Be aware: this is only the goal of this diet, not necessarily its outcome. Results vary from person to person. Consult your doctor or dietician before starting this (or any other) diet.
The Mediterranean diet is based on traditional products from Greece, Italy, Spain, France and Portugal. Here, you should not think of pizzas or plates full of gyros, but rather of a diet with vegetables, fruit, fish, olive oil and so on.
You can compare this diet with other diets on the homepage.
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Although diets differ between Mediterranean countries, there are some similarities which can be seen as part of the Mediterranean diet:
When you are on the Mediterranean diet, the fats you eat mainly come from vegetable oils, nuts, fish and avocados. These products contain a lot of (healthy) unsaturated fats.
Products which contain a lot of (unhealthy) saturated or trans fats, such as (processed) meat, full dairy products, sweets and snacks, should be eaten less.
By eating more unsaturated fats, you can lower the cholesterol level in your blood, which can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, according to the Nutrition Centre.
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All products with carbohydrates have a GI value as an indicator of how fast the carbohydrates make your blood sugar rise. Carbohydrates in particular, but also the way they are prepared and the combination of foods, influence this rise. The Mediterranean diet contains more products with a low GI value than with a high one (read more about GI).
Fast carbs, like sugar, are absorbed quickly by your body and cause your blood sugar to rise quickly. Slow carbs are digested first and are therefore absorbed more slowly.
According to the Dutch Diabetes Fund, the Mediterranean diet is a good diet for people with diabetes, because it helps keep your blood sugar level stable. The fund notes that a Mediterranean diet is different from, for instance, pasta or pizza.
The (slow) carbohydrates you eat are slowly digested and absorbed by the body. This, according to the Diabetes Fund, ensures a more stable blood sugar level and helps with cardiovascular diseases.
According to Lindbergs’ version of the diet, the Mediterranean diet is suitable for people who get fat easily or who are already overweight. He wrote the books The Mediterranean Diet and The GI Mediterranean Diet. In the latter book the Mediterranean diet, especially the Greek diet, is combined with the GI diet.
Lindberg also wrote The Greek Doctor's Diet.
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Many different cookbooks have been written for the Mediterranean diet. For example: 500 Mediterranean Dishes or Heartily Mediterranean.
There is also a cookbook for people with diabetes: Mediterranean cuisine recipes and tips, cooking with diabetes.
Consult your doctor or dietician before starting this (or any) diet.
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As you see fit
The Mediterranean diet has been proven to be one of the best diets. It contains many healthy foodstuffs, which means that one gets enough vitamins, fibres, minerals and healthy fats, among other things. It also includes the fresh cooking and social element that goes with a healthy diet. So Best does ;-)
The Mediterranean diet is a very healthy diet. In this way you eat a lot of unprocessed pure fibre-rich products. These products are full of flavour and contain few additives. As a result satiety is reached more quickly and blood sugar levels remain more stable. However, I am in favour of using (a limited quantity of) full-fat dairy products.
As a dietician, I fully support the Mediterranean diet. Preference is given to fresh, nutritious products. The diet contains a lot of fibre, which ensures a long feeling of satiety. Side note: olive oil contains good fats but also many kilocalories, 1 tablespoon per person per day is sufficient.
A very good diet because you don't exclude products, but take good, quality, products that provide enough nutrients and satiety. This diet is rich in unsaturated fat, fiber, slow carbohydrates and vitamins.
With the professional help of a dietitian it should be easier to reach your goals. Please contact a dietician in your area or talk to a doctor before starting any diet.
Please take note that most diets do not have a scientific basis.
Consult your doctor or dietician before starting a diet, especially if you have a chronic condition like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, lung disease or kidney disease.
If you think you might have an eating disorder (like anorexia or bulimia), it is important to look for professional help. Contact your (house) doctor or find help elsewhere. Here you can find a list of several websites that can provide (online) help. These sites also provide information for people that know someone with an eating disorder.