The Mediterranean Diet is named after the traditional diet of the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. It traditionally focuses on including a large amount of fruits and vegetables, and healthy, unsaturated fats like extra virgin olive oil. The diet rounds itself out with small portions of nuts and regular servings of oily fish, such as tuna, salmon and mackerel. It avoids red meat and other sources of saturated fat, such as butter.
Just understand that the menu at your local Italian restaurant is not the true Mediterranean diet. The diet is recommended by nutritionists to lower cholesterol, and it is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids which lower bad cholesterol. In addition, it promotes a healthier lifestyle overall, especially considering that the fresher the produce and fish, the better.
An apparent contradiction in the diet is that it can lower your weight, but the diet itself is high in fat.
The reason is that it matters greatly what kind of fat you have. Saturated fats and dietary cholesterol tend to increase your bloods cholesterol, whereas the polyunsaturated vegetable oils and fish oils that constitute much of the Mediterranean Diet tend to lower cholesterol. And finally, extra virgin olive oil is a monounsaturated oil. That makes it neutral in terms of cholesterol.
Oppose this with the typical American diet of red meat, starch, and deep-fried fats. Corn oil and corn products are about the most fattening forms of oils we can find on the planet. You need only consider that corn is used as a feed because it fattens livestock. If corn can put 1000 pounds on a cow, imagine what it can do for you! In addition, most of the American meats are beef, pork, and chicken, all of which are also the most saturated fatty meats.
Remember, much has to do with portions. The Mediterranean people often serve up many plates of healthy foods and recipes but rarely are they large in comparison to a western plate of food.
Pasta is often on the side of the plate and served with other vegetables or salad depending on which traditional recipe; not piled up and smothered in sauce as we see today in some restaurants.
It wasnt that long ago that no one knew of the the Mediterranean diet but now it is winning more converts every day, as more people discover that its a diet easy to stick to, since it tastes better than any other diet out there!
About the Author (text)Ray Darken is the author and he can provide more information from his down-loadable Mediterranean diet guide at http://www.safe-and-easy-weightloss.com or read more at http://www.the-mediterranean-diet.com