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5 Secrets Of The Mediterranean Diet

For hundreds of years, the people of the Mediterranean have enjoyed health and long life on a diet of rich and delicious foods. Take France for instance, a country that doesn't know the meaning of the word diet yet has a rate of obesity less that 10%. Compare that to America, the most diet-crazed nation in the world, where obesity affects over a quarter of the population and continues to rise. Fortunately you can enjoy the same benefits of the Mediterranean Diet menu plan by following the 5 easy steps outlined below.

1. Eat real food

Many diets have you counting calories or calculating fat and carb ratios and not even thinking about the quality of the food you eat. We were meant to eat foods found in nature, not the laboratory. Artificial and refined foods confuse our body by filling us with empty calories and no real substance. As a result, our body make us eat more and more as it looks for the nutrition it needs and stores all of the excess calories as fat. Not a pretty picture.

2. Choose the right fats

Our body is very good at burning fat and storing only what it needs as long as we eat enough of the right fats. Ironically a low- or no-fat diet can send our body into panic mode and actually force it to store more fat than it burns. But not all fats are created equal. The saturated fats and hydrogenated oils found in most processed foods just clog our arteries and increase our risk of heart-disease. Heart-healthy fats and oils found in foods like olives, fish and nuts which dominate many Mediterranean Diet meals actually help regulate cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.

3. Slow down

How you eat is just as important as what you eat. When we wolf down our food we often eat past the point when we become full. This chronic overeating stresses our metabolism and pushes it into food-storage mode. Mediterranean Diet meals are designed to help us take our time and really enjoy our food. This stress-free approach to food helps our body use rather than store what we feed it.

4. Share a bottle

In addition to making a Mediterranean Diet meal more relaxing, enjoying a glass of wine with food and friends can actually be good for you. Studies show that a glass or two of wine a day helps maintain healthy levels of cholesterol and can reduce the risk of heart-attacks by 50%.

5. Take a walk

Long before gym memberships and Pilates classes, the people of the Mediterranean stayed healthy with a simple, moderately active lifestyle. Adding regular activity like walking, dancing or biking to the food choices and eating habits of the Mediterranean Diet menu plan will give you a healthy lifestyle that's fun and easy to maintain.

Submitted by:

Michael Fenwick

Michael Fenwick writes about weight loss, fitness and the lifestyle and cuisine of the Mediterranean at http://easymediterraneandiet.blogspot.com/, a popular blog for Mediterranean Diet tips, menu plans, free recipes and more.


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