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Mediterranean Diet: Benefits, Food Plan, & Guidelines | Moms.com – Moms

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Diets can be extremely hard to follow and even harder to maintain once you get going. Counting calories is overwhelming and counting carbs can be even more frustrating. Some diets also miss the mark when it comes to healthy too and while they may help you to lose weight, they leave you hungry and unsatisfied at the end of the day and somewhat demoralized because you know it’s not sustainable.

There are a few diets that practice lifestyle change over everything else, don’t require you to go out and buy a ton of groceries that you have no interest in eating, and that are pretty easy to follow. The weight loss may not be as quick and drastic as if you counted calories or carbs, but it will be more long-lasting and the first step to changing the way you eat permanently.

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The Mediterranean diet is perfect for someone who is looking to transition to a healthier way of eating for multiple benefits that extend beyond weight loss. It’s most known for the benefits it has when it comes to heart health and reducing the chance of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. It’s also believed to reduce the chances of contracting certain types of cancer and the probability of contracting conditions like Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

There are also some mental health benefits that have been observed and the Mediterranean diet is believed to decrease disorders like depression and anxiety.

What Is the Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean diet is inspired by the way people in the Mediterranean eat but not so much now, rather in the past. Before starting a new eating regimen, you should speak with your doctor but the Mediterranean diet is considered pretty safe for almost everyone, including pregnant women!

What Are The Benefits Of The Mediterranean Diet?

It’s even been shown to lower a pregnant woman’s chances of getting gestational diabetes and give them odds of having a healthy weight gain during their pregnancy. The greatest thing about this diet is that while there are some foods that you shouldn’t be eating, there’s not a laundry list of them.

There’s also no long list of foods to buy that you have no desire to eat. Rather there are guidelines on which food groups you should eat from and you can buy the foods from those food groups that you like best.

What Can You Eat On The Mediterranean Diet?

Foods you can eat as much as you want Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, whole grain or whole wheat bread, brown rice, fish, and other seafood and extra virgin olive oil.

Foods you can eat in moderation – Poultry, eggs, cheese, and yogurt.

Foods you can eat occasionally – Red meat

Foods you can stay away from – Sugar-sweetened beverages, added sugars, processed meat, refined grains, refined oils and other highly processed foods.

It may not be clear but by looking at the food guidelines, you can see that the Mediterranean diet is more plant-based than meat-based. You should mostly be drinking water but coffee and tea are fine to drink as well. You should make sure that you don’t dump a ton of artificial sweeteners or sugar in them.

If you must sweeten your coffee or tea or if you have a craving for something sweet, honey is completely okay for this diet and can even be drizzled over yogurt for a snack!

Mediterranean Diet

Credit: iStock

Can You Drink On The Mediterranean Diet

Most eating plans will discourage drinking but the great thing about the Mediterranean diet is that it allows a glass of wine a day for women and two for men. A glass of wine is 5 ounces though and should be properly measured instead of free poured. The hardest part about this diet will probably be giving up unhealthy snacking but that will most likely be the case with any diet.

When you first start it, this will be difficult but once you get the hang of it, these changes will become a part of your daily life. The more you feed your body certain types of food, the more it starts to crave them and before you know it, you’ll be thinking about munching on carrots and hummus instead of your traditional bag of chips.

What Are The Benefits Of The Mediterranean Diet?

In addition to the numerous health benefits, this diet also just makes you feel better. It’s rich in fiber so it will help to keep your cholesterol low and keep you regular. The vegetables and fruits that you’d be eating are full of nutrients and vitamins that will not only keep you healthy but give you more energy.

Replacing your daily juice or soda habit with water will keep you hydrated which will also give you more energy and keep your hair and skin looking flawless.

Read Next: Everything You Need To Know About The Sirtfood Diet

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