Native to the Mediterranean basin, the so-called “Mediterranean diet” food model 🦞 is based on an abundant consumption of diversified plant foods, less consumption of animal products and an active daily life. What are the characteristics of this diet?

Mediterranean diet – Health Benefits

The Mediterranean diet is known to have beneficial effects on the body, for example reducing the risk of cardiovascular pathologies.

Good adherence to this diet has notably been correlated with weight loss and a drop in blood cholesterol levels. Such a diet has also been shown to have a health interest in limiting the occurrence or progression of certain neurodegenerative or cancerous pathologies. Finally, the composition of bacteria in the intestinal microbiota, under the influence of food, is positively modified by the Mediterranean diet.

Plant foods

plant foods

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At the base of this food model are plant foods 🌿, rich in essential micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), fiber and other plant compounds that can promote good health.

  • Abundance of pulses, whole grains and nuts

Legumes (beans, lentils, peas) and whole grains are rich in protein and minerals and provide group B vitamins. But they are best known for their significant contribution in fiber and complex carbohydrates.

Nuts are rich in omega-3, which is important for heart and brain health.

  • Abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables

Fresh fruits and vegetables provide few calories but are sources of water, vitamins, minerals and fiber.

  • Olive oil as the main source of lipids

Olive oil is mainly composed of monounsaturated fats allowing it to be more easily consumed by the body and therefore less stored in the adipose tissue. It is also rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant, in phytosterol and vegetable lipids making it possible to reduce cholesterol.

Animal products

animal products

Unlike the so-called “Western” diet based on a high consumption of animal products, the Mediterranean diet limits this type of product in favor of a predominant place for plant foods.

  • Low quantity of red meat and cold meats

Although protein sources, red meat and cold meats are high in saturated fats which are involved in raising cholesterol and blood pressure. It is therefore recommended to consume them in small quantities and at low frequency (a few times a month).

  • More fish, less meat

Fish is a source of proteins and lipids beneficial for health, in particular fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines which are rich in omega-3. Its consumption is therefore to be preferred compared to meat.

  • Moderate consumption of poultry, eggs and dairy products

White meat (chicken and other poultry) is a good source of lean protein with no trans fatty acids found in red meat. No more than 4 eggs per week are typically consumed in the Mediterranean diet, this amount including the eggs used in recipes and culinary preparations.

Dairy products are consumed daily but in small quantities. Yogurts and white cheeses from various animals (goats, sheep, cows, etc.) are the most consumed because they are rich in calcium and protein but have low levels of saturated fat.

Other key elements of the Mediterranean diet?

  • Low amount of sweet products

Sweet products including food and drinks are consumed in small quantities and reserved for special occasions.

  • Moderate red wine consumption

Red wine, which contains many polyphenols, compounds found in plants and with antioxidant properties, is drunk in moderation.

  • Use of aromatic seasonings: spices, onion, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, basil, etc.

These ingredients, used in small quantities, not only play an essential role in flavor enhancement but are also rich in polyphenols.

  • Regular physical activity

Physical activity is one of the main factors in the prevention of chronic diseases. The equivalent of half an hour of brisk walking per day is necessary to obtain a health benefit.

mediterranean diet system

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Download The Mediterranean Diet Plan From The Official Website

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Published by Adriana Smith

Hi there friends! My name is Adriana Smith, I'm 35 years old. I’ve been a Certified Diet & Nutrition Specialist in Toms River, New Jersey Since 2014. I which you all the best.

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