List of Foods for Mediterranean Diet and what it is?
In my previous articles I have explained what is a Ketogenic diet and Intermittent fasting and today I want to talk about one of the most popular diets in the world, Mediterranean diet. You have probably heard of this diet before, but if you are not sure what it is, keep reading and I will explain what Mediterranean diet is about and give you a List of Foods for Mediterranean Diet. I will also explain if this diet is healthy and good for weight loss and muscle growth.
What Mediterranean Diet is?
The Mediterranean incorporates traditional healthy living habits of people from countries like Spain, Greece, Italy, France and North Africa. This diet slightly varies by country and region, but it encourages eating unsaturated (healthy) fats like olives and olive oils, plenty of vegetables and fruits, fish and seafood, wholes grains and potatoes and of course glass of red wine for a dinner.
Is this diet healthy?
Many studies have shown that this diet can improve health and reduces the risk of heart attack, cardiovascular diseases and stroke, because it’s encouraging eating unsaturated (healthy) fats, plenty of seafood and plant-based foods which are very nutritious and full of vitamins and minerals.
This diet discouraging eating processed meats and foods, saturated and trans fat which increases the risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke diabetes and cancer.
Is this diet suitable for weight loss?
This diet is not perfect for weight loss, because it does include plenty of fruits, which have lots of sugar and are not ideal for weight loss. It also includes plenty of starchy products like bread and pasta, which are high in calories carbohydrates and these products are not ideal for weight loss too.
This diet is mainly made to improve health, heart condition and lifespan.
But there is always a solution and with a modification of this diet, it is definitely possible to live healthier and lose weight at the same time.
All we have to do is to change starchy food to whole grain food, like whole grain pasta and rice, wholemeal bread, change potatoes to sweet potatoes, and use more buckwheat instead of rice. Buckwheat has more protein and fewer carbohydrates than rice.
Try eating fewer fruit and more vegetables, especially green and leafy vegetables.
Drink plenty of water instead of juice and alcohol, because juice and alcohol are high in calories and sugars, drink tea and coffee without sugar. If you really need your tea or coffee to be sweet use natural Stevia sweetener.
Eat just lean red meat like beef, consume plenty of seafood and fish.
And last, but not least, count your daily calorie intake, which is very important too. Remember if you want to lose weight you have to consume fewer calories than you actually burn throughout the day. You should be targeting somewhere in-between 1300 – 1800 calories depending on your gender and activity level. Generally, women need fewer calories than men.
If you will follow these easy steps on how to modify your this diet, you will definitely lose weight.
Is this diet suitable for muscle growth?
This diet without a doubt is suitable for muscle growth and weight training. This diet includes lots of unsaturated (healthy fats), seafood which contains lots of protein, vegetables which are a great source of fibre and vitamins, whole grains and starchy food which are a great source of carbohydrates.
This diet includes all products and foods which are vital for muscle growth, the only few tweaks you have to do is increase your daily calorie intake. You have to consume more calories than you actually burn throughout the day. Your calorie goal could be somewhere in-between 2000 – 3500 depending on your weight and gender.
Try to eat at least 1 gram of protein per 1 kilogram of your body weight and consume enough good fats (around 70 grams per day) and enough carbohydrates to keep your energy levels high.
List of Foods for the Mediterranean diet
Vegetables. Should be fresh, seasonal and as local as possible to get most nutrients out of them. You have to eat plenty of vegetables on this diet. This diet includes these vegetables:
- Green beans
- Sweet potatoes
Fruits. Citrus fruits are one of the main antioxidants in this diet, but be careful with fruits as they contain lots of sugar. This diet includes these fruits:
Beans. This diet includes these beans:
- White beans
- Black beans
Herbs and Spices. This diet includes these herbs and spices:
- Sea salt
Meat and Poultry. This diet discourages eating lots of meat. Consume red meat in small amounts and have meat and poultry just a couple of times a week. This diet includes these meats and poultry:
Fish and Seafood. This diet highly encourages eating seafood and fish, mainly fatty fish should be used to get a good amount of protein and healthy omega3 fats. Occasionally canned fish and seafood can be used too. This diet includes these fish and seafood:
Dairy. This diet encourages full-fat dairy, but if you are trying to lose weight I recommend using low or zero fat dairy. This diet includes these dairy products:
- Mozzarella cheese
- Feta cheese
- Ricotta cheese
- Greek yoghurt
- Cottage cheese
Grains and Bread. Try eating wholemeal and whole grain products as they are healthier and better for both weight loss and muscle mass. This diet includes these grains and bread:
- Bread (preferably wholemeal)
- Pasta (preferably whole grain)
- Rice (preferably whole grain)
- Egg pasta
- Pita bread
Healthy Fat products and Nuts. This diet encourages using unsaturated (healthy) fats and good fats can actually help you to lose fat and gain muscle mass. This diet includes these fats and nuts:
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Sesame seeds
- Chia seeds
Drinks. Most important drink for this diet without a doubt is water and you should be aiming to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day, but it does encourage a glass of red wine daily as well. Red wine has plenty of antioxidants. However, if you are trying to lose weight or gain muscle mass I would not recommend drinking alcohol as they are high in calories and slows down muscle growth. This diet includes these drinks:
- Red wine
- Tea and Coffee (preferable without sugar)
- Fresh juice
- this diet encourages eating unsaturated (healthy) fats like olives and olive oils, plenty of vegetables and fruits, fish and seafood, wholes grains and potatoes and of course glass of red wine for dinner.
- Many studies have shown that this diet can improve health and reduces risk of heart attack, heart diseases and stroke, because it is rich in plants, olive oil and seafood and low in meats and saturated fats.
- With a modified version of this diet will be possible to live healthier and lose weight at the same time.
- This diet without a doubt is suitable for muscle growth and weight training. Mediterranean
- Main these diet foods are fish, seafood, beans, vegetables, unsaturated fats, grains and bread.
The diet was not created for weight loss, but most of the foods encouraged using by this diet are really good and healthy. Studies show that this diet has a positive effect on people health. With slight tweaks, this diet can be suitable and very effective for weight loss and muscle growth as well.
In this article, I gave you a full list of foods for this diet and by using these products you can modify this diet to your needs and goals very easily.
As always, if you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.
All the best,
Founder of ihealthylifestyle