Japan is not the only country which promotes healthy diet and longevity. There's also a diet called Mediterranean Diet which also promotes longevity and also healthier living. Mediterranean diet does not promise a steady weight loss since it's mainly for healthier life.
Mediterranean diet guideline is not originated from one of the countries in the Mediterranean since each countries and regions practice a modified Mediterranean diet, but the general consensus and guideline of the diet stays the same.
People who practice Mediterranean diet are reported to have lower death rate and lower heart disease rate. This is because people in Mediterranean diet show lower blood levels of C-reactive protein which decreases the chance of having heart attack and stroke altogether. Although the Mediterranean diet places a great emphasis on the type of food eaten, we can’t neglect the amount of walking done by people who live in the Mediterranean countries. Let’s review the guidelines of Mediterranean Diet below.
Mediterranean diet got its publicity when people began to realize that Mediterranean people consumed the same number if not greater amount of fat than American yet they showed lower risk of heart disease. The secret of Mediterranean diet lies in the type of fat consumed. Mediterranean diet favors a generous usage of olive oil instead of animal fats.
Olive oil is a source of unsaturated fat and is a heart friendly oil rather than the saturated fat commonly found in fast food and packaged snack such as Cheetos.
Olive oil is not the sole secret of Mediterranean diet; here are some other foods which are part of the diet based on the Mediterranean food pyramid.
At least six glasses of pure water
Carbohydrates: Whole grain cereals, oats, barley, whole wheat pasta and potato.
Fruits: Fruits with low glycemic index such as:
Apples, banana, blueberries, cherries, grapefruit, orange, pears
Cheese, yogurt, beans and nuts
Vegetables: Green and leafy vegetables
One glass of red wine
Two to three times a week:
Egg, Poultry and fish
Once a week:
Sweet products and red meat
That is the general guideline of this diet which is not very restrictive compared to South Beach Diet or Atkins Diet. The problem is that this diet is not very reliable if it’s weight loss that you seek. But if weight is not a major problem right now then you won’t gain too much weight by following Mediterranean diet. Another drawback of this diet is the few choices of foods. Since fish and poultry can’t be consumed daily, you have to rely on vegetables and pasta as your main staples. This can be boring and hard to stick to.
The easiest modification of this Mediterranean diet in daily life is the incorporation of olive oil and the regulated consumption of red meat and sweet desserts. Stick with olive oil instead of tropical oil or butter and don’t consume too much red meat and sweet stuffs. In a nutshell, Mediterranean diet takes us back into nature by limiting the consumption of processed foods, refined sugars and fast food.
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