The Mediterranean Diet - Your Questions Answered
The Mediterranean diet is full of great food and better results. We are here to answer any questions that you’ve got about the ancient system.
The Mediterranean diet has long been lauded for its superb results, and how impressively it combines all the things that nutritional experts have been recommending for years, now. In our article, we’re going to talk about what makes the Mediterranean diet great, and how you can adapt what you’re currently eating to fit this brilliant system.
What Foods are not Allowed on The Mediterranean Diet?
Generally speaking, there are five main types of food that you should avoid on the Mediterranean diet. We’re going to run through these groups now, but a general rule of thumb is that you should avoid eating any processed foods unless you’re the one doing the processing and cooking in your own home.
Firstly, you should really avoid eating refined grains. This includes white bread, white pasta, and pizza dough containing white flour. This is because wholewheat or multigrain versions of these same types of flours are much healthier - they have a lot more fiber, which has a superb effect on bowel health.
Refined oils should also be avoided, such as canola oil and soybean oil. The reason that you should give these foods a wide berth is that non-refined oils are simply much more healthy. They are typically non-saturated, which makes them more ideal for use in a healthy diet. Ideally, try to aim for extra virgin olive oil - it tastes great and is super healthy.
Foods with added sugars, such as pastries, sodas, and candies should also be avoided. The reasoning behind this is fairly obvious: having a lot of sugar in your diet greatly increases the number of calories that you’re eating, leading to weight gain. Furthermore, foods that have a lot of added sugar in them typically also include a lot of other additives, which are also bad for you. By avoiding foods with added sugar, you’re also avoiding those additives and increasing the overall healthiness of your diet.
Deli meats, hot dogs, or other processed meats are also off the table. Generally speaking, meats are actually quite healthy, and it’s just the processing that makes them unhealthy. For example, the thing that makes bacon extremely unhealthy is the smoking and seasoning which occurs during the manufacturing process, rather than an inherent quality of the meat itself, when eaten in moderation.
Finally, the last group to avoid is processed or packaged foods. As a rule of thumb, it’s good to avoid these foods wherever you might find them, but the Mediterranean diet expressly forbids it. These foods are processed and packed with all sorts of chemicals, which makes them very unhealthy.
What Do You Eat for Breakfast on a Mediterranean Diet?
Generally speaking, breakfasts that are good on the Mediterranean diet include a lot of protein and fresh fruit or veg. For example, we could recommend a healthy bowl of greek yogurt topped with some of your favorite fruits - berries are especially good, here. If you’d rather a hot breakfast, then you could go for a slice of whole-wheat toast topped with a pan-fried egg and some grilled tomatoes.
Breakfasts on the Mediterranean diet prioritize making sure that your meal is packed full of fresh veg and healthy protein. As long as you stick to that basic framework, you should be okay! To fill up a little more at breakfast time, we’d recommend adding a small handful of raw nuts to your breakfast - they’re very high in protein and can fill you up well for the coming day.
Is Peanut Butter Ok on The Mediterranean Diet?
Peanut butter is okay in a Mediterranean diet, but perhaps shouldn’t be eaten in particularly large quantities. We’d recommend having it as an ingredient in stews rather than as a filling in sandwiches.
Generally speaking, the Mediterranean diet is about distancing yourself from processed food and drink in order to cut out unhealthy additives. Therefore, if you do decide to continue to eat peanut butter on the Mediterranean diet, try to ensure you only buy very basic types which are typically only made from peanuts, and perhaps a little bit of salt.
Can You Lose Weight on The Mediterranean Diet?
You certainly can lose weight on the Mediterranean diet, that’s why a lot of people do it! This diet encourages you to eat a wide variety of nutrient-rich foods, and limit the number of processed foods and added sugars that you eat. That’s really great for losing weight, as you’re tipping the balance of your scales in favor of a more low-calorie diet.
One review of five studies found that the Mediterranean diet was as effective as other popular weight-loss diets (such as low carb diet for weight loss) resulting in up to twenty-two pounds of weight loss over a single year. Long-term adherence to the Mediterranean diet actually shows that you have a decreased risk of gaining weight and belly fat over the course of five years or more. What a good diet!
What is Bad About The Mediterranean Diet?
The list of things that are bad about this diet really isn’t very long. The two main things are alcohol and the challenge.
The Mediterranean diet allows for a small amount of alcohol as part of a balanced diet and drinking moderation. Studies have shown that this can be a healthy path to follow, provided you balance the alcohol intake with healthy food and lifestyle choices. Including alcohol in your diet may be a bad idea for some people - for example, if they are pregnant, or have a family history of addiction.
The Mediterranean diet encourages you to cut out processed foods, and that may be a difficult path to follow for certain people if they don’t enjoy cooking or lack a few skills in that area. If that’s the case, people may find that they have to learn to cook very quickly, which may make the whole diet a little overfacing.
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