The Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet is central to the YOU ARE WORTH IT PROGRAM and is the key to successful weight management and part of a healthy lifestyle.
The Mediterranean diet originated from research studies carried out in the early 1960s. It was found that in certain areas of the Mediterranean, especially in Crete, most of Greece and southern Italy, the adult population had low rates of heart disease, some forms of cancer, and other chronic diseases. It was also found that adult life expectancy in these areas was among the world’s highest.
These areas had similar dietary patterns with many common characteristics, consisting of the following:
- Plant foods such as fruit, vegetables, breads, potatoes, beans, nuts and seeds
- Fresh fruit for dessert daily, honey sweetened candies a few times per week
- Minimally processed foods
- Olive oil as the primary fat
- Dairy products such as yogurt and cheese daily in low to moderate amounts
- Fish and poultry in moderate amounts a few times a week
- Eggs up to four a week
- Red meat a few times a month
- A glass of wine daily with one meal
- Included with the diet was regular exercise working in the fields and in the home.
In those days there was no such thing as processed low fat products, no artificial sweeteners, less concern over fats, and yogurt was considered very odd in North America. Times change. There is now a movement away from low fat to high fat with some individuals advocating the use of saturated fats so it is important for you to personally understand the Mediterranean diet as it is the key to proper nutrition and weight loss in the YOU ARE WORTH IT PROGRAM.
In our case the Mediterranean diet starts out as a calorie reduction diet, then develops into a maintenance diet and finally becomes part of a healthy lifestyle.