The Mediterranean diet includes a range of fruits and vegetables to be consumed along with olive oil and sea foods such as fish, bread, grains and other cereals. The diet consists of all those foods that are rich in flavor.
Margarine, butter or other such hydrogenated fats leave the foods tasting bland and hence once the foods are processed with olive oil, they add to the flavor that is generally imparted by such foods. People following this diet need to know more about the portion management and if they happen to consume foods that are high in the fat content, they may add up to the calories. There has to be a balance between the proteins, carbohydrates as well as the fats in the diet. This diet also allows the consumption of wine in medium quantities.
The recipes introduced by the Mediterranean Diet are simply mouth watering. You can enjoy all the foods despite being on a diet. In the Mediterranean basin, people are fond of eating all kinds of foods and they love experimenting on the taste. A good meal in this region is highly appreciated and this is one of the biggest forms of entertainment.
Besides, the diet is high in the fiber content and even if it happens to be rich in carbohydrates, these are known to be the ones that are good for the body and provide energy. It doesn’t include the bad ones that come with cakes, donuts and other junk foods. Here the carbohydrates come from the sources such as grains, pastas, hummus and couscous.
Along with, the foods are also high in the fat content. However, these happen to be the better fats and that excludes the consumption of butter, margarine as well as red meat. This kind of a diet allows wine in moderate amount and it has been found out by the researchers that red wine contains all the phytonutrients as well as the falconoid that can help in protecting the blood vessels as well as the arteries.
Mediterranean diet during pregnancy
This is one of the best diets that could be followed even in pregnancy. It helps in reducing the risk of asthma and allergy in the baby. The research involved 468 mothers and their children who were followed up right from the pregnancy to six years after birth.
The mothers were then required to complete some of the food related questionnaires where they were asked several questions about their dietary intakes. Later on their children were diagnosed in comparison to the other children and proven to have less allergic reactions or respiratory problems. Hence it wouldn’t be wrong to conclude that the mothers who were on the Mediterranean diet during pregnancy had children with healthy lungs.
The Basic Characteristics of the Mediterranean diet
It uses the olive oil for cooking and as an important source for fat and excludes other fats such as butter and margarine.
It involves a high consumption of fruits, vegetables, beans, cereals, grains, breads, potatoes, buts and other healthy items.
It also allows some low amounts of cheese and yoghurt.
You must avoid processed foods and consume seasonally fresh foods.
You are also allowed to consume wine, perhaps one glass a day regularly with meals.
The Mediterranean Diet Pyramid
The researchers have developed the pyramid in such a way:
The first layer includes the physical exercises.
The next four layers are foods that have to be consumed daily such as olive oils, cheese & yoghurt, fruits & vegetables, cereals & all kinds of grains.
The next four layers involve the foods that need to be eaten weekly such as poultry, eggs, fish and sweets.
Lastly, there is the meat that fills the empty space at the top of the pyramid.