A combination of Mediterranean Meal staples with regular mild exercise can help liver function and reduce the risk of fatty liver disease. Antioxidants, present in generous quantities in the Med Diet, also help reduce liver damage.
Macro nutrients in the Mediterranean Diet (protein, carbs and fat percentages) tend to be approximately 15:55:30. The macronutrients are obtained from whole grains, fresh fruits, legumes and beans, olive oil, and fatty fish, among others.
The Mediterranean Nutritionist recommends that you avoid disease-promoting foods such as: processed grains and cereals, butter and cream, meats such as beef, lamb and pork, foods with added sugars and all cooking oils except authentic extra virgin olive oil.
You can prepare delicious, quick and simple breakfast recipes using oatmeal, nuts, berries, Greek yogurt and other foods. Mix and match your own breakfast from the Mediterranean food pyramid. Subscribe to the Mediterranean Nutritionist for 60+ recipes and diet charts to add variety and give you great breakfast ideas.
Studies have shown that the risk of cancer is reduced if you avoid red meats, alcohol, added sugars and refined, processed grains. The Mediterranean Nutritionist modifies meal plans so that you can protect against cancer risk by eating delicious cancer-fighting foods, daily.
Dark chocolate should be added to the Mediterranean Diet for its salutary effect on blood flow and lowering blood pressure. This sinfully delicious snack can be a staple on your version of the Mediterranean Diet.
Use the Mediterranean Diet as a guide for what to eat. Lose weight, healthfully, by upping daily exercise and eating a portion controlled Mediterranean diet plan. Load up on lower calorie fruit and vegetables and drink lots of calorie-free liquids. Eat less calories and exercise more and you will lose weight.
The Mediterranean Diet is less acidic than the typical American diet which is healthier for kidney function. The diet is also low in animal protein, a known stressor of kidney function. Combined with positive effects on blood pressure, inflammation, and cholesterol levels, the Med Diet does have beneficial results on preventing and treating kidney disease.
The Mediterranean Diet naturally helps reduce bad cholesterol levels with foods rich in fiber. These foods include whole grains, seeds and nuts.
By greatly reducing intake of refined sugars, trans and saturated fats as well as red meat, and stressing the consumption of anti-inflammatory foods such as olive oil, nuts and fatty fish, the Mediterranean Nutritionist’s curated meal plans will keep you inflammation free.
The Mediterranean diet emphasizes anti-inflammatory foods with other substances that are known to counter the deposition of bad cholesterol, or LDL in the blood vessels. This reduces risk of a clot blocking blood flow to the heart and lowers the risk of a heart attack.
The Mediterranean Diet does not place any restrictions on the quantity of healthy whole foods you consume. However, Chia seeds, Flax seeds and olive oil should be eaten in judicious amounts as they are highly caloric. You gain weight by consuming more calories than you expend so get in your exercise.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, nearly all fish and shellfish contain trace amounts of elemental mercury. However, the EPA notes that mercury consumption should not be a health concern for most people. The people who should be most concerned with mercury in fish are pregnant women and small children. Fish with high levels of mercury can harm unborn babies and developing children. Therefore, eating fish low in mercury can be beneficial for pregnant women, nursing mothers, women who may become pregnant and children. Some of the most commonly eaten fish low in mercury include canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, catfish and shrimp. The FDA also notes that white albacore tuna has a higher mercury content than canned light tuna. Limit albacore tuna to one meal, or 6 ounces, per week.
Fish and shellfish concentrate mercury in their bodies, often in the form of methylmercury, a highly toxic organomercury compound. I suggest that you limit intake of the fish highest in mercury to a maximum of once per week. Pregnant and lactating women should avoid high mercury fish altogether.
Fish Highest in Mercury
King mackerel, Marlin, Orange Roughy, Shark, Swordfish, Tilefish (from the Gulf of Mexico), Tuna (Bigeye, Ahi), Bluefish and grouper: The National Resources Defense Council adds these to the list of those to avoid.
Fish with Lowest Mercury Levels
The Natural Resources Defense Council has a list of fish that contain the lowest levels of mercury. These include anchovies, catfish, flounder, hake, haddock, herring, salmon, trout, whitefish, pollock, mackerel, sardines and butterfish.
You can lose weight on ANY diet where you eat less calories and expend more. There are healthy diets for weight loss and unhealthy diets for weight loss. Watch your portions and calorie intake on the Mediterranean Diet and get your daily exercise in and YES, you will lose weight on this superbly healthy and delicious Mediterranean lifestyle.
NO! The problem is that that bottle of olive oil in your pantry, the one you bought for its purported health benefits and to help adhere to the much revered and seductive Mediterranean lifestyle, is most likely a scam. Authentic extra virgin olive oil, the kind that is truly a healing superfood, is hard to find in the marketplace. Seven out of 10 bottles of extra virgin olive oil sold in a U.S. supermarket were fake, according to a study performed by the UC Davis Olive Center. The lax regulatory environment has allowed large quantities of counterfeit olive oil to be labeled and sold as high-quality extra virgin. Use the Olive Oil Buying Tips (located in the DIET section) as a guide for buying authentic extra virgin olive oil.
Yes, but order your food plain and tell the chef to hold the salt. Bring a small container of your own olive oil and season food with oil and a sweet balsamic vinegar, citrus and hopefully the chef will use herbs and spices. NO FAST FOOD! Salad bars are a perfect option, just avoid any mayonnaise laden salads, pile on unprocessed greens, veggies and beans and dress with your homemade olive oil vinaigrette.
I emphasize moving away from poultry and meat and instead, choosing either plant protein or fish protein. This eating strategy forces you to expand your eating horizons and explore the vast array of healthier plant proteins Mother Nature has provided us. With these proteins choices you get bonus nutrients not found in animal meat. That said, the traditional Mediterranean diet does include a small amount of animal meat in moderation. That means meat in small portions and only a few times a month (think Asian food where small strips of meat flavor mounds of vegetables and rice).
The good news for all you carb lovers: Fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains are staples of this eating plan. This means that bread, pasta, rice, and couscous can be part of your daily food choices. Just be sure to choose the whole grain, healthy carbs such as whole grain pasta (yes, EAT pasta!), brown rice, oats, barley and don’t be afraid to try interesting ancient grains like farro and quinoa. Understand that carbs are not bad for you nor do they contribute to weight gain. In fact, healthy carbs are the staff of life. It is the highly processed carbohydrates combined with the gargantuan portion sizes we eat in this country that give carbs their bad rap.
I encourage you to try making time for preparing, delicious, healthful, home-cooked meals. There are plenty of tasty whole foods that you can whip up in minutes such as my tuna, tofu and cannellini bean salad recipe. Understand that the processed food manufacturers want you to think that the fastest way to prepare your dinner is by popping in the microwave expensive, prepackaged, highly processed meals. This is one reason why we are a country where diseases such as obesity, high blood pressure and heart disease are epidemic. If the kitchen is definitely not in the cards, pick up fresh food from stores such as Whole Foods or you can always get a small plain sushi or shrimp and veggie hand roll for on-the-go.
Absolutely! Peanuts are a legume and you should be eating some type of legume everyday. Nut butters such as almond butter also make a great protein spread. A favorite, portable, on-the-go lunch sandwich: whole grain bread, sliced banana and peanut butter or almond butter spread.
Coffee is the number one source of antioxidants in the American diet. Just be sure to drink it black and unsweetened. If that’s not an option, flavor with soy milk and a calorie-free sweetener. Coffee is linked with preventing a host of diseases and disorders such as: heart failure, liver disease, liver and colorectal cancers, Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and premature death. And…a typical cup of black coffee only contains around 2 calories! Caveat: if you are caffeine sensitive-switch to decaffeinated.
Red wine is recommended at dinnertime because it contains large amounts of phytonutrients which are essential for good health. In addition, red wine has a high concentration of flavonoids—highly powerful disease-fighting antioxidants. The red wines with the highest concentration of flavonoids are cabernet sauvignon and pinot noir. If you cannot drink alcohol, try a glass of purple grape juice – it has some of the healthful ingredients found in red wine.
If you want to eat like a Mediterranean you need learn to cook and flavor your foods with lots of herbs (parsley, thyme, basil, rosemary, oregano, sage and cilantro); then add fresh garlic and lemon to everything… There are 3 condiments that a Mediterranean kitchen will always have: real lemon juice, oregano and garlic. Plus, of course, an authentic bottle of extra-virgin olive oil.