There are millions of Americans today who are either overweight or obese. Perhaps it’s the combination of having an unhealthy eating habit and leading a sedentary lifestyle. It’s no wonder why a significant number of diet plans have cropped up over the years.
One of the many diet plans which a lot of people have become proponents of is the Mediterranean diet. The history of the Mediterranean diet can be traced back to 1945 when it was publicized by Ancel Keys in Salerno, Italy. However, it was only during the 1990s that the Mediterranean has gained popularity.
The Basic Rules to Follow for the Mediterranean Diet
Just like any other diet plan, there are rules that you need to follow with the Mediterranean diet. Here’s a basic glimpse at the rules:
1. Follow the traditional healthy Mediterranean diet pyramid.
When following the Mediterranean diet, there’s a helpful pyramid illustration which you can use as a reference. On top of the pyramid is meat followed by sweets, eggs, poultry and fish. These should be consumed monthly and weekly. The bottom part of the pyramid includes the food groups which should be consumed on a daily basis which includes cheese, yogurt, olive oil, fruits, beans, legumes, nuts, vegetables, bread, pasta, rice, couscous, polenta and other whole grains and potatoes.
2. The proportions of what you are eating should be just right.
Another rule to follow if you are a proponent of the Mediterranean diet is the proportion of the foods that you are eating. Make sure that your diet consists of 20% protein, 50% carbohydrates and 30% fats.
3. The Mediterranean involves an intensive use of olive oil.
As you can see from the list of foods included on the Mediterranean diet pyramid, they are mostly Italian or Mediterranean food staples. This is the reason why olive oil plays such a huge part in the diet, because of the health benefits that it brings. It contains antioxidants, oleic acid, vitamins, iron and poliphenols which help lower your cholesterol and blood pressure level.
4. Substitute sugar with honey. Instead of sugar, sweeten your food and drinks with honey.
5. Drink six glasses of water and make sure that you have plenty of daily physical activity.
This is an integral part of the weight loss and healthy living program which is the Mediterranean diet. Make sure to drink six glasses of water, and get the daily physical activity that you need.
Another important component of the Mediterranean diet is that instead of eating three square meals a day, you should consume five lighter meals. This includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks in between.
Those who have long been looking for an effective weight loss program would be happy to know that the frequency by which you are required to consume meals and the food items included with the Mediterranean are truly effective. By simply following the Mediterranean diet, you can shed off the excess pounds that you have, have a better food selection process, and live an overall healthier lifestyle.