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Mediterranean Diet?

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Old 04-02-2013, 07:20 PM   #1
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Default Mediterranean Diet?

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!

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Old 04-04-2013, 07:57 AM   #2
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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/mediterra...erranean-diet/
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:44 AM   #3
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Hey, I grew up eating legumes daily (and still do)! It sound like a nice diet, other than I never liked fish.
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:36 AM   #4
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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.
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Old 04-04-2013, 04:58 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 04-04-2013, 05:04 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:12 PM   #7
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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.

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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.
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Old 04-05-2013, 07:31 AM   #8
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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

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.
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Old 04-05-2013, 07:34 AM   #9
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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.
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:16 AM   #10
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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).
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:53 AM   #11
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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.
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:54 AM   #12
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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.
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:29 AM   #13
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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...
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Old 04-06-2013, 05:42 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:24 AM   #15
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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?
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