Is The Mediterranean Diet Good For Weight Loss? 6 Things You Should Know

If there is one kind of diet which I recommend hands down for any weight loss adherent is the Mediterranean diet and for good reasons. The Mediterranean diet is not one of those fad diets which are only good for short-term weight loss. Above all, it's a way of eating which has many health benefits like reducing bad cholesterol levels(LDL), warding off heart attacks and strokes, lowering blood pressure, preventing diabetes and also acting as an anti-inflammatory agent. Following the Mediterranean nutrition plan will ensure long-term weight loss while providing your body with valuable nutrients like vitamins, minerals, lean protein and healthy fats.

The Mediterranean diet originates from Greece notably from the island of Crete but also finds its roots from Spain and Southern Italy. The primary aspects of this diet include but not limited to:

(1) High consumption of olive oil, unprocessed cereals, fruits, legumes, herbs and vegetables. Some of these common items include extra virgin olive oil cold pressed, capers, artichokes, asparagus, black olives, green olives, chickpeas, lentils, flax seeds, lemon juice, oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, balsamic vinegar, kidney beans, pinto beans, cannellini beans, black beans, blueberries, strawberries, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans and most wholegrains.

The Mediterranean diet advocate the regular use of olive oil which is a staple food with numerous health benefits. Contrary to popular belief whereby many people think that eating fats will make you fat, olive oil is actually good for losing weight. Due to its high oleic acid content which are monounsaturated fats, the good kind of fats your body needs for optimum bodily function, olive oil can promote weight loss. Monounsaturated fats are what is commonly known as essential fatty acids(EFAs) and EFAs are powerful antioxidants which can stimulate the release of your fat stores to be used up as energy leading ultimately to weight loss.

Olive oil is best used raw like on salads and dressings. If you use it for cooking, it's recommended to do some light stir frying as opposed to deep frying.

(2) Moderate to high intake of fish. Eating fish on a regular basis is highly recommended by nutritionists. Fish like salmon, sardines, anchovies and herring in particular are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids(EFAs) and promote cardiovascular health, reduce joint inflammation like arthritis, prevent macular degeneration, foster brain functions and offer many other health benefits. Fish is naturally low in calories and fat yet filling and satiating and makes a perfect weight loss superfood.

(3) Moderate intake of dairy products. Products like skim milk, feta cheese, cottage cheese and greek yogurt are very popular in the Mediterranean diet. These products have high-quality protein with lower fat than the traditional milk, cheese and yogurts and are ideal for weight loss.

(4) Moderate wine consumption. Red wine in particular is good for the heart when drinking regularly and moderately. The powerful antioxidants known as resveratrol are flavonoids which have been clinically proven to play a role in burning body fat and maintaining optimum weight loss.

(5) Low intake of meat and meat products. Saturated fats are drastically cut from your nutrition. Anyone on a weight loss diet should cut back on fatty meat products as not only are they bad for general health, they are also more packed with unwanted calories.

(6) Very limited use of processed meats. Some of them include bacon, ham, bologna, beef jerkey, sausage, hot dogs, pepperoni, salami, pancetta, prosciutto, chipolata and deli meat. Processed meats are high in sodium bad for weight loss due to water retention and also contain other unhealthy chemical additives like monosodium glutamate(MSG), sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite which can be carcinogenic and promote cancer notably sodium nitrite. It's important to know that processed meats in moderation and eating on rare occasions does not pose any problem for health and weight loss as compared to overindulgence.

While adhering to the Mediterranean diet, you should ensure you're exercising regularly as well for faster weight loss results. Depending on diet alone is not enough as you need to burn off excess calories but the Mediterranean diet coupled with a solid workout routine will bring long-term weight loss results you can be proud of.

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