What is the Mediterranean Diet?

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There is not a specific plan for this “diet”. It is more of a cooking style that is dominant in areas along the Mediterranean Sea. It is mostly an unprocessed and plant based diet that is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds. Most cooking is done with extra virgin olive oil. It also encourages fish, chicken, and dairy  several times a week. There is very little red meat.

The focus of this diet is not on the amount of fat consumed, but focuses on eating the healthier fats- unsaturated fats. This diet avoids the saturated and trans fats. This diet has been researched and proven to decrease LDL or “bad” cholesterol and to decrease risk of cardiovascular events. It is also high in omega-3 fatty acids (from the fish) which lower triglycerides. Like the DASH diet, it also encourages herbs and spices instead of salt to season food. Like I mentioned on the DASH diet post, EAT WHAT GROWS!

I really enjoy cooking and eating recipes that fit into the Mediterranean diet. I am not anti-GMO or all organic. I eat my fair share of goldfish and I drink a coke every now and then, but there is no doubt that I feel much better when I stick to the Mediterranean diet. I tend to have more energy and less heartburn.

Allrecipes.com is an excellent resource for recipes. Some of my family’s favorite meals have come from there and we cook them regularly. There is a section for the Mediterranean diet and there is a separate place for low cholesterol recipes. This site even allows you to print them out in 5″x3″ format to fit on your recipe index cards!

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