This no-nonsense “Mediterranean Diet Guidelines” has been put together here, especially for beginners.

Learn here about Mediterranean style of eating and drinking. (i) What is Mediterranean diet (ii) What are Mediterranean diet basics, rules, and guidelines?

What is The Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean Diet is an eating style that involves foods and drinks, which traditionally form the diet of the 16 countries that border the Mediterranean Sea.

Actually, there does not exist one “Mediterranean” diet. Typically, the Mediterranean Diet is based on the eating and drinking habits of about 16 countries that border the Mediterranean Sea.

Mediterranean Diet Guidelines

An ideal plate based on the Mediterranean diet is nutritionally wholesome, balanced, diverse, and rich in colors, flavors, and textures. It comprises leafy greens, red or orange carrots, purple grapes, ruby-red salmon, and nutty, crunchy farro.

It’s abundant in plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, healthy whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. It’s Greek yogurt added with figs, dates, and/or a sprinkle of honey. So, it’s delicious and not too much restrictive. Unlike most diet plans, this eating style lays down overall guidelines and recommendations instead of restrictive rules.

For example, it doesn’t discourage fat. However, it encourages only healthy types of fat like monounsaturated fat from olive oil and polyunsaturated fat (particularly omega-3 fatty acids) from some kinds of fish and shellfish. Unhealthy fats like trans fats and saturated fats, which are often contained in processed foods and red meat, are not encouraged.

Although the Mediterranean diet is mainly plant-based, it is not solely vegetarian. While fish, shellfish, and a modest amount of poultry are okay, they should never be allowed to surpass whole grains, vegetables, fruits, or legumes in a meal.

Another main constituent of the Mediterranean diet is lifestyle. It advocates the social element of eating by way of sharing meals with family and friends as many times as possible – it can be on a weeknight or a special occasion.

Eat slowly, relish each bite, and don’t shy away from having a glass of wine – because wine provides antioxidants. However, remember to drink in moderation only.

You should also drink enough water throughout the day because keeping your body properly hydrated means that your body systems will function effectively.

Another important recommendation of the Mediterranean diet lifestyle is to make physical activity part and parcel of your daily routine – may it be simply walking during your lunch break, cycling, or whatever, and enjoying the fresh air.

In the United States, the Mediterranean diet gets the hype rightly – because of a need for healthier eating patterns and lifestyles. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has categorically stated that heart disease is the prime cause of death in America for women and men because of bad diet habits, lack of physical activity, and resultant obesity.

Although, since the 1970s, diet experts have been trying to link a Mediterranean-style diet and improved cardiovascular health –this approach became popular only several years later.

A non-profit organization, Oldways Preservation Trust, advocated the Mediterranean Diet pyramid (see the picture above) in the 1990s and presented to Americans another philosophy of healthy eating different from the USDA food pyramid.

Through reliable research, intensified backing from experts, and constant education to the public, the Mediterranean diet is now considered a potent weapon to fight the growing epidemic of heart disease in the U.S.

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Healthy Mediterranean Diet Basics

What exactly does a Mediterranean-style diet look like? Below are stated the primary Mediterranean diet’s eight basic rules:

(i) High consumption of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grain bread and other cereals, legumes, potatoes, beans, herbs, and spices.

(ii) Extra virgin olive, the main source of monounsaturated fat. Refined oils are totally avoided.

(iii) Dairy products, poultry, cheese, yogurt, and fish are consumed in low to moderate amounts.

(iv) Red meat is eaten very little.

(v) Eggs are eaten zero to four times a week.

(vi) Don’t drink sugar-laden beverages. Don’t eat refined grains, processed meat, and highly processed foods.

(vii) Drink mostly water. Drink low to moderate amounts of wine; one glass a day is ok.

(viii) Remember, the Mediterranean diet is not only about eating. It’s basically a lifestyle that also includes daily physical activities and sharing meals with family and friends as often as you can.

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About Author: Renu Bakshi, AKA Fitness Buffhq, is an ISSA Certified Elite Trainer. HeJust Fitness Hub passed the Personal Fitness Trainer Course, Nutrition Health Coach course & Specialist Exercise Therapy course from ISSA, USA, obtaining + 97% marks. He shares his experience and knowledge about nutrition and effective workouts to get you in the best shape of your life, no matter how old you may be. The author says, “Age is just a number!”

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is general and for information only because it doesn’t consider your health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalized health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should determine if the information is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.

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