You’ve heard me talking about the Mediterranean Diet many times.

For those of you who are not familiar with this diet, this is the modern nutritional recommendation, inspired by the traditional dietary patterns of Crete which expanded to the remaining parts of  Greece  and followed by most of the countries of Southern Europe.

The Mediterranean Diet, as it is called, actually is not a diet but it is a lifelong living style, the one our parents used to follow, without being aware of its benefits.

Although our dietary habits have changed significantly during the past years and have been influenced by the western lifestyle, the Mediterranean diet as it is defined below, is followed for health and weight loss by millions of people worldwide. Numerous scientific studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet protects against cardiovascular disease, diabetes and many other chronic diseases, while providing for loss and weight maintenance and good metabolic function.


You can see from the pyramid I made, what to eat. The pyramid is divided into three levels:

The quantity to be consumed depends on age, height, sex and level of activity of each individual. Based on this information we must regulate our calorie intake. The daily meals should be five: breakfast, 10 o’clock snack, lunch, afternoon snack and supper. It is common sense that if we take any amount greater than the calories we need this will increase our weight and less calories will help to reduce weight. For example, if we need 2,000 calories a day, that is where we should stop.Otherwise if we take 2500 calories a day, it doesn’t matter whether these calories are from protein or fat or carbohydrates, then we will gain ½ kilo a week fat or two kilos per month or 24 kilos a year!

The information provided is from the Medical School of the University of Athens who have set some dietary guidelines.They haves a standardized portion size which they call micro-serving and give us the multiples of which are to be consumed. A total of about 22 to 23 servings are to be consumed daily, in four or five meals. In a rough approximation, a serving equals one half of the portions as defined in the Greek market regulations (approximately half the quantity served in a Greek restaurant). So, one serving is equal to:

  • one slice of bread (25g)
  • 100 g potatoes
  • half a cup (i.e. 50-60 g) of cooked rice or pasta
  • a cup of raw leafy vegetables or half a cup of other vegetables, cooked or chopped (i.e. ~ 100 g of most vegetables)
  • one apple (80 g), one banana (60 g), one orange (100 g), 200 g of melon or watermelon, 30 g of grapes
  • one cup of milk or yogurt
  • 30 g of cheese
  • 1 egg
  • ~ 60 g of cooked lean meat or fish
  • one cup (i.e. 100 g) of cooked dried beans

Here is what this pyramid means:

The base of the pyramid has food which has to be consumed daily.

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes eating plenty of natural products such as cereals, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, milk and olive oil as the primary source of fat.


Vegetables: 6 micro-servings per day
Fruit: 3 micro-servings per day
Dairy products: milk, cheese, yogurt 2 micro-servings
daily
Olive Oil: main source of fat  (2 tablespoons per day)
Red wine: 1 (wine) glass per day for women and 2 for men
Water:   8 – 10 glasses per day


The central part is the food to be eaten a few times a week: white meat and fish and seafood are recommended in moderate amounts.  When cooking, salt must be used in moderation and  herbs and spices should be used to enhance the flavour.


Fish: 5-6 micro-servings per week
Poultry: 4 micro-servings per week
Potatoes: 3 micro-servings per week
Eggs: 3 micro-servings per week
Olives, legumes, and nuts: 3-4 micro-servings per week
Sweets: 3 micro-servings per week


At the top of the pyramid is red meat, i.e. beef, lamb or pork should be consumed about once every 10 days. Recommended: 4 micro-servings a month.

As you can see, olive oil is an integral part of Greek diet. We are the third largest producers after Spain and Italy but according to statistics of 2005 we are the top consumers: the per capita consumption of olive oil in Greece amounts to 26 liters per person per year.  Wikipedia

Οlive oil is the base of the Mediterranean diet, which is regarded to be the exemplar of correct and healthy diet and a factor of longevity. As much as olive oil may have substantial properties, we must not forget that it is rich in calories: 10 g has 90 calories οr 1 tbsp = 119 calories. Our parents used it generously, but they did not have the means to cook in a healthy way. Rather than frying food we can get a non-stick cookware and significantly reduce the amount of olive oil use and it is much better when we cook to add some uncooked olive oil on top. A teaspoon of olive oil once a day is enough to supply the nourishment that you might need and thus get from this humble kitchen oil.

Disclaimer:  I am not a dietitian or health care professional. My posts reflect my own personal experience.   I have visited a lot of dietitians in the past, so I have learned what to eat and what not to eat.  However, you should always consult a doctor before making any changes to your diet and exercise routine.

Breakfast:

1 glass of milk + 2 slices of bread with 1 teaspoon honey

Or 1 glass of milk + 1 cup cereals + 2 kiwis or ½ glass of grape fruit

Or 1 toast with 2 slices bread, 1 slice cheese, 1 thin slice of turkey + 1 cup orange juice

Morning Snack:

½ glass orange juice or 2 kiwis or 1 orange or 1 apple or 2 tangerines or 1 rusk with low fat cheese

Lunch:

Salad:

  • Any kind of green salad without limitation, such as lettuce, rocket, with herbs, spring onions etc.
  • Tomatoes with limitation

Or

  • Boiled vegetables
  • Add:  1 tablespoon olive oil per person

Main dish:

  • 1 medium fish + hot salad (4 courgettes  + 2 carrots with 1 tablespoon olive) oil and 1 slice of bread
  • or 1 steak, pork chop, or fillet + 1 slice bread
  • or 2 medium burgers + 1 cup mashed potatoes
  • Pasta + 3 tablespoons sauce, or
  • Ladera: stewed okra, green beans, gemista (stuffed tomatoes or peppers, spanakoryzo (spinach and rice) + 100 gr. feta + 2 slices bread
  • Or 120 grams chicken (without the skin) + ½ cup cooked orzo
  • Or legumes

Afternoon:

1 jelly or 1 ice cream 0% fat or 1 yoghurt with fruit or 1 yoghurt with 1 tablespoon honey (2 times a week) Or a handful of nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans etc.) not salted

Dinner:

  • 1 medium fish
  • Or 1 lean fillet
  • Or Caesar’s salad
  • Or Tuna Salad or tuna salad sandwich
  • or ½ toast + green salad
  • or 1 small omelet with mushrooms
  • or 1 souvlaki + salad + 1 slice bread
  • or 1 souvlaki with pita (no oil) and low fat tzatziki
  • or 1 cup of low fat milk + 3 tablespoons all bran and 1 fruit

Note:

You can switch lunch for dinner or morning snack with afternoon snack


On the top header of the blog there is a tab called Healthy Recipes from where you can choose recipes to cook.I shall update this regularly.

 

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!

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Χωρίς σχόλια on Eating healthier and losing weight following The Mediterranean Diet

  1. Ο/Η Peter G from Souvlaki For The Soul λέει:

    Very well said Ivy. In my new eating regime I aim for «up to» 15 different plant foods a day (including nuts).

  2. Ο/Η Ivy
    Twitter:
    λέει:

    Thank you so much for your lovely comments. Hope this post of mine will help others begin a healthy lifestyle as well.

  3. Ο/Η La Gourmande λέει:

    You are getting great advice by your dieteticians, Ivy.
    You could also try logging your food for a while. That's compatible with any eating style and that allows us to know better the nutrients of our food, and how our body reacts.
    When I cook dishes with multiple ingredients (everyday), I find it easier to use a scale and a measuring cup, and calclutate values exactly for each nutrient, than to use the complicated portion systems.
    That logging system helped me greatly as I had become a little … well, really huge, due to a spriral starting with bad mood, food binging (bulimia) and excess of inactivity.
    Now I am 25 kg lighter than last year, and I have seen that I had to increase my daily intake of 1000 cal a day (not overnight, not without exercize) to get in shape. The thing is whenever I log the ingredients I plan to use that day, that reminds me the obvious need of eating everything in moderation. If you take more olive oil… you have to eat less butter and that includes the butter in cakes, etc…
    I understand what you said in another post about the cooking passion that makes you over-eat. It's so tempting to make a blog carrying everyday gorgeous wedding cakes and Christmas dishes. Then you won't throw away, you will eat some everyday. My job is related to cooking, sometimes I even work in a bakery school that makes decadent cakes by the dozen… but there is a way to live it healthily. My blog was created as an extension of my online food log (on dailyburn), and it encourages me to cook and eat healthy… most days. You blog carries many healthy recipes too.

  4. […] when I posted the menu of what I usually eat, I mentioned the Tuna Salad Sandwich and Lettuce Salad with tuna, which I eat in the evenings.  I […]

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  8. […] those following the Mediterranean Diet, if you want to cut down the calories and avoid eating protein, after roasting the bread, you can […]

  9. […] analysis scale but I have inserted a widget in my post highlighting the benefits of following the Mediterranean Diet and just switch it to either English or Metric and see the […]

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  11. […] is one of our favourite desserts but being on the Mediterranean Diet, for a few months now, I didn’t want to make something loaded with calories and unfortunately […]

  12. […] would be a delicious dish for winter but with too many calories and not for diet.   Being on the Mediterranean Diet, I have been trying to incorporate more fish in our diet and have been trying new ways of cooking […]

  13. Ο/Η Cara λέει:

    Just wanted to share that I just returned from a vacation in Greece, we were there for a total of 11 nights. Typically, I always gain weight on my vacations, since I indulge more with my eating and don't get as much exercise. But I was very surprised to see that I did not gain any weight in Greece! I know I ate plenty of healthy, wholesome food, but, I felt that I was consuming enough bread and wine to counteract that. Ironically I see that those two items are at the base of your pyramid so I guess it wasn't too bad! Though I definitely consumed meat more often than your pyramid recommends, but being vacation and all, I guess that's ok :)

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  21. Ο/Η Larrys Rock λέει:

    I was asking before about what is Mediterranean diet? But time comes that it really helps me a lot especially I learned the right type of diet in an easy way.

  22. Ο/Η Kale λέει:

    This is perfectly shown, thank you so much for sharing a good diet.

  23. Ο/Η Jennifer λέει:

    Wonderful blog, Really you did a great job by posting this article. After reading this article I got idea about what to eat and what to not eat. Means a perfect idea about diet. Your blog helps me a lot to control my diet. Thanks for sharing such an informative post.

  24. Ο/Η ivyliac
    Twitter:
    λέει:

    Heni, don't worry about your kilos. It's much easier to lose weight at your age and I remember that I lost the pregnancy kilos quite easily without much effort.

  25. Ο/Η ivyliac
    Twitter:
    λέει:

    Don't get this wrong. Wine is not compulsory although a chemical in red wine (a form of estrogen) is believed to help reduce risk for heart disease. The substance, resveratrol, is highly concentrated in the skin of grapes and is abundant in red wine. However, what is recommended is not to exceed the consumption of one glass of wine for women and two glasses for men, daily.

  26. Ο/Η ivyliac
    Twitter:
    λέει:

    You are welcome. Glad if I can help in any way.

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