Do you familiar with the Mediterranean diet at all?
For those who have yet to understand how healthy it is, time to reconsider this plant-based focused diet.
As the name says, this traditional diet originated within the Mediterranean sea region and mainly consists of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, whole-grain, and olive oil as added fat. Protein sources are moderate which are generally poultry, fish, or other seafood.
In terms of macronutrient needs, it is accepted in terms of balancing nutrients it can provide daily for your body.
Can you lose weight on a Mediterranean diet? Which one is healthier – Keto or the Mediterranean diet?
Let’s find out more.
What Foods Are Not Allowed on The Mediterranean Diet?
This diet emphasizes using healthy unsaturated fats, especially olive oil which is the primary vegetable oil used in preparing many types of its servings. Other types of healthy fats are fish high in Omega-3 fatty acids, avocados, or nuts are widely used too.
In preparing Mediterranean-style dishes, we rarely see processed red meat (like hot dogs or bacon) due to the high content of sodium, heavily processed food (frozen meat, canned food, or refined olive oil), alcohol, and refined grains such as white bread or white pasta.
Although this diet is not completely restricted but tries not to overeat them for long-term health.
Can you use butter in any Mediterranean diet?
No, it is healthier to use unsaturated fats like olive oil (monounsaturated oil) in preparing a typical Mediterranean meal.
You should limit the use of butter or margarine because they contain higher saturated fat (7g) compared to olive oil with 2 grams per tablespoon. We know consuming high saturated fat has a bad impact on our heart health.
How much healthy fat should you take on a Mediterranean diet?
According to a report published by the National Library of Medicine(1), monounsaturated fats like olive oils help in reducing the bad ‘LDL’ cholesterol inside your body and preventing risks of heart attack or stroke.
Recommendations by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggested:
* your total fat consumption including mono and polyunsaturated fats should be no more than 25 – 30 percent of your daily calorie intake.
* if you are taking food sources with saturated fat or trans fat, aim for less than 10 percent of your total daily calorie intake. For example, if you are taking 2,000 calories a day, that’s roughly about 16 – 22 grams of fat a day.
Note: Food sources high in saturated fat are red meat, dairy products, cheese, and butter, while processed food mostly has trans fats content.
Speak with your doctor again for further advice.
Can You Eat Potatoes On The Mediterranean Diets?
Yes, you can add potatoes to your Mediterranean meals provided you are preparing them correctly. NO frying or using processed potatoes such as French fries or chips.
Potatoes contain antioxidants to fight diabetes(2) and heart-related issues(3), low in saturated fat which is used in the Mediterranean diet. Besides, the resistant starch content in potatoes is important in controlling blood sugar(4) and insulin activity.
They are also rich in fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin B6 and C although I sometimes considered them as ‘bad carbs’ in my diet, lol. Nevertheless, try sweet potatoes or white potatoes on this diet.
Can you eat chicken regularly on the Mediterranean diet?
You can eat any source of protein including chicken in a Mediterranean dish as long you are preparing it in healthier ways. Chicken lean meat such as the breast is best eaten without the skin either by grilling, baking, or, poached. No frying!
Eating chicken meat daily on a Mediterranean plate is still acceptable as long you are having it moderately, about 3 – 4 ounces per portion.
How can you get high protein on the Mediterranean diet?
You don’t have to rely on red meat for protein sources in your Mediterranean-style meals. If you want to cut down on eating less red meat, there are plenty of non-poultry protein sources you can get.
Plant-based protein options such as legumes (beans and lentils), nuts and seeds, vegetables (brussels sprouts or broccoli), whole grains (cooked quinoa), and, seafood (salmon fish, halibut, or tuna that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids) are high in protein too. Note: The fish should be from non-farm-raised sources.
These protein food sources are essential in making your Mediterranean meal and help to maintain your healthy weight for a longer period.
How Does A Typical Mediterranean Diet Breakfast Consists?
Normally a typical Mediterranean diet breakfast can be very light and quick to prepare.
The area of the Mediterranean region is vast and consists of many countries and territories such as the Southern European coastal nations, the Northern African nations, and also the Levantine coastal (Cyprus, Israel, Lebanon, Syria) stretching from north to south, all of which is surrounding the Mediterranean sea.
Thus, their typical type of diet breakfast can be varied. Apart from coffee, tea, or milk, their diet can be of fresh fruits and vegetables, soft cheese, hummus, eggs, fresh olives or olive oil, yogurt, whole wheat bread, beans, nuts, and, dates.
What are the typical Mediterranean diet lunches you can eat?
For a healthy Mediterranean diet lunch, you can focus on many ingredients such as lean meat, eggs, olive oil, fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, legumes, and fish.
Some popular simple and easy-to-prepare Mediterranean lunches are Chickpeas quinoa salad, Tuna spinach sandwiches, Shrimps avocado feta wraps, Lettuce wraps, Mediterranean pasta salad, Salmon pita sandwiches, and many more.
These are just some of the many recommended Mediterranean diets for your on-the-go lifestyle.
Can You Lose Weight On A Mediterranean Diet?
Yes, you can because this diet is typically focusing more on plant-based food such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains (quinoa, oats), beans, nuts, and seeds.
It is considered a healthier way of eating to lose weight. You can get help from your nutritionist to create a Mediterranean diet meal plan (sample graphic below) for your weight loss goal.
Although you can still take red meat in the Mediterranean diet, it is suggested to cut it down to about 2 – 3 times a month for the sake of getting an appropriate intake of protein and other important nutrients.
Plus, in this diet, the intake of sugar and processed food are greatly reduced as they are not the key ingredients in the Mediterranean diet food. This may get you to achieve a healthier weight.
Studies(5) had shown taking food rich in fiber may be beneficial in weight loss management. Mediterranean diet does fit into this as its food sources are high in fiber and other dietary nutrients helping in weight loss.
A sample of the Mediterranean diet weekly meal plan
What is the fastest way to lose weight on the Mediterranean diet?
The simple trick is to follow a few easy guidelines if you are into the Mediterranean diet for losing weight.
A Mediterranean diet always emphasizes fresh food and local products in its cuisine.
Just ensure that you are avoiding sugary foods and drinks, processed food, and unhealthy fat. In the Mediterranean diet food, olive oil is a good source of unsaturated fat in preparing its cuisine.
Don’t forget to consume more lean protein from plant-based proteins such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds.
Apart from the above, getting involved in more cardiovascular exercises not only helps to increase your metabolism for burning fat but also for healthier heartbeats, improving mental and memory.
Is Mediterranean Diet Bad For Your Health?
For non-vegans or vegetarians, this diet will limit your protein intake from animal products.
You are taking lesser red meat-rich protein sources in your diet which could potentially lead to iron nutrient deficiency. Besides, your body may also be lacking calcium minerals due to a low intake of dairy products.
Some people may easily gain weight as a result of taking nuts or olive oil than recommended on this diet.
Speak with your dietician or doctor before trying to adapt to this diet lifestyle.
Can Mediterranean Diet Help To Fight Inflammation?
Vitamin D, fiber, and Omega-3 fatty acid deficiencies are the known causes of infectious diseases and inflammation.
The good news is that Mediterranean diet foods have been proven to provide enormous essential sources of these important nutrients and improve healthy gut bacteria in the body. Its diet contains antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that have anti-inflammatory properties(6).
Thus, in terms of anti-inflammatory nutrition, the Mediterranean diet eating pattern is considered safe, and sustainable to help in fighting diseases, and importantly provides a base food foundation to ward-off crucial nutrient deficiencies.
Which One Is Healthier – Keto or Mediterranean Diet?
Both are popular diet meal plans, especially for weight loss programs.
A keto diet needs a dieter to drastically adjust their diet plan by consuming a high amount of fats, moderate protein, and low carbs (normally between 20 – 50 grams a day) in their diets. This may cause an imbalance in standard nutritional macronutrient values.
On the other side, the Mediterranean diet gives its dieter a more balanced eating pattern in their daily diet plans without any restriction on macronutrients.
One similarity between these two diets is they allow moderate consumption of protein and don’t restrict too much fat intake for dieters.
In my opinion, their main differences are Keto diet needs a high amount of unhealthy fat for burning energy to reach the ketosis stage, while the Mediterranean diet focuses on using plant-based healthy fats – olive oil.
A Mediterranean diet encourages you to avoid sugary foods although there are no restrictions. However, in the Keto diet, you are restricted to consuming food low in carbs to stay fit!
Overall, a Keto diet is a strict diet meal plan counting every gram of the macronutrients (carbs, fats, proteins). Compared to the other diet, the dieter need not worry too much as the Mediterranean diet is more like a food guideline telling you how to eat healthily without too many restrictions.
Which one do you think is ideal for your weight loss challenge? Speak with your doctor before deciding which one.
My Overall Conclusion: Can You Lose Weight On A Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet is widely considered one of the healthiest food sources helping to reduce the risk of heart-related diseases, and depression, and supporting healthy weight loss.
Its flexibility and accessibility of the foods make it one of the easiest forms of diet to follow and allow a glass of wine too.
Recently, the US News and World Report have voted for the Mediterranean diet as the best overall diet for 2022. This is already its fifth consecutive winning year!
Woohoo! Clap clap clap again!
This diet has very diverse foods and flavors although takes time to prepare them. However, thinking about the number of excellent health benefits it can give you in long run, it is worth a penny to try.
Do leave me a comment below if you have and I will be back within 24 hours.
To another Home Fitness success!
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