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The Mediterranean Diet - Rich Foods, Heart Healthy Weight Loss

written by: Summer Banks • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 10/7/2010

Losing weight is a struggle for many people. The Mediterranean Diet focuses on rich oils and healthy herbs to keep the dieter feeling fuller, longer.

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    Rich Foods

    The Mediterranean Diet encourages dieters to eat food rich in healthy fiber. Such diets include vegetables, fruits and products that contain un-saturated fats. This diet encourages the consumption of foods low in carbohydrates with an aim of lowering the dieter’s blood pressure, stored fats and risks that could lead to heart ailments and Type 2 diabetes.

    Although there are various versions of the Mediterranean Diet, general recommendations include the consumption of olive oil, which provides the body with monounsaturated oils. Monounsaturated oils have been known to guard the body against heart ailments. The diet also recommends that dieters drink two glasses of wine daily. As opposed to the Atkins diet, which proposes the consumption of more varied protein foods, the Mediterranean Diet’s main source of protein is fish. The diet emphasizes the dieters consume fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes as their main source of carbohydrates.

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    Heart Healthy Foods

    The Mediterranean Diet encourages dieters to eat modest amounts of red beef, pork, lamb or chicken. It also sets limits on how many dairy products a dieter can consume and encourages the dieters to season food with herbs, onions and garlic. The diet focuses on guiding dieters to eat foods with heart protective qualities. The food decreases the dieter’s risks of developing high blood pressure by reducing cholesterol levels in the body. The diet does this by combating inflammation in the blood vessels, and hence less chance of developing heart ailments.

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    Weight Loss Benefits

    The Mediterranean Diet has immense weight loss benefits. The monounsaturated fats available from the olive oil are linked to increased metabolic rate that in turn spurs weight loss. In addition, the Mediterranean Diet encourages dieters to take up regular exercise. This combined with the diet’s eating plan, ensures that people who have been struggling with weight problems finally find a healthy eating plan under which they can lose weight. The Mediterranean Diet plan takes six weeks but the dieter can decide to make it part of his or her daily life. Ideally, while following the Mediterranean Diet, the dieter should eat smaller meals more frequently rather than three larger meals a day. According to weight loss experts, frequent smaller meals control the blood sugar, keeping hunger at bay and eventually amounts to lesser food portions that the dieter eats at meal times.