the diet can include a very large list of ingredients, once a day a glass of red wine is even allowed.

List of approved products

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  • Vegetables: avocado, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, garlic, potatoes, zucchini, spinach, carrots, turnips, Jerusalem artichoke.
  • Berries and fruits: apples, bananas, oranges, pears, tangerines, figs, melons, grapes, dates, strawberries, peaches, apricots.
  • Herbs and spices: mint, rosemary, garlic, basil, cinnamon, turmeric, sage, nutmeg, pepper.
  • Healthy fats: Olives and extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil.
  • Nuts and seeds: peanuts, macadamia, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, cashews, pumpkin seeds.
  • Cereals: Whole oats, brown rice, corn, buckwheat, rye, barley, durum pasta, whole grain bread.
  • Legumes: peas, lentils, beans, chickpeas.
  • Poultry: chicken, turkey, duck.
  • Fish and seafood: trout, tuna, salmon, sardines, mackerel, shellfish, crabs, shrimps, oysters, mussels.
  • Eggs: quail, chicken, duck.
  • Dairy products: Greek yogurt, cheese, low-fat cottage cheese.

List of prohibited foods

  • Sugar
  • Wheat flour
  • Semi-finished products
  • Refined oil
  • Strong alcohol
  • Soda and juices with added sugar
  • Fast food
  • Sausage and sausages
  • Mediterranean Diet Menu Ideas

Breakfast

Breakfast can include whole-grain cereals, vegetables and fruits, whole-grain bread and sandwiches, eggs, natural yogurt, and cottage cheese.

  • Omelet with tomatoes and olives
  • Natural yoghurt with fresh berries
  • Two boiled eggs and grilled vegetables
  • Oatmeal with nuts
  • Cheesecakes with fruit

Dinner

Lunch should include a protein meal such as chicken or fish. There are many interesting soup recipes in Mediterranean cuisine, don't ignore them. Lunch is the same meal when you can eat pasta or pizza, these dishes are still too heavy for dinner.

  • Minestrone soup and whole grain sandwich with salmon and avocado
  • Tomato soup and grilled chicken
  • Pasta with seafood
  • Whole grain pizza with cheese and vegetables
  • Bouillabaisse fish soup and cucumber and tomato salad

Dinner

Dinner is the easiest meal of the day and includes vegetables, fruits, dairy products, chicken, fish, and seafood.

  • Grilled fish and greek salad
  • Low-fat cottage cheese casserole and a glass of kefir
  • Vegetable lasagna and chicken breast
  • Broccoli casserole and natural yogurt
  • Tuna salad with beans, apple and orange

Snacks

It is allowed to have a snack with bread, vegetables, fruits, nuts, yogurt and kefir.

  • Pear and Greek Yogurt
  • Whole grain bread and a glass of kefir
  • Apple and orange
  • A handful of almonds and raisins
  • Tomatoes sprinkled with coarse salt and olive oil

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