Mediterranean Diet Review

Balanced weight loss diet

Vital Stats

Full Name: The Mediterranean Diet

Origin: Greece and Southern Italy

Description: A diet that's high in fatcalories

Advertiser Links for Mediterranean Diet [what's this?]

Likes: Olive oil, whole grain pasta, fruits and vegetables, beans and nuts

Dislikes: Red meats, eggs, saturated fats

Looking for: People who want an excuse to eat nothing but Italian foods

Works Well With: Italian food

Full Review of the Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean weight loss diet has been the focus of much research over the past few years. This is due to the low incidence of serious disease and higher life-expectancy rates among the populations of Greece and southern Italy. As much as 40% of their daily calorie intake comes from fat, and yet they have a relatively low occurrence of cardiovascular disease, a pattern many researchers, nutritionists and scientists find very interesting.

The reason for the high fat intake is because much of their food contains or is cooked with olive oil. Olive oil is a fatty acid that doesn't have the cholesterol-raising effects of saturated fats (animal fats). Olive oil is also a great source of antioxidants and vitamins. Another difference is that instead of a lot of red meat, the Mediterranean diet includes fresh fish a few times each week. Fish is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help lower the risk of many chronic health conditions. Other food items that the Mediterranean diet embraces include whole wheat pastas, breads and grains, fruits and vegetables, nuts, legumes, poultry, cheese and yogurt and of course, wine.

At first glance, this high caloric intake from fat would seem to be a deterrent to weight loss - so how does this diet actually help you lose weight? Well the key to remember is that the Mediterranean diet restricts the intake of saturated fatty acids - fat that is highly prevalent in our American diet, and has been linked to obesity.

The Mediterranean diet is not a weight loss program per say, but more of a healthy, balanced eating plan. People that are overweight will be able to lose some weight on this diet, as they are embracing a healthier yet non-restrictive way of life. Those who are already small (but still want to lose a couple of pounds to squeeze into that little black dress) will probably not lose any weight on this diet. But the good news is, the diet is appropriate for a few weeks or for a lifetime - it's inexpensive and has delicious foods, so why not give it a shot?

Average weight loss: An average of 4-7 lbs. in first few weeks; 1-2 lbs. each subsequent week

Helpful Tips: Start worshiping olive oil!

Pros

Cons

Large variety of foods to eat

High caloric intake from fat

Health benefits greater than the American diet

Requires further research on the benefits of the diet (or if their lifestyle just plays a factor)

Helps to lower cholesterol

Weight loss not guaranteed