Miami Mediterranean Diet

By Kim Droze & Susan Burke
eDiets  Managing Editor & Chief Nutritionist

eDiets  Mediterranean Diet can help you make healthy choices without sacrificing flavor or variety. 

Diets may come and go, but the super-tasty Mediterranean way of eating has remained steadfast for thousands of years, according to researchers who consider it the original, the best and the only way of eating you'll ever need for a longer, healthier life!

Yes, the Mediterranean Diet has long been touted as the world's healthiest eating regimen. And why not? You eat great -- and enjoy the occasional glass of wine -- while you ward off disease and trigger weight loss!

Rich in fresh, whole foods, the Mediterranean way of life favors quality over quantity. Follow it correctly and you'll take the time to savor your food, and find the time for daily heart-strengthening activity. The best part: You’ll keep your weight under control.

Follow the Mediterranean Diet and fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains and goat-milk cheeses become part of your daily diet. The traditional Mediterranean Diet also incorporates olives and olive oil -- instead of bad-fat butter -- nuts and seeds, legumes and dried beans and plenty of seafood!

For years, scientists have known that people who live in countries bordering the Mediterranean enjoy longer, healthier lives. Epidemiologists (scientists who study large populations) attribute much of this phenomenon to the traditional Mediterranean Diet . For nearly three decades, world-renowned cardiologist Dr. Michael Ozner has not only sworn by the Mediterranean Diet, prescribed it to many of his patients. Dr. Ozner recently put his love of the awesome eating plan into words. His best-selling Miami Mediterranean Diet serves up more than 200 gourmet recipes.

It’s almost as good as the new and exciting eDiets Mediterranean Diet plan.

You heard right. eDiets' Mediterranean Diet , the premiere website for health, wellness and happiness, now offers scrumptious New Mediterranean Diet plans personalized just for you! Your program will be based on the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid.

Your way of eating will look something like this:

Protein: Focus on fish as protein of choice. Fatty fish contain heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Eat a variety of fish a few times a week. Skinless poultry, nuts, seeds and whole grains also are sources of protein. If you like, eat lean beef, veal or lamb infrequently (two to three times per month) -- grilled is best. Limit egg yolks to about four weekly, including in cooking and baking.

Vegetables and Fruits: Include generous portions of greens and crunchy vegetables. Enjoy all types of fruit, always the best choice for dessert. Include beans and legumes, potatoes and other starchy vegetables.

Legumes and Dried Beans: Meat-free meals including legumes and dried beans contain adequate protein, generous amounts of fiber, little saturated fat and no cholesterol.

Healthy Fats: Olive oil, canola oil, olives, seeds and nuts contain heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats; use olive and canola oil in place of butter and other vegetable oils.

Dairy: Emphasize low-fat and nonfat yogurt and cheese. If you prefer, include soy dairy substitutes, fortified with calcium and vitamin D. Choose unsweetened nonfat or low-fat soymilk, soy cheese and yogurt.

Alcohol: Moderate daily wine with meals is optional (unless you have a medical condition that prohibits alcohol, if you’re pregnant or nursing, or if you don’t currently drink). One drink is one 5 oz. glass of wine or 12 oz. beer, or 1 oz. shot of spirits; for men, maximum two drinks; for women, one drink.

The Mediterranean Way of Life -- and the Pyramid

The Mediterranean Diet Pyramid, presented by the Oldways Preservation Trust, represents the optimal, traditional Mediterranean Diet lifestyle, and is based on the traditions of Crete and southern Italy in the 1960s. The Mediterranean Diet Pyramid reflects the research carried out in 1993 and presented by professor Walter Willet of Harvard University’s School of Public Health and Medical School during the 1993 International Conference on the Diets of the Mediterranean, held in Cambridge, Mass.

In the Lyon Heart Study, published in the February 1999 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers wrote that heart-attack victims who adopted a Mediterranean-type diet reduced their risk of a second heart attack by 50 to 70 percent compared to those eating a "Western-type” diet.

The pyramid is a guide to healthy eating and effectively illustrates how often foods should be eaten and their importance in the diet. For example, red meat is positioned at the narrow top of the Mediterranean Diet pyramid, to be eaten infrequently. Just below are grouped other animal proteins -- fish, poultry, eggs and sweets -- to be eaten weekly or a few times weekly in the case of fish.

As the pyramid gets wider, it displays the foods that should be eaten daily – low-fat cheese and yogurt, olive oil, legumes, nuts and seeds, vegetables and fruits, whole grains, whole-grain breads and cereals and potatoes.

Supporting the base of the pyramid is daily physical activity. This is significant, because this illustrates the Mediterranean lifestyle and is not a “diet” per se.

Link up with the New Mediterranean Diet plan and let us do the hard work for you. All you have to do is fill out a free diet profile, then approve or exchange your weekly menu meals. After that, it’s easy as taking your eDiets-produced shopping list to the store and preparing scrumptious meals the whole family will love.

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