Start the Mediterranean Diet today – because it’s about eating to live, not living to eat!
Every start to a new year, we come across new diet plans that promise that this is the one we have all been waiting for, the real thing, where the fat will just roll off our bodies in days. Heard of those diets? Some of them sound quite sensible, but some of them are absolutely ludicrous.
To lose weight fast, well it’s something that most of us have attempted at least once in our lifetime if we are adults. Some of us will admit to trying different diets out more than two or three times. But what makes diets difficult are that they are unlike, say, giving up smoking where you know your health will improve. But with diets, you might not lose weight and your health might not improve. No one size fits all here!
Millions of people go on hundreds of different diets because they all do different things for us. Your friend might say she gave up eating bread for a few weeks to squeeze into her old school uniform at the reunion, and she did it! But for you; you haven’t eaten bread for years on end, and you still battle to lose weight! And when you do find a diet that seems to suit you, along comes another one, taking the world by storm with all its promises of success and effectiveness.
It’s not all doom and gloom though – there are good diets out there too. Out there, there is the best diet for you to help you lose weight, working for your particular body type and health needs. When you combine that with what your body needs, you also combine it with regular exercises, and you feel great, that is the one to tap in to. Bear in mind that there are thousands of diet plans that you just follow for a couple of weeks, to reach your goal weight and then you are done with it. They might work for the purpose, but you might not be healthier, and what about after the diet? Back to your old ways of eating again where in all probability you might put on even more weight than before.
What would you say if we told you there are a couple of really good eating or diet plans out there that really do work, but which you need to make them your lifestyle? It’s not about starving yourself or combining certain concoctions that are supposed to be the magic bullet to burn off the fat. Not a chance. To really maintain weight and be healthy, you need a sustainable lifestyle diet. The way you eat needs to leave you feeling at your utmost best and it’s because you are giving your body all the nutrients it needs – you are making it happy, and it is paying you back, by providing you with a long, happy, healthy, contented life – that’s because your body is in balance.
One of these lifestyle diets is the Mediterranean Diet. This diet has been made popular by the people who live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world, that of the Mediterranean Sea area. They eat fresh vegetables and fresh fruits, they eat healthy fats like olive oil and they eat high-quality organic seafood’s and poultry, most of it in its natural state because it focuses on foods found in nature. There are no processed foods eaten and no sugary foods. There are healthy fats which help to reduce many diseases such as heart disease and Alzheimer’s. With the occasional glass of some red wine or steak, this diet allows you to really enjoy your food. It’s a diet, however, where it’s easy to go overboard on the offerings provided, so portion control is vital. Don’t start with the Mediterranean diet if you are looking to lose fast weight.
Your outside shows what is going on inside
Health is definitely something that you can expect to improve on the Mediterranean diet. It reduces heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, stroke, and even some cancers. It strengthens the bones and improves brain health, warding off dementia and depression. Doesn’t that sound wonderful? It’s no wonder the Mediterranean diet has been named the best diet to follow for 2019.
Are you ready to get started?
It might well be called the Mediterranean Diet, but in fact, it’s not really a diet, it’s a lifestyle, a lifestyle that encourages you to consume all the food groups, giving more weight to its amazing health benefits.
❖ Focuses on plants
There is a large emphasis placed on eating plants, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grains. The veggies you choose are veggies of all sorts of colors so that you can receive into your body the broadest array of nutrients, fiber, and phytochemicals. Your vegetables can be cooked, eaten raw, roasted or garnished with delicious, healthful herbs and sprinkled with a bit of olive oil as well. It is best to stay away from coconut oil and palm oil, particularly palm oil. They might be plant-based, but they are high in saturated fats that will raise your bad cholesterol. You can enjoy eating nuts and seeds, but use them more as garnishes though, simply because they have high fat and calorie content.
❖ Move over to whole grains
Easy steps to take when you start with the Mediterranean way of life as far as your eating is concerned, is to replace refined grains with whole grains. Choose wholewheat bread, not refined white bread, and whole-wheat pasta. In place of white rice, replace with brown wild rice. In many countries, you will find a stamp for whole grains that manufacturers voluntarily use. This black and gold stamp is stamped on over 12,000 food products in over 58 countries, and you can search for the products by your country name to try and find products. Unfortunately today, grains have changed somewhat over the years. It is the ancient grains of Biblical times that you want to be eating today and which feature in the Mediterranean way of good eating.
❖ Don’t skip breakfast
The Mediterranean way of life encourages followers to eat a good breakfast. If you don’t eat breakfast, your body, from the fast of the night before, thinks the food is scarce and it will slow down your metabolism, contributing to weight gain. For breakfast, you could choose between bagels, pita bread, English muffins, wholegrain toast, spreading with a bit of soft cheese, hummus, nut butter or avocado. You could choose rather some oatmeal or granola cereals, adding a cup of raw, organic milk, yogurt or nut milk. Don’t feel overwhelmed with all what you need to eat on this diet, Here is a full rundown of the diet for you to follow at your own leisure, but you will feel proud of it, because you are starting a new way of life, a healthy way of life, adding nutrients to your body and staving off some serious ailments. Check out these 2 examples you can follow to start you on the road to health and happiness! One is a 7-day plan recommended by experts to follow.
❖ Rethink eating desserts
Eating a daily dessert on the Mediterranean diet is also completely different to the typical American type dessert. Dessert on the Mediterranean Diet is fruit that is in season – it’s not pastries, cakes, custards, creams, and jam. If you do get a bit tired of eating raw fruit in season, there are creative ways of eating your fruit such as poaching pears in pomegranate juice with some honey and serving up with some delicious Greek yogurt. How does a stuffed fig with goat cheese, sprinkled with a few nuts sound?
There are some cultures in the Mediterranean who will add a glass of red wine to their daily meals. Don’t start this, if you are not a wine drinker. Even though research traditionally shows some protective heart and diabetes benefits to a glass of red wine, there are still recent studies out that question the assumption that there are benefits to any alcohol of any kind. But in the meantime, if you do enjoy your wine with a meal, treat yourself to a small glass of red wine at dinnertime as part of your diet. It is also OK to add that occasional bakery treat or other guilty pleasure because no food is truly off limits on this diet because it is not a diet; it’s a way of life. Many people have the mentality when they start a diet, to say, “That means I must cut out sugars and carbs, right?” But think more about what you can add to your diet. Think about where you can add more fruit and vegetables, more healthy fats, eat more lentils and beans and whole grains. That is the mentality that is more encouraged on the Mediterranean way of life; it’s a more positive approach to creating better and healthy behaviors.
Diseases that are known to greatly benefit from the Mediterranean diet
There are literally thousands of diet choices that are there for the ‘eating’. But few are as ancient and true, or as effective as the Mediterranean Diet. This diet was birthed thousands of years in Old Testament times already, on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Frankly, it’s how people have been eating for thousands of years. It’s about heaps of veggies, heaps of fruit, its eating healthy oils, legumes, nuts, and fish, with just a smattering of meat occasionally. It is cultured dairy, a little bit of wine and select whole grains. There is almost no sugar, there are no refined carbs and there are hardly ever any artificial ingredients. Basically, this diet was what Jesus and his apostles would have eaten and if they didn’t, you won’t find it on the Mediterranean Diet.
It is exceptionally healthy and it’s one of the reasons why the people in this area live long, vibrant lives well into the 90s, sometimes into the 100s. It’s their lifestyle and what they eat. The people too are hard workers, they are ethical people, they stand behind their families and friends through thick and thin, they are not lazy people, and they love being out in the sunshine tending to their organic fruit and vegetables. And they enjoy the fruits of their labors. A recipe for good health by the sounds of things!
Most of us know that a key benefit to eating healthily is that you are less prone to disease; you are better able to ward off the diseases that come your way. This is one of the reasons why the Mediterranean Diet is so powerful: it puts emphasis on foods that promote wellness and minimizes the foods that promote disease. Let’s look:
What is the favorite food that cancer thrives on? Sugar! It is processed, white, refined sugar and its derivatives which are the product of the Industrial Age. Today, sugar is a toxic plague on the earth, en-grained into all cultures, bringing with it disease and death. It is even more addictive than cocaine, lighting up more of the brain’s pleasure centers than some drugs do, and totally legal. You won’t find much sugar in the Mediterranean Diet. If it does appear there, it might be a teaspoonful as a coffee or tea sweetener, but not on the same levels we see in other cultures across the world.
When you remove sugar from your diet, you are already in a win-win situation. When you decrease it by adding in plant foods, you are on the sure way to starving-out cancer cells. Fruits and vegetables protect your DNA from free radical damage which causes tumors and inflammation in the body. There are also more results coming out on research about the cancer-fighting benefits of pure organic olive oil, in addition to its healthy balance of fatty acids.
A real draw-card of the Mediterranean diet is the heart health benefits that come from all the vital omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that are found in olive oil, nuts, and avocados. We all know the decades of false news about the dangers of fat, and the truth is that there is danger in the wrong fats. But there are good, essential fats, essential for the development and progress of the heart muscles, the brain, and just general overall wellness. It is not fat that is the culprit behind vascular and coronary diseases; it is sugar! Your body is supposed to burn fat for its fuel and this will automatically leave your slimmer, with blood vessels that are not clogged, but properly dilated. The Mediterranean Diet is known full well for its abilities to decrease blood pressure and hypertension and to reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke. You are not going to find a substitute for olive oil either, certainly not in corn oil, vegetable oils, and canola oils. They just don’t cut it when it comes to the heart healthy qualities of avocado, olive oil, and nut oils, staples of the Mediterranean Diet.
Life and death situations
You already might have been diagnosed with a coronary condition by your doctor. If you are not prepared, yet, to move over to the Mediterranean type way of eating, at least do yourself one big favor; to quit eating processed, deep-fried foods and of course, sugary processed foods. There are some people who would rather die than give up on all their favorite treats. If you have been diagnosed with coronary problems, or you have suffered from a stroke recently and you continue to enjoy these offensive, processed, sugary foods – you really don’t care about premature death from these bad foods, then you need to speak to a counselor, because that is one reason why you might not want to give up such bad foods; your state of mind – then a counselor wouldn’t be a bad place to start.
One good reason why the Mediterranean diet is so beneficial for preventing diabetes is simply that it controls excess insulin – a hormone that controls our blood sugar levels and which makes us put on weight and keep it on, despite dieting all we like. When you eat balanced, wholesome foods, you regulate your blood sugar levels – then the body burns fat, and you end up with more energy as well. The American Heart Association says that the Mediterranean diet is higher in fat than any standard American diet, yet lower in saturated fat. Because this balance is ideal regarding keeping weight gain and hunger under control, it’s excellent for the body to be hormonally balanced as well, and that means the insulin levels become normalized as well.
A great benefit of eating a light carbohydrate diet that is fat-rich, with plenty of plant proteins and other proteins, is that it also manages your hunger hormones. You feel satisfied for longer in-between meals, not feeling starving or craving sugar. When you don’t suffer from cravings because of right that naturally shuts down these cravings, you don’t need to reach out for a snack which could be junk food. Your sugar intake is reduced, taking the strain off your heart, your liver and your pancreases. And the added benefit is that you are on the way to losing weight too.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
Have you noticed that Alzheimer’s disease is a much more spoken about disease today than just ten years ago? It might be due to a greater awareness of cognitive diseases, sure, but another part of it is that our diets of today, the typical standard American Diet is creating this dreaded disease of today. Processed foods are literally unleashing a flood, a scourge of toxins in the form of flavorings, preservatives, chemicals, hormones – they are pumped into our systems, wreaking havoc and damage to our nervous systems. One scandalous name is “aspartame”, packed as a sweetener. It is noted to even damage the optic nerve, which is the connection between your eyeball and your brain.
And it might even be the contributor to the deterioration of the myelin coating on the nerve strands – this can lead to multiple sclerosis and other neurological diseases. Healthy fats such as olive oils and inflammation-fighting vegetables and fruits are actually known for their assistance in cognitive decline. They counter the harmful effects of being exposed to free radicals, toxins, and inflammation, all contributing to impaired brain function and that includes Alzheimer’s.
There is every reason why you need to get started on the Mediterranean diet today! Unfortunately, we can’t all live in the Mediterranean area, but we sure can make the necessary changes. Don’t make excuses to get started, that doesn’t bring results! Let the Mediterranean diet be your medicine so you can see many more new years’ in the future!