* This is a guest post by Jack
If you are looking for a way to enter the healthy eating and healthy living world, the Mediterranean diet is right for you. Mediterranean diet is not just another diet or a diet plan but it is a way of living, a way of living for the Mediterranean people for more than 5000 years now.
Research around the Mediterranean diet has shown that this way of living reduces the heart attack incidents; it increases the defense of the body against cancer and reduces the incidents of Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases.
What Can I Eat on the Mediterranean Diet? Well, Really it’s More a Way of Living
So what is someone supposed to eat and how often, if (s)he decides to adopt the Mediterranean diet way of living? First of all it should be noted that since the Mediterranean diet is a way of living it certainly does not deprive anyone from anything. What happens with the Mediterranean diet is that your body and mind learn to live and eat healthily and do not seek anything beyond this. By adopting the Mediterranean diet you change the way you think about the meals, their size and frequency. Following it, you learn to love food and you are not deprived of the foods you love.
The Mediterranean Diet Food Pyramid
The Mediterranean diet pyramid is a nutrition pyramid that has been introduced so as to guide beginners and new adopters as to the way they should nourish themselves. Basically at the very top of the Mediterranean diet is: Fruits, vegetables, nuts, pasta, dairy products and whole grain products.
Since we all start the day with breakfast, it is very important for this first meal of the day to be rich and to consist of the basic components of the Mediterranean diet. The choices are plenty and variations are numerous. Your breakfast can be a toast with honey and white cheese and an egg or it can be plain yogurt or yogurt combined with nuts and fruits. In the Mediterranean countries breakfast is usually, whole grain bread, a few slices of white cheese, a few black olives and a few slices of tomato or cucumber.
Snacks are eaten throughout the day and they can be various in-season fruits or nuts with dried fruits. Nuts are high in calories and high in fats but most of the fats are non-saturated fats. An excellent snack is the combination of raisins with Almond nuts. A snack that would give you all the necessary energy and stamina to make it through the day.
Lunch should be of medium size mostly consisting of vegetables in many forms and fish. Here you have many choices. You can have healthy salads topped with dairy products such white cheese, ricotta, feta, Beyaz Peynir or Halloumi cheese, or it can be a nice vegetable soup. The choice of fish is indeed great and it varies from tuna, salmon to sardines, mussels and oysters all of which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids very valuable and beneficial for the brain and heart.
Dinner should be the lightest meal of the day and eaten as early as possible so that it can be digested before bed time. Dinner can consist of any of the components of the Mediterranean diet. It can be a salad, a fish dish and a toast or sandwich with cheese. Meat is part of the Mediterranean diet but it is in the bottom of the pyramid. White meat such as poultry should be eaten once or twice a week and red meat a few times a month.
It should be emphasized that olive oil should be used in salads and cooking as the source of good fats and in replacement of butter. Olive oil is the basis of the Mediterranean diet and one of the sources of longevity of the Cretan people.
As a conclusion and as a take away, we should understand that Mediterranean is a way of living and eating well but at the same time is a way of healthy eating for a long and healthy life.
Guest article by Jack. Jack writes about mediterranean diet and other healthy ways to lose weight and live a better life.
Image by FotoRita [Allstar maniac]