Mediterranean diet
Mediterranean diet

What is Mediterranean Diet? – Complete Meal Plan – Top 5 Benefits

Mediterranean diet – The world is full of diets. Yes, there are thousands of different types of data available in the whole world. Every country, every culture, every tribe, and every community has different types of diet, and they all are good for your health if you use them in the right way. 

For example, people of the Middle East eat differently than the people of The United States of America. Similarly, people of Europe eat differently than people of Asia, but in the end, they all are Surviving and happy at the same time.

Several people do not like meat, chicken, eggs, seafood, etc. we call them vegetarians. And there are people whose primary source of energy is meat, chicken. They follow a Paleolithic diet. 

Similarly, some people follow a Mediterranean diet. That is what we are going to talk about in today’s article, along with what are the benefits of the Mediterranean diet and how you can achieve your fitness goals using the diet.

What is a Mediterranean diet?

The Mediterranean diet is the eating habits of people living In the countries near the Mediterranean Sea. As per the experts, the Mediterranean diet is one of the best diets available in the world.

Some reports have also called the Mediterranean diet not just a diet but a lifestyle. A few decades ago, researchers observed that people who live near the Mediterranean Sea were using the same type of diet, and they were more healthy.

There are a few restrictions in the Mediterranean diet, such as refined sugar, salt, and processed foods. Other than that, there are not many restrictions, and it promotes a lot of health benefits which we are going to talk about soon.

Mediterranean diet

Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet

Before you select the Mediterranean diet as your primary diet, let’s talk about a few benefits that the diet brings to the table. 

Promotes heart health

As per the many studies, a Mediterranean diet helps you lower cardiac issues such as heart attack. The diet overall promotes a healthy heart.

A few studies where researchers compared the Mediterranean diet with a low-fat diet also came to the same conclusion that the Mediterranean diet is more effective at showing progression related to heart disease.

Healthy blood sugar levels

As you know, in the Mediterranean diet, you focus on nutrition-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

Other than that Mediterranean diet also has an eating pattern that helps you stabilize your blood sugar levels, and it can also save you from type 2 diabetes.

In some cases, Mediterranean diets also help you decrease insulin resistance.

Anxiety and other disorders

Many researchers found that a Mediterranean diet can help you cope with anxiety and other disorders.

The Mediterranean diet focuses on being physically active and having a good social life while eating. In many cases, it was very clear that people felt better after switching to a Mediterranean diet.

Weight loss

Our modern lifestyle does not have many things, such as being physically active, not eating processed food, and enjoying every meal with your family and friends.

On the other hand, the Mediterranean diet focuses on two things: eating healthy and having a good lifestyle. These are the two things that every fitness expert will suggest to you to focus on why you are on your journey.

Promotes brain function

Many researchers found that a Mediterranean diet can be beneficial for brain health, and it may also save you against cognitive decline due to age.

There is a study of 512 people found that a Mediterranean diet can improve memory and reduce several risk factors related to Alzheimer’s disease.

Many studies have found that the Mediterranean diet is directly linked to improvement in several mental health factors such as cognitive function, memory, attention, and processing speed.

Disadvantages of the Mediterranean diet

If there are advantages to something, there are disadvantages along with that also. Let’s talk about a few disadvantages which come with a Mediterranean diet.

Cost of Food items

In many areas of the world, things like nuts, seeds, olive oil, and fish are more expensive than other food items. As I have told you multiple times, there are no hard and fast rules in the Mediterranean diet, but you should focus on healthy eating and the availability of food in your area.

Additional guidance

Many people argue that you need additional guidance when you are following a Mediterranean diet which is completely true. Many food items are not even available in many parts of the world.

In those scenarios, you can easily modify your diet based on the food items available only if you have enough knowledge about the macros of every food item.

More time consuming

Fitness experts complained about the time this bent on preparing the food. Because you are not allowed to eat processed food and booking food at your own home is very time-consuming.

These disadvantages are not very concerning, but you can easily bend your diet according to the available food choices.

If you think that some food items are expensive in your neighborhood, then replace done with less expensive ones, but you should focus on the lifestyle part equally. The Mediterranean diet is not all about food but lifestyle.

Mediterranean diet – Meal Plan, food list

Before you get influenced by the benefits and very few disadvantages, you should know about the food list included in the Mediterranean diet.

The Mediterranean diet follows a pyramid of food and lifestyle. You will find commonly available things at the bottom of the pyramids and expensive rare things at the top of the pyramid.

Mediterranean diet
  •  No matter what, you should be physically active and enjoy every meal with family and friends.
  • You can eat vegetables, fruits, whole wheat grains, olive oil, beans, nuts, legumes, and spices on a regular basis. 
  •  While fish and seafood are available around the Mediterranean Sea, you should not eat more than twice a week.
  • Poultry, eggs, cheese, yogurt Should not be part of your diet more than once a week.
  • Processed foods such as sweets and meats you should not eat more than once a month as per the Mediterranean diet.

Mediterranean Diet for weight loss

Many fitness experts think that the Mediterranean diet is one of the best diets for weight loss. People get fat because their lifestyle and eating habits are not good.

Mediterranean diets do not have any hard and fast rules like other diets such as ketogenic diets. In the keto diet, you have to limit yourself to 5 percent carbs of your overall calories intake.

But in the Mediterranean diet, there is no hard rule. The diet mainly focuses on creating good habits and eating healthy. 

In the diet pyramid, where we have to Be physically active and enjoy meals with others is at the bottom. That is one of the most important parts of the diet. 

Any person can lose weight and go to healthy weight levels using the Mediterranean diet, and it’s a lifestyle. [Source]

Remember: One condition to weight loss is that you should eat in a calorie deficit to lose weight.

Final thoughts

Even though there are thousands of different diets available in the whole world, there are only a few diets that promote a good lifestyle. 

The Mediterranean diet is one of them. There are no hard and fast rules in the Mediterranean diet. It does not limit you to specific food items, but It helps you promote good social life and insist you have an active physical lifestyle.

On the food pyramid chart, an active lifestyle and enjoying food with family and friends are at the bottom. At the top, you will find processed food items which are usually expensive, and not everyone can enjoy them. 

Can I have Soft drinks on a Mediterranean diet?

Yes, you can have soft drinks on a Mediterranean diet, but make sure that you are not having too much. Once a week is fine. The diet does not have any hard restrictions, such as a ketogenic diet. In a keto diet, you cannot have more than 5% of your total calorie intake from carbs. This limit of 5% carbs puts so many restrictions.

Can I gain muscle using a Mediterranean diet?

Yes, you can gain muscle easily using a Mediterranean diet. Not just muscle gain, but you can achieve any fitness goal using a Mediterranean diet. The diet includes a variety of food such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, chicken, and bread. Your muscle gains and overweight gain depend on your calorie intake. If you are eating in a calorie surplus, you will gain weight or muscle, and if you are eating in a calorie deficit, you will surely lose weight or muscle.

Can I lose weight with a Mediterranean diet?

Yes, you can easily lose weight using the Mediterranean diet. When we talk about weight loss, we focus on three things: the first is a workout, the second is a healthy diet, and the last is consistency. The Mediterranean diet includes healthy fats, vegetables, fruit, fish, and seafood for protein. You can create a diet plan according to your calorie expenditure and stay in deficit.

Can I eat ice cream on a Mediterranean diet?

Yes, you Can have ice cream even on a Mediterranean diet, But you should make sure that you are eating any Processed food in a limited amount. You can have anything you want, but the frequency of eating processed food should be rare. The Mediterranean diet is not about rules but creating a healthy lifestyle.