Overview of the Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet is based upon the cuisines of the Mediterranean. The diet leans heavily on plant proteins for nourishment. It's considered a low fat, and high energy diet. Bread is a major part of this diet and it is usually eaten in the form of pita bread. Studies have shown that people who live in the region have a low rate of chronic disease and illness, which encouraged the development of this diet.
What you can eat on the Mediterranean Diet?
The Mediterranean diet requires participants to eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, pasta, rice and seeds. Olive oil also accompanies most of these meals as it is a main ingredient in food preparation. Dairy products are consumed in low to moderate amounts in the form of cheese and yogurt. Animal proteins are included, but are eaten in lesser amounts when compared to plant proteins.
What you can't eat on The Mediterranean Diet?
Under the Mediterranean diet, there are very few dietary restrictions.
Followers of the Mediterranean Diet are allowed to eat all the things they enjoy, in moderation. Unlike the customary Western style of quickly eating large portions, the Mediterranean Diet places great emphasis on spending time on preparing and enjoying small, tasty meals. Rather than make drastic lifestyle modifications, this plan teaches people to choose low-fat, low- cholesterol foods that are packed with flavor and will leave them feeling fulfilled.
What are the exercise recommendations on the Mediterranean Diet?
Physical activity is not emphasized in the Mediterranean Diet. See the Diet Channel's Fitness: General Info for more information on how to set up your own exercise program.
Mediterranean Diet: success rate
Because the Mediterranean Diet promotes portion control, a steady pace of weight loss is preferred over drastic changes in body weight. This in turn helps dieters’ gradually reduce their daily intake of food, while building healthy eating habits that avoid high-calorie and high-carb foods. Studies have shown that such diets are beneficial to health, and are much easier to maintain compared to ‘fad’ diets.
For further information on eating habits in the Mediterranean see the following article from TheDietChannel: The Mediterranean Food Pyramid, Get Healthy with A Mediterranean-Style Diet, and Will I Lose Weight on the Mediterrean diet?