What is Mediterranean Diet?

For many people following the Mediterranean Diet is not difficult. The foods in the Mediterranean Diet are readily available, healthy, and are probably already a part of at least one meal that people eat each day. The Mediterranean Diet is a diet focusing on whole grains, fresh produce, and limited quantities of animal food products.

Daily Foods
There are foods which should be eaten daily on the Mediterranean Diet. The largest food group in the Mediterranean Diet is whole grains, including whole grain breads, whole grain rice, whole grain pasta, Polenta couscous and potatoes.

The next most consumed foods on the Mediterranean Diet are fresh fruits and fresh vegetables. Nuts, seeds, beans and legumes are grouped with the fresh produce in the Mediterranean Diet.
Olive Oil is an important component of the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean Diet recognizes the body's need for fat. Olive oil is a monosaturated fat which will not raise cholesterol. This contributes to a healthy heart. Dairy is also part of the daily diet, as long as the dairy is low-fat cheese or low-fat yogurt. Full-fat dairy is not part of this diet. Wine in moderation is also an acceptable part of the Mediterranean diet.

Weekly Foods
The foods which may be consumed on a weekly basis include fish, chicken, eggs and sweets, in descending order.

Trying to Follow the Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean Diet is not so much a diet as it is a way to change your lifestyle and your eating habits. The Mediterranean food pyramid is probably closest in menus to my actual eating style, with a few minor exceptions.
As part of the Mediterranean Diet involves adding seafood to a weekly meal plan, I cannot completely commit to the Mediterranean diet. Having a seafood allergy makes it impossible to follow the Mediterranean diet and eat the required seafood.
Instead, I have tried to find foods which contain the health benefits of seafood, including foods with naturally high levels of Omega-3. I have also been seeking out foods with added Omega-3 including Ronzoni and Quaker Oatmeal.
The other part of the Mediterranean Diet which I find hard to follow is using olive oil. I have used Canola Oil for a long time. For an occasional splurge and when I can find it, I will use grapeseed oil. To me, many olive oils have a strong aftertaste which I find unpleasant.
I have started using an olive oil spray, which I find allows me to eat olive oil but not be overwhelmed with its flavor.
The most difficult part of following a diet similar to the Mediterranean Diet is not consuming red meat. For me, when I was single, it was much easier to make vegetarian dishes vegan dishes without eating red met for months at at time.

Because the males in the family like to have their meat at dinner, I have worked out some ways to still eat healthier, without having to cook more than one meal. With each meal I serve extra vegetables and fruit. I also find that with many dishes, including stuffed Manicotti, I can cook a meat sauce separately. This makes it easier to reduce how much red meat I eat. I have also been serving smaller portions of red meat to may family when I do cook read meat.
Another way that I have been transitioning my diet is that I have replaced the white rice products in the house with brown rice.
It was also pretty painless to switch all dairy products, including milk, from full fat to non-fat or low-fat dairy.
Stocking the cabinets with nuts instead of chips or salty snacks is another way that I have incorporated the Mediterranean diet in my house.

Overall, the principles underlying the Mediterranean diet are sound and can be used by anyone who would like to lose weight and be healthier. Compared to expensive diet pills and nutritional supplements, the Mediterranean Diet, or style of eating, is one that makes the most sense.