Is a Mediterranean diet right for you?

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Do you want to lose weight but just love eating good food? You are not alone. A lot of people struggle...

Do you want to lose weight but just love eating good food? You are not alone. A lot of people struggle to lose weight even when they try eating a special diet. However, studies show that people who eat a Mediterranean diet have a lower risk for heart disease and lose almost as much weight as people who follow a low-carb diet. This is because a Mediterranean diet is abundant in fresh fruits and vegetables, while low in saturated fats. When you eat Mediterranean, you can maintain a healthy heart while enjoying a larger variety of foods, including carbs, and still lose weight. Now that's a great deal!

Ready to lose weight while eating great? Start by understanding the basics of the Mediterranean diet.

  • Vegetables: Daily, eat between four and eight servings of vegetables that do not contain a lot of starch. This includes, but is not limited to, leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli and cauliflower), carrots, celery, cabbage and onions. Low-starch vegetables have a high-nutrient content and are low in calories.
  • Fruit: Canned or dried fruits are high in sugar and low in nutrients. Eat between two and four servings of fresh, whole fruit every day. Mix it up by eating fruits in a wide variety of colors and don't be afraid to try foreign fruit.
  • Dairy, nuts and legumes: Eat about one to three servings of low-fat dairy products, legumes and nuts. These foods can include almonds, walnuts, yogurt, mozzarella and cottage cheese.
  • Grains and starches: Your total whole grain and starchy serving intake should be between four to six servings per day. Try to eat grains that are completely whole, such as rice, whole oats or millet. Eat a variety of starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, corn and sweet peas.
  • Fish: Eat fish around three times per week, and try to focus on consuming oily, cold water fish such as salmon, sardines and herring. These types of fish are commonly eaten around the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Fats and oils: Add in servings of healthy fat at least four to six times per day. It may seem paradoxical, but eating healthy fats, such as monounsaturated fats, can actually promote weight loss and make you feel fuller throughout the day. Healthy fats can include olive oil, avocados and olives.
  • Alcohol: On a single day, women should limit alcohol to one drink and men to two drinks.

If you're thinking about switching to a Mediterranean diet, make sure to talk to your Atlanta-based doctor first. A doctor can make sure to help you adjust the Mediterranean diet based on your personal health history. But don't forget to stay healthy with regular fitness workouts too.

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