The best Mediterranean diet plan is one that emphasizes the consumption of healthy foods for the maintenance of overall health. This diet should include calorie reduction in order to facilitate weight loss, but allow for enough calorie intake for good body function. The best Mediterranean diet plan usually focuses on plant food sources, whole grains, and lower amounts of animal proteins. Dessert choices are usually fruit, while monounsaturated fat is the main fat source for those on this type of diet plan.
The diets of those who live in the Mediterranean vary. This is because there are many countries in the area around the Mediterranean Sea. Though the people who live in this area may not eat exactly the same diet, their choices do follow the same basic pattern, including plenty of plant foods, monounsaturated fat as the primary fat choice, and low-to-moderate amounts of meat, fish, and poultry. As no one Mediterranean diet is better than another for all people, many opt to follow a general Mediterranean diet that incorporates these food choices. If weight loss is the goal, an individual may choose to eat smaller meals, consume fewer calories, and exercise daily to meet his weight loss goals.
An effective, healthy Mediterranean diet plan should have a firm basis in plant food sources. An individual on this diet will usually eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Legumes and potatoes also make the list of menu items for someone on the Mediterranean diet.
Animal food sources are not a main focus of meals for someone on an optimal Mediterranean diet plan. A person on this diet plan does eat fish and poultry, however, keeping consumption of these protein sources to a low-to-moderate level. Red meats are even less prevalent in this diet. A person following a healthy Mediterranean diet consumes red meats only occasionally. Eggs, another source of animal protein, are typically limited to four or fewer per week.
An individual on the best Mediterranean diet plan usually consumes a moderate amount of dairy products, drinks at least some wine, and avoids saturated fat. The mainstay fat choice of a healthy Mediterranean diet is olive oil, which is considered a heart healthy alternative to the harmful saturated fats most people eat. Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat and helps to lower a person’s cholesterol levels. Other monounsaturated fat sources include canola oil, nuts, and avocados. The consumption of wine is part of the Mediterranean diet plan, though it is typically consumed along with meals and in moderation.