The Mediterranean diet is usually on the list of healthy diets. This menu is advisable for those who want to lose weight – the restriction of calories, lots of vegetables and fruit, essential fatty acids, beneficial proteins, and complex carbohydrates. For this diet, you will need fresh, organic food, a little time for cooking and relaxation of the Italian “riposo”. Yes, on this diet weight loss is a relatively slow process. But is there any “risk” in learning how to eat properly and well and not to gain weight anymore?
The principles of the Mediterranean diet
Ideas underlying the diet are simple:
- No processed and “semi-finished” food on the table.
- Try to do everything yourself – cut salads, cook sauces, bake fish in foil, and squeeze fresh juices from fruit. “Right” bread should also be baked at home – you’re unlikely to find wheat bread with no added sugar, baking powder, and dyes in the supermarket.
- It is necessary to “load up” 5 servings of vegetables and fruit per day, weight per serving is 3.5-7 oz., and the “dosage” is defined not according to the degree of your gluttony, but according to your body weight. The more you weigh the more you can eat.
- Vegetables must be stewed, or served as fresh salads. Eat fresh fruit or make fresh juices (no more than 7-14 oz.) So, after all, it is better to eat fresh fruit.
- Each main meal includes 1 portion of protein – fish, cheese, low-fat cottage cheese, poultry, and even beef. But nevertheless, seafood is in favor – it contains omega 3 fatty acids, which are important for our health and speed up metabolism. A portion is 3.5 oz. “Fitness-versions” (that is the Mediterranean diet for those who exercise) require eating more protein if your kidneys are healthy. It is possible to eat 5 portions of protein 5 times a day, bringing the total amount of protein to 12 gr. per 1 lb. of body weight.
- You can eat only complex carbohydrates. Take any list of foods with a low GI, purchase cereal, and cook porridge. Whole wheat pasta or exotic but delicious buckwheat or rye pasta is suitable.
- Drinking wine is also possible, but no more than the medical norm. This means half a glass/day for women and ¾ of a glass/day for men. These numbers are for dry red or white wine.
Foods allowed and forbidden in the diet
- All kinds of bread made with sugar, baking powder, artificial yeast, dyes;
- All kinds of canned vegetables, meat, and cereals;
- Any purchased ketchup and even special “Mediterranean sauces”;
- Sweet wines, spirits;
- Any sweets but cocoa stevia and natural dark chocolate.
- Any vegetables and fruit. You can eat 7 oz. of grapes a day and stay fit;
- Any grain other than processed oatmeal, bulgur, couscous, artificial imitations of cereals;
- Fresh fish – salmon, trout, mackerel, and herring is necessary. Different types of saltwater lean fish. Freshwater fish – carp, pike, and crucian;
- Limited – nuts and seeds, do not exceed the rate of an ounce per day (or a little more if you are practicing endurance training such as long distance running);
- Necessarily up to 2 oz. of cold-pressed vegetable oil per day, preferably olive oil, nut oil, except peanut butter with sugar and salt;
- Natural tea, some coffee (if you don’t have heart problems), dry red and white wine, water;
- Yogurt, kefir, sugar-free clabber, low-fat cottage cheese, semi-hard and hard cheese.
The Mediterranean diet menu
The menu is usually designed for five meals. As a snack, you may eat a portion of nuts, fruit, dairy products, or even vegetable salad sprinkled with seeds.
- 7 oz. of Greek yogurt with strawberry, 3.5 oz. of oatmeal with water.
- Rye pasta, tomato sauce with basil, tea, 3.5 oz. of seafood.
- Any grilled fish with vegetables and lemon juice.
- 7 oz. of buckwheat with water, tomatoes, bell pepper, basil and olive oil.
- Steamed vegetables, 1 baked potato with feta cheese; fresh greens.
- Baked in foil chicken, salad or fresh juice from tomato and celery.
- Natural oat grain muesli, yogurt or milk, and 1 chopped fruit.
- Pureed soup of broccoli, plus 3.5-7 oz. beef stewed with pumpkin and onions or any other vegetables. Boiled shrimp and mussels, 1-2 tbsp. of brown rice, vegetables.
The principle, I think, is clear: you can prepare any dish from the “healthy food” list. The main thing is not to fry to an oiled state, not to overdo the food, and try to preserve the natural taste of food at cooking.
Mediterranean diet recipes
- 7 oz. whole oats,
- dried cranberries,
- blackcurrants and plums.
The oats are processed in a steamer for 10 minutes. Dry, cool, and grind them in a coffee grinder. Mix with the dried fruit in a ratio of 2 to 1. Pour hot milk and leave for a couple of minutes.
Pasta with seafood
- 7 oz. rye pasta,
- 10 oz. cherry tomatoes,
- a bunch of basil,
- olive oil,
- about 7oz. of “Seafood Cocktail” mixture.
Cook the pasta until tender, put it in a colander or sieve. The cherry with basil is fried lightly in the oil. Defrost the “Sea cocktail” and cook it for 10 minutes in salted water. Then mix the seafood with the vegetables and serve with the pasta.
Salad with feta cheese
- 5 oz. boiled red beans,
- 2 carrots,
- olive oil,
- 2 oz. cheese,
- 1 bell pepper,
- lettuce as a garnish.
Mash the cheese with a fork and mix with other ingredients (pre-sliced). Put it on the lettuce leaves.
- 2 ripe avocados,
- 2 grated apples,
- ricotta cheese,
- fresh mint.
Tear the mint finely, cut the avocado in half and remove pulp from the boats so that they remain intact. Mash the pulp with a fork, mix it with the mint and apple, add ricotta cheese to taste, and refill the boats with the mixture.
- 5 oz. long cooking oat flakes,
- 5 oz. dried cranberries,
- 7 oz. soft dates.
Mince the dates with the cranberries. Pour the cereal and mince again. Mold bars, dry them in the oven at 180 degrees for 10-14 minutes.
- 5 oz. oat bran,
- 1 pack of soft fat-free yogurt,
- 2 egg whites,
- 1 egg,
- yogurt and blueberries for serving,
- a little olive oil.
Knead dough of the egg whites, cheese, bran, egg. If it’s too thick, add a little water. Preheat a frying pan and quickly fry the pancakes on both sides. 1 serving is a pancake, 5 oz. of blueberries, and 2 tbsp. of yogurt.
Pizza with tomatoes
- soft cheese (mozzarella),
- ½ cup oatmeal,
- ½ cup oat bran,
- 6 egg whites,
- 1 egg,
- any 17% cheese that melts.
First, we make dough of the cheese, cereal, eggs, and bran and bake a cake for 20 minutes at 180 degrees. Then finely cut the tomatoes, spread above, sprinkle with cheese and basil, and put the pizza into the oven until the cheese melts.
Pros and cons of the diet
The Mediterranean diet is good for your health and is suitable for almost everyone. Its obvious downsides: possible allergy to unusual food, lack of weight loss (if you do not control the portions). For everyone else, it’s a good food style to keep to.
Important: before you switch to the Mediterranean diet, consult your physician. Even though the Mediterranean diet is considered one of the healthiest meal plans in the world you can still have some peculiarities or contraindications that may affect your health after changing your eating habits.