What is the Mediterranean Diet? As the name suggests, this diet is based on the actual diet of the people from the Mediterranean. This diet is known to be very healthy, as it has a lot of foods with a large amount of antioxidants, contains a lot of healthy fibre and is low in saturated fat.
If you want to follow a low carb diet, then this isnít for you, as thereís a lot of carbohydrates in it, such as bread, pasta, potatoes and rice, amongst other products. But, very little red meat is eaten and the protein comes more in the form of fish, dairy and pulses. As fruit and vegetables grow in abundance in these countries, there are also a lot of vegetables in this diet, think of classics such as a Greek salad, for example.
The idea of dessert in the UK and on the Mediterranean Diet is totally different. Fresh fruit is often eaten as a dessert, replacing the starchy desserts we often eat.
Of course, olive oil plays a huge part in the cuisine of this area, as do olives. Olive oil tends to be used on bread, instead of butter or margarine, and for cooking, or in salad dressings.
Alcohol of choice is of course wine, although if you are on a calorie controlled diet, itís advisable to limit your alcohol intake to a minimum, as alcohol contains a lot of calories.
Due to the large amount of fruit and vegetables consumed on this diet, it means that it is high in fibre, which not only helps to stop you from getting constipated, but is also said to protect against various disease, such as cancer.
When soluble fibre is mixed with water, it expands in the stomach, giving you a full feel, quelling hunger pangs and helping you on your way to your target weight.
In the UK people eat a lot of saturated fats, in products such as fast food, hamburgers, pizza, red meat and other sources. This is very bad for us. On the Mediterranean Diet you get to eat more fish and pulses, which are much healthier allround. Plus the olive oil used in this diet means that you are getting a good dose of healthy fat in your diet and this fat is called monounsaturated fat. But donít forget, although olive oil is healthy, itís still a fat and should be eaten in moderation, as if you are trying to lose weight, you still have to take your fat intake into consideration.
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