General Diet Plans and Questions - Mediterranean Diet?




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SJ1975
04-02-2013, 07:20 PM
Just wondering why the Mediterranean diet isn't more popular? Is it not worth doing? I know it's more of a way of life than an eating plan. However, everything I've read about it says that it's possibly the healthiest diet on earth. Also, it doesn't seem like you have to give up very much in terms of eating. Most other diets I've researced require that you give up or sacrifice different types of foods. I don't want to eliminate food groups from my diet. I want to eat healthy but I want options. The Mediterranean diet seems brimming with options.

So when I found this forum I was surprised that the Mediterranean forums aren't busy. Is there something I'm missing about the diet? Thanks!

SJ


Wannabeskinny
04-04-2013, 07:57 AM
I've grown up on the Mediterranean diet because I grew up living in the Mediterranean. It is by far the healthiest diet you can eat but just like anything else, you can over eat. To eat a truly mediterranean diet you have to eat less meat and more fish in general. You have to eat a lot a lot a lot of greens, including certain weeds. I've grown up eating boiled dandelions, swiss chard, grape leaves, and any other kind of bitter greens you can find. They're boiled simply and served drizzled with olive oil and a bit of lemon juice.

Olive oil is key. I never even had butter until we came to the US as a preteen.

Legumes are the main staple of protein. They are served almost daily I kid you not in the forms of soups mainly.

You can find out more about the mediterranean diet here. By the way, I consider only this to be the mediterranean diet, I really don't think Italy and Spain do a very good job of representing the mediterranean diet. http://www.olivetomato.com/mediterranean-diet-month-is-the-cretan-diet-the-real-mediterranean-diet/

nelie
04-04-2013, 09:44 AM
Hey, I grew up eating legumes daily (and still do)! :) It sound like a nice diet, other than I never liked fish.


geoblewis
04-04-2013, 10:36 AM
Part of the issue with the Med diet for modern Western people is that there is so much cooking from scratch involved. Modern Westerners just don't cook as much and don't eat the variety of foods that those from the Mediterranean. Residents of the Med that have slowly converted to eating more processed foods have more and more Western health problems.

Another reason the Med diet is also successful at maintaining a slim, healthy physique is that fasting is part of the actual, real life practice of it. There are several periods of time of the year when my people (Greeks) abstain from meats, grains, dairy and fats at times, or skip meals altogether.

The longevity of those who have traditionally enjoyed the Med diet also have other factors that contribute to their hearty constitutions. They work hard, they work as long as possible into their later years. They are also very connected with their community. And they practice moderation.

It's not all about the food.

Wannabeskinny
04-04-2013, 04:58 PM
Part of the issue with the Med diet for modern Western people is that there is so much cooking from scratch involved. Modern Westerners just don't cook as much and don't eat the variety of foods that those from the Mediterranean. Residents of the Med that have slowly converted to eating more processed foods have more and more Western health problems.

Another reason the Med diet is also successful at maintaining a slim, healthy physique is that fasting is part of the actual, real life practice of it. There are several periods of time of the year when my people (Greeks) abstain from meats, grains, dairy and fats at times, or skip meals altogether.

The longevity of those who have traditionally enjoyed the Med diet also have other factors that contribute to their hearty constitutions. They work hard, they work as long as possible into their later years. They are also very connected with their community. And they practice moderation.

It's not all about the food.

I'm of the same people :) But I haven't found that cooking is all that necessary. Boiling weeds, making a lentil soup and eating a paximadi aren't all that complicated to make. In general in crete the main meal of the day is around 1-2pm. Usually it's something like stewed green beans, always accompanied by bread, not much meat. Dinner is yogurt, or some cheese and bread, then some fruit. Dinners are very light normally. My grandparents worked all day long as farmers, not much time for cooking but the foods they ate were simple and quick to prepare. Fresh though.

IanG
04-04-2013, 05:04 PM
The problem I have with the Mediterranean diet is that while it is very healthy it just isn't very good for promoting weight loss. The emphasis on good fats and oils provides opportunities for way too much energy intake. I could eat all the oily fish in the world 'til the cows came home which would be great for my heart but not for my weight. I love sardines. I love olive oil. But that ain't gonna help me lose weight, just maintain it.

SJ1975
04-04-2013, 11:12 PM
Part of the issue with the Med diet for modern Western people is that there is so much cooking from scratch involved. Modern Westerners just don't cook as much and don't eat the variety of foods that those from the Mediterranean. Residents of the Med that have slowly converted to eating more processed foods have more and more Western health problems.

But isn't one of the keys to successful long-term weight loss the ability to make your own foods. I don't see how you could lose weight, keep it off for life, and be as healthy as possible by buying pre-packaged foods.

The problem I have with the Mediterranean diet is that while it is very healthy it just isn't very good for promoting weight loss. The emphasis on good fats and oils provides opportunities for way too much energy intake. I could eat all the oily fish in the world 'til the cows came home which would be great for my heart but not for my weight. I love sardines. I love olive oil. But that ain't gonna help me lose weight, just maintain it.

I understand that but isn't there opportunities for way too much energy intake in any diet? And fish prepared correctly is very low calorie. So I'm still not sure why there aren't more people aren't following this diet. It makes more sense to me than trying something potentially fatal like an Atkins diet or eating overly processed foods from Jenny Craig. I would imagine that a portion controlled Mediterranean based diet would allow you to lose weight just as easily as any other.

Wannabeskinny
04-05-2013, 07:31 AM
But isn't one of the keys to successful long-term weight loss the ability to make your own foods. I don't see how you could lose weight, keep it off for life, and be as healthy as possible by buying pre-packaged foods.



I understand that but isn't there opportunities for way too much energy intake in any diet? And fish prepared correctly is very low calorie. So I'm still not sure why there aren't more people aren't following this diet. It makes more sense to me than trying something potentially fatal like an Atkins diet or eating overly processed foods from Jenny Craig. I would imagine that a portion controlled Mediterranean based diet would allow you to lose weight just as easily as any other.

Actually I am starting to believe that less cooking is more healthy. I don't mean buy processed foods. However, I'm an avid cook. It's a passion! I have always bought cookbooks, learned french techniques, and have cooked a lot of food in my tiny kitchen. I even have a facebook page devoted to photos of my food. Every night when I cook something I take pictures of the whole process, the ingredients, the assembly, the procedure, the before and afters, the final version in the pot or out of the oven, and finally the plated version. I'm a wacko :carrot:

But I learned that complex cooking involves a lot of complex foods inlcuding lots of butters and cheese and oils etc. As I have learned to eat more paleo I find myself cooking less and less. I'm not making big lasagna's anymore that require lots of effort in cooking. Now I'm grilling a piece of chicken, steaming some broccoli and slicing up an apple. I'm not making a big risotto, instead I'm grilling a steak with a couple of asaparagus spears.

Likewise with the mediterranean diet, cooking is not long and prolonged unless it's a special holiday. Fast food takes on a whole new meaning. It's not a trip to McDonalds, but it's easy to boil a couple of eggs and eat a few nuts and fruit and that's mostly what my meals look like now. I do miss a good moussaka though.

Wannabeskinny
04-05-2013, 07:34 AM
The problem I have with the Mediterranean diet is that while it is very healthy it just isn't very good for promoting weight loss. The emphasis on good fats and oils provides opportunities for way too much energy intake. I could eat all the oily fish in the world 'til the cows came home which would be great for my heart but not for my weight. I love sardines. I love olive oil. But that ain't gonna help me lose weight, just maintain it.

Even oily fish is very low in calories, and it is extremely high in omega fatty acids. And it has been disproven many times over that fat makes you fat, it's actually the unproportional combination of fats and carbs that can lead to weight gain. Olive oil on a salad won't make you gain weight, in fact without fat your body cannot absorb the nutrients of that salad very well. A deep fried donut on the other is not good for you, even if it's fried in olive oil. Fat free dressings in a jar are a processed food, loaded with sugars and GMOs.

SJ1975
04-05-2013, 09:16 AM
Actually I am starting to believe that less cooking is more healthy.

I agree. You don't have to spend 4 hours a night in the kitchen making a meal. But with any DIY diet like Atkins, DASH, RAW Foods, Paleo, etc. you still have to prepare your own food. That's why I'm still not sure why the Mediterranean diet isn't more popular. You can make quick Mediterranean based meals as well. Super healthy fare that's low in calories, high in nutrients, and super-delicious. My wife and I have started the diet and we love it. I used to eat out a lot because of time restrictions but we made a schedule that allowed us time in our own kitchen and so far it's going smoothly. I would like to find a forum with people who are also doing the Mediterranean diet but most I've found are people trying to find "magic bullets" that will help them lose weight with no effort. I don't think something like that exists (nothing healthy, at least).

Wannabeskinny
04-05-2013, 10:53 AM
Wish I could help. Though I've grown up on the mediterranean diet and eat it at large, I've started to cut wheat out of my diet as well as reducing other grains and carbs as well. I feel healthier this way, I didn't know until I started cutting wheat out that I am quite sensitive to it. I can't say I'm doing paleo because I do include legumes in my diet and peanuts as well.

One thing the mediterranean diet does not include? CORN, it's just not a prominent grain where I'm from. Therefore, the beef and pork is grass fed, also healthier.

nelie
04-05-2013, 10:54 AM
I'm all for quick cooking. I have a rice cooker which I use to cook most of my grains and I have a pressure cooker which makes quick work of beans. I also have a microwave steamer that I use for steaming vegetables. I also cook leftovers so that I don't have to cook every night.

TripSwitch
04-05-2013, 11:29 AM
I would like to find a forum with people who are also doing the Mediterranean diet but most I've found are people trying to find "magic bullets" that will help them lose weight with no effort...

I'd imagine that most people who are really into a Mediterranean diet aren't spending much time in online forums... They're probably out enjoying the sunshine... :)

SJ1975
04-06-2013, 05:42 PM
I'd imagine that most people who are really into a Mediterranean diet aren't spending much time in online forums... They're probably out enjoying the sunshine...

That's true! Although where I live we haven't had a lot of sunshine lately :(. We're also looking for tips, ideas, recipes, and more that we can share with others. Kind of like a community with like minded folks. I thought about doing Paleo and there's a great site called Mark's Daily Apple that's got a thriving Paleo community. I wish there was something like that for the Mediterranean diet but so far I haven't been able to find it.

Wannabeskinny
04-07-2013, 07:24 AM
That's because the Mediterranean Diet is not a program or a fad diet. It hasn't been invented by someone. It's the food that is eaten by a certain group of people in a certain part of the world. It's like saying you want to follow the Asian diet or the Indian diet. Just because the word "diet" is in it does not mean it's a diet in the skewed sense of the word as we know it now. It's not a program or a scripture, it's a way of life. do you understand what I mean here? I'ts not "The Mediterranean Diet, Inc." You'll probably have more luck looking at a cooking forum where you can trade recipes with cooks who cook this way, not a weightloss forum. And if it's something that you are interested in this much then maybe you should start a blog of your own that addresses this very issue. Have you searched for blogs?

SJ1975
04-07-2013, 12:03 PM
I'ts not "The Mediterranean Diet, Inc." You'll probably have more luck looking at a cooking forum where you can trade recipes with cooks who cook this way, not a weightloss forum. And if it's something that you are interested in this much then maybe you should start a blog of your own that addresses this very issue. Have you searched for blogs?

It's so freakin' versatile I just figured that it would be a really popular weight loss option. So many diets I've seen are so restrictive and make you miserable that I still can't understand why the Mediterranean diet isn't more popular. I know that it's not necessarily a structured "diet plan" that you can follow like a blueprint (although there are options for this available) but I would think that you wouldn't want something structured you'd have to follow forever. I'm ready to lose weight and keep it off for life. I know that I may not drop weight as quickly with this diet as I might with other diets but it's a diet and lifestyle that I 'll be able to follow for the rest of my life (which will be longer thanks to the health benefits of the diet).

And there are some really neat blogs out there that I've found. One, for example, is the site you showed me (olivetomato.com) and oldwayspt.org is also a good site. However, this site is just so helpful with different types of diets I just wish there was more participation in the Mediterranean diet.

Wannabeskinny
04-08-2013, 06:47 AM
Well if you ever need any recipes and/or ideas you can pm me. This forum is set up strangely, there are so many categories and subcategories that it's hard to find anything that's not in big bold letters. Can you post a link to the mediterranean diet thread and I'll take a look and maybe join?

nelie
04-08-2013, 07:07 AM
There is a Mediterranean diet subforum
http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/sonoma-diet-mediterranean-diet-188/

We have thousands of active users which is why there are so many forums and sub forums.

SJ1975
04-08-2013, 04:11 PM
Thanks Nelie!

Can you post a link to the mediterranean diet thread and I'll take a look and maybe join?

When you visit the link you'll see that there's not much action going on in the Mediterranean diet sub-forum.

nelie
04-08-2013, 06:07 PM
yeah but maybe you can start some interest :)

SJ1975
04-08-2013, 06:46 PM
yeah but maybe you can start some interest

I'll do my best! :)

Wannabeskinny
04-09-2013, 07:51 AM
Thanks Nelie!



When you visit the link you'll see that there's not much action going on in the Mediterranean diet sub-forum.

You haven't posted anything. I won't do it for you, there's no discussion to participate in.

Lecomtes
04-10-2013, 07:23 PM
Easy answer IMO: Nobody is selling/marketing it aggressively/it doesn't seem like a "quick fix" to people. It is a very healthy way of eating, and certainly would certainly be conducive to weight loss as long as energy intake is still < energy output. I recall my OB recommending it to me, but what she didn't understand was that I was eating the right foods already, 3000+ calories of the right foods daily. :) I think it is tragic that people in the US are so overburdened by work and other obligations that cooking meals takes a backseat to convenience food. I live in the US, but my family comes from France. When I lived there, each meal (including the lunch hour) was leisure time, my mom literally used to pick us up from school for lunch. We in the US are in such a rush we tend to eat anxiously, without thinking. That's how I got to be anyhow. I hope you are able to find what you are looking for, I think probably many people trying to lose weight eat a very similar range of foods as recommended by the med. diet. :)

Wannabeskinny
04-11-2013, 08:12 AM
Easy answer IMO: Nobody is selling/marketing it aggressively/it doesn't seem like a "quick fix" to people. It is a very healthy way of eating, and certainly would certainly be conducive to weight loss as long as energy intake is still < energy output. I recall my OB recommending it to me, but what she didn't understand was that I was eating the right foods already, 3000+ calories of the right foods daily. :) I think it is tragic that people in the US are so overburdened by work and other obligations that cooking meals takes a backseat to convenience food. I live in the US, but my family comes from France. When I lived there, each meal (including the lunch hour) was leisure time, my mom literally used to pick us up from school for lunch. We in the US are in such a rush we tend to eat anxiously, without thinking. That's how I got to be anyhow. I hope you are able to find what you are looking for, I think probably many people trying to lose weight eat a very similar range of foods as recommended by the med. diet. :)

Have you read the book French Women Don't Get Fat? It's not really a diet book, it's written by the director of Vueve Cliquot (wine company) and it's basically a description as seen by her eyes of why french women seem to eat bread and cheese and wine and not gain weight. It was actually a very useful book to me, I have adopted a few of the practices, the most important one that I implemented in my life is to go food shopping every day. Here in America we all wait until the weekend, go to our local megasupermarket, have a coupon book full of coupons for convenience foods, and fill 2 grocery carts full of non-perishable foods.

Since I read that book I walk to the market every day and only buy groceries for that day. Today we're having beef stew? I go an pick up the beef fresh, the carrots and mushrooms fresh, fresh herbs, and a bottle of wine and come home. Each day is just like that. It makes me walk more, it helps me keep processed foods out of the house, and I avoid going to big supermarkets and prefer to visit local shops that specialize like butcher, fish monger, produce markets and health food shops. There's other practices as well, you might enjoy the book.

BigSky
04-12-2013, 03:50 PM
I agree with Ian. The MD is definitely healthy and has been shown to lower cardiovascular risks and improve health. But I have never seen anyone claiming to have switched to a Mediterranean Diet and losing 100 pounds. Being somewhat high in carbohydrates, this way of eating is probably best for more active people who burn a lot of calories during the day. I know I could never lose weight eating a starch based diet.