What is the Mediterranean Diet?
The Mediterranean Diet is one of the healthiest diets in the world based on research by medical experts making it a favorite of those interested in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Researchers began to study this style of dieting nearly 50 years ago when they noticed the exceptional health of people living in the region. Since then, many Americans have picked up on the style and are using this eating regimen to improve health and wellness, along with losing weight and keep it off.
Rather than calorie counting, the Mediterranean diet offers a variety of healthy options which promote nutritional balance leaving almost no room for processed or junk foods. There is no one Mediterranean diet regimen, nor is much calorie counting involved. Rather, it is considered to be a lifestyle centered around the high consumption of nutrient dense foods containing fiber, fatty acids, lean protein, high vitamins and minerals that can be eaten all day long.
You won’t be able to find Mediterranean meals at most fast food places, as the preparation of most meals occur in the home. You can get creative on the Mediterranean diet with thousands of recipes to choose from. Programs like DocTalkGo can help you navigate this new lifestyle and prepare meals you can get excited about!
List of Mediterranean foods:
- Olive oil
- Lots of colorful vegetables (Spinach, Kale, Tomatoes, Onions, Parsley, Tomatoes, Asparagus)
- Whole grains·
- Nuts (Peanuts, Pistachios, Walnuts, Almonds, Cashews)
- Seeds (Pumpkin, Sunflower, Chia)
- Legumes, chickpeas, lentils and beans
- Cheese (Feta)
- Unsweetened Greek Yogurt
- Healthy fats (Avocados, Nuts, Fish)
- Lean meat (Chicken, Fatty Fish like Salmon)
- Herbs and spices (Basil, Thyme, Cilantro)
- Moderate amounts of red wine
Foods to avoid:
- Refined carbs (White bread, White pasta, White rice, White flour)
- Pastries (Cookies, Cake, Pies, Muffins)
- Sugary beverages (Soda, Fruit Juice, Iced Coffee, Sports Drinks)
- Prepackaged meals
- Processed meat (Deli meat, Hotdogs, Bacon)
- Refined oils (Vegetable oil, Vegetable shortening, Crisco)
- Trans fats
What are the main benefits of the Mediterranean Diet?
The most celebrated benefit of the Mediterranean diet is its impact on heart health. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the diet’s foundation and can be found in most dishes as it is liberally used on salads, for sautéing, in dips, (used often as a bread dip as is customary in the region). This liberal use of olive oil has a great deal to do with the diet’s success. Olive Oil is loaded with monounsaturated fat which not only prevents the hardening of arterial walls, but also raises good cholesterol while lowering bad cholesterol. Olive oil goes a long way toward normalizing blood pressure and reducing inflammation in the body as well.
Of course, you can’t just pour olive oil on bad food and call it a day. The Mediterranean diet in general is a diet that delivers on fresh foods that are high in nutritional value. Most who follow this diet report:
- Better overall health
- Reduced cancer risk
- Reduced cardiac risk factors
- Protection against type 2 diabetes
- Reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease
- Reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease
- Long-term weight maintenance
- Improved digestive health
- Potential pain improvement
- May improve fertility
- Increased lifespan
How Can the Mediterranean Diet Treat Obesity?
Given its emphasis on fresh vegetables, quality protein, low carbohydrates, low sugar, and healthy fats the Mediterranean diet is one of the best for treating obesity. The Mediterranean diet offers sustained weight loss, long-term weight maintenance, and overall health improvement if adhered to. Studies show that Mediterranean dieters are at low risk for excessive weight gain and chronic conditions associated with weight.
The rise in olive oil intake alone has a bevy of cardiovascular benefits like lowering blood pressure and bad cholesterol. According to the National Institute of Health, the consumption of Mediterranean dietary patterns rich in olive oil has a significant influence on health outcomes such as obesity, metabolic syndrome (MetS) and diabetes due to its high oleic acid and high-monounsaturated (MUFA) content. Olive oil also contains an abundance of antioxidant and antiinflammatory properties which causes favorable changes in lipid profile. It also offers benefits to blood sugar control and is linked to lower levels of inflammation in the body, which can reduce risks for heart disease, certain cancers, Alzheimers, and dementia. If you’re at risk for any of the conditions above, this diet might be a great change for you.
Additionally, the Mediterranean diet is a healthy alternative to low-calorie diets. Obese patients may be encouraged that this style of eating doesn’t require calorie-counting or strict portion control since the majority of foods eaten will be fiber dense, as well as nutrient dense.
How can I get help with the Mediterranean Diet?
Our leading program offers an easy, telemedicine-based strategy for Mediterranean diet seekers by offering each client personal, certified doctors, nutritionists and weight loss coaches who provide one-on-one phone support for putting together recipes, help with grocery shopping, and meal preparation. Powerful prescriptions can also be prescribed by the DocTalkGo team upon approval to eliminate junk food cravings and emotional eating habits that can sabotage your success. Offering expedited shipping to one’s home or office, you can start losing weight right away! DocTalkGo assistance is based around you, the individual. Rather than opting for a cookie-cutter diet, allow us to get to the bottom of your weight loss struggles by assessing your unique body composition, as well as the psychological barriers preventing you from achieving long-lasting weight maintenance success.