Do you want to lose weight, help your internal organs, avoid cancer and dementia and maybe kick those diabetes pills? Oh, and you get to drink the occasional glass of wine? The Mediterranean Diet has all of that and more.
The Mediterranean Diet is based on (you guessed it) the diet common to the people of the Mediterranean. That means lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, olive oil, seafood and, yes, red wine. The red meat, processed foods and sweets are kept to a minimum.
This is more of a “healthy living” diet than a “lose weight fast” diet. Several studies have shown that people following the Mediterranean Diet will lose weight and keep it off, though. People choose the Mediterranean Diet because of the positive association with reduced heart disease, cholesterol and blood pressure. The weight loss is more of a side benefit.
What can you eat on the Mediterranean Diet? The nonprofit group Oldways developed a modified food pyramid that gives a nice visual way to think about the meal plan. Notice that there are a lot of whole grains, nuts, legumes and beans, with red meat relegated to a tiny triangle of the pyramid labeled “less often” which can be tough for some people. Balancing that, the red wine is labeled “in moderation” which pleases a lot of us.
This is a good diet if you eat out often. It is not difficult to find menu items that conform to a Mediterranean eating style. The only issue is portion size. Once you learn how to push away from the table before the restaurant plate is empty, everything will be fine.
Additionally, the Mediterranean Diet recommends 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 days a week. This can mean a brisk walk or a swim, so no gym membership is necessary. Just find something that you enjoy that gets your blood pumping and your lungs working a bit.
With the Mediterranean Diet you can live a longer, healthier and more enjoyable life. Cheers!