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Diets » Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean Diet

Introduction: Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is a general term that refers to a variety of diets eaten by people who live in the Mediterranean Sea area. These diets can be quite varied, depending on the particular socio-economic, cultural, ethnic, traditional, and agricultural elements of a particular area or a population. In general, Mediterranean diets have some common elements including a focus on fruits, vegetables, breads and cereals. Dairy products, such as milk, and poultry and fish are eaten in small to moderate amounts and red meat is more eaten more rarely. Wine is also a part of the diet, used in small to moderate quantities. These diets also frequently include potatoes, beans, nuts and seeds. It is a common belief in the U.S. that a Mediterranean diet is a "heart healthy" diet. However, according to the American heart Association, Mediterranean diets may be close to the organization's dietary heart healthy diet guidelines, but do not match them exactly. Mediterranean diets are generally high in fat and can be high in calories, although much of this fat comes from olive oil, which does not elevate cholesterol levels as saturated fats from such sources as fatty red meats and animal fats do. In general, Mediterranean peoples eat far less saturated fat than the average American does.

When considering eating some form of a Mediterranean diet, it is important to remember that healthy diets and weight loss plans encourage the consumption of a wide variety of fresh foods from all the foods groups that are low in saturated fats and trans fats and added sugars. These foods include fresh fruit, vegetables, lean sources of protein, low fat-dairy products, whole grain carbohydrates, and healthy fats, including olive oil. For optimal health, eating plans should be combined with an overall healthy lifestyle and regular exercise. Any diet may have the potential to be harmful to some people, so consultation with a health care provider before starting any diet plan and exercise program is recommended.

Conditions Associated with Mediterranean Diet

Conditions associated with Mediterranean Diet include:

Foods Excluded Or Restricted From Mediterranean Diet

The following foods may be restricted or excluded from Mediterranean Diet:

  • Generally little red meat is eaten
  • Restrictions vary depending on specific diet

Foods Focused On For Mediterranean Diet

The following foods may be focused on as part of Mediterranean Diet:

Mediterranean Diet: Potential Risks Or Complications

The following are potential risks or complications of the diet (Mediterranean Diet):

  • May be high in calories
  • Consultation with your health care provider before starting any diet plan and exercise program is recommended

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  • Gluten Free Diet
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