Mediterranean Food for Heart Healthy, Body Wise

Fresh Fish with Fixings

The Mediterranean diet is often touted for its health benefits and practical application as a long term weight maintenance method.  In conjunction with a short term weight loss diet that is either low carbohydrate or low fat, the Mediterranean is an effective and highly tasty way to keep weight off.  It is  an important component to lifestyle change as opposed to yo-yo dieting, and has the additional benefits of being heart-healthy, and good for the brain, including fighting symptoms of depression.  There is no component of suffering or self-deprivation in this type of diet. 

Instead, beautiful and fresh foods are combined in moderate portions to make inspiring foods that regularly tempt gastronomes.  There are some tips that help people who are just starting out as cooks, or just starting to test their Mediterranean dishes. 

Three things make the biggest part of the techniques that make Mediterranean food such nutritionally successful cuisine.  Olive oil is central to the cooking techniques, replacing animal fats and butter.  Vegetables, fresh, and in great variety, bring a range of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and the bulk that is necessary for the food to be satisfying, and the use of fish for omega-3 fatty acids, with poultry and beans making up the remainder of the protein. 

The addition of more vegetable servings than what is typical in the average American diet is also a method of portion control, limiting empty carbohydrates, adding bulk and fullness to the stomach, which helps with satiety faster, and making large portions of meat un-necessary, even undesirable.  The addition of whole grain breads, cereals, and pastas, and a glass of red wine each day completes the framework of this diet.  The cooking methods are simple, the groceries almost exclusively come from the periphery of the supermarket, and the results are delicious and amazingly satisfying, even to a gourmet palate.


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