Is The Mediterranean Diet Good For Weight Loss?
The Mediterranean diet is not a diet plan that is written in stone. It is more of a lifestyle that is typical of countries that are located along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.
The natural lifestyle of the people living in the Mediterranean region involves high levels of activity, healthy eating and tension-free living. It is these characteristics that led to this lifestyle being coined as the Immaterial Human Heritage by UNESCO.
The genesis of the Mediterranean diet lies in an understanding that those who lived in these countries had a significantly lower incidence of heart diseases and a lower death rate.
While the statistics with regard to the heart attacks and death rate cannot be completely attributed to the Mediterranean diet, the diet to a large extent does contribute to healthier living of the Mediterranean people.
Health Benefits of The Mediterranean Diet
The health benefits of the Mediterranean diet are widely known. The use of mono saturated fats almost exclusively ensures that the cholesterol levels in the blood remain under control. The Mediterranean diet is also known to prevent various illnesses like brain stroke and myocardial infarction or heart attack.
This diet is known to play a significant role in controlling and preventing diseases like high blood pressure, lung disorders, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Liberal use of garlic in this diet is known to prevent cancer.
Foods Found In The Mediterranean Diet
A typical Mediterranean diet plan consists of a large consumption of:
- Legumes and nuts
- Milk, cheese and other dairy products are consumed less
- Fish and poultry are consumed in moderate quantities
Even the amount of red meat that is consumed is low. Almost all the food is cooked in olive oil, ensuring low levels of saturated fat content in the overall diet. A certain amount of red wine (a glass or two with meals) is allowed.
The Mediterranean diet prohibits the consumption of any processed foods. These were not available at the time when the Mediterranean people developed this diet ages ago.
Smoking is generally prohibited in the Mediterranean region, and that is why you must strictly avoid it if you want to follow this diet. In addition to this, high levels of physical activity and a consciousness about staying fit are the most essential aspects of the Mediterranean diet.
Can You Lose Weight On The Mediterranean Diet?
The Mediterranean diet is not really a weight loss diet. It is a lifestyle that one adopts for a lifetime. While you may join a program that inducts you into the ways and methods of following a Mediterranean diet, it is something that you will need to practice on your own later.
Each and every Mediterranean diet plan aims at helping the follower reach an optimum level of weight based on healthy eating, health consciousness and stress free environment.
It has been observed that following the Mediterranean diet for two weeks does result in an average weight loss of about 4 to 6 pounds in women and 6 to 8 pounds in men.