I am following a Mediterranean Diet!

Worried with my food consumption in the metro lately, so unhealthy!! 

When I was still in Davao I personally cooked my meals everyday. I would wake up early in the morning to prepare my breakfast and my baon for lunch.

Now in the metro I hardly eat nutritious food, except on weekends. I could no longer cook my own food in the morning because of the rush hour. In the evening, I'm too tired to think of cooking.

Fed up also with the environment in McKinley Hill because there's no available food stalls offering "lutong bahay"! I hate meat and all those oily stuff. I am more into fish and vegetables.

For the past ten years, I am carefully watching my food intake. I thoroughly discarded soft drinks and chocolates and cut back on meat. 

To compensate the lacking nutrients, I pumped my body with nuts and fruits, particularly grapes, avocado and Kiwi and continued my Mediterranean Diet which I started about seven years ago. 

Don't misinterpret the word dieting here, it doesn't mean trimming down hopelessly but just balancing meals to achieve the RDA (recommended dietary allowance).

So what's this Mediterranean Diet?

According to several articles on health news bulletin, most people around the Mediterranean region (Greece, Cyprus, Monaco, Slovenia etc.) have rare cases of cancer, obesity and cardiovascular diseases which baffled scientists for many decades because these people are known also to have large consumption of high fatty foods. Later this mystery was attributed to their eating habit which became the subject of many research studies and now widely recognized as a Mediterranean Diet.

Mediterranean Diet consists only of fruits, wholegrain, vegetables, olive oil and fish with minimal consumption  of
 dairy products and red meat. This eating habit helps reduce the risks of developing diabetes, obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer. It also prevents weight gain and promotes longevity.

According to a study conducted by Martinez-Gonzales et.al in Europe, "Substantial protection against diabetes can be obtained by following a Mediterranean Diet". This means that people should lower their dairy products and red meat consumption and concentrate more on monounsaturated fats, fruits, olive oil, fish, vegetables, legumes, nuts and cereals.

In the past years, a research study also revealed that women around the Mediterranean area have rare cases of developing breast cancer compared to women living in the United States where red meat and high fat intake are very popular.

Mediterranean Diet totally eliminates consuming processed food like hotdog, bacon, sausages, tocino and ham. Processed goods  are usually rich in carcinogenic elements, the catalysts of  cancer.

The idea of a Mediterranean diet is not to avoid fat consumption, in fact Mediterranean people are known to have high consumption of fatty foods, but just choose the type of fats.  Olive oil, canola oil or flaxseed oil are better than  palm oil, butter, lard or other hydrogenated fats.

Olive oil, avocado, canola oil, nuts, flaxseed are fatty foods but they are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that contain linolenic acid, a type of omega 3 fatty acid that protects people from coronary and heart diseases, cancer especially colorectal cancer and other illnesses. These foods are also rich in antioxidants which fight free radicals.

Foods composed of Mediterranean Diet:
  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Tuna
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Cereals
  • Whole Grain (whole wheat bread, black rice, red rice, brown rice)
  • Nuts
  • Olive Oil 
  • Avocado 
Mediterranean Diet Pyramid:
  • 25% Whole Grains
  • 25% Vegetables and Fruits
  • 20% Olive oil in variable amount
  • 20% Fish
  • 6% Poultry and Dairy products
  • 2% Sweets
  • 2% Meat
Benefits of Mediterranean Diet:
  • Rich in antioxidants that fight free-radicals, the primary cause of chronic illnesses and premature aging
  • Prevents heart and cardiovascular diseases
  • Reduces the risk of Cancer especially Breast and Colon cancers
  • Reduces the risks of Diabetes, Obesity and Chronic brochitis and emphysema
  • Protects from Alzheimer's disease
  • Improves life span and quality of life
  • Has anti-inflammatory properties
  • Promotes weight loss and healthy digestive tract
  • Helps resist depression
  • Improves digestion and prevents constipation 

Take a look on my Mediterranean Diet plan I created when I was still in Davao:

  • Brown or Black Rice
  • Broccoli and carrots cooked in Olive Oil with Garlic and Onions (or any other green leafy vegetables)
  • Green Tea with Honey
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Brown or Black Rice
  • Asparagus and Tofu cooked in *Olive Oil with Garlic, tomatoes and Onions
  • Fish 
  • Water melon or Banana
  • Carrot Juice or Kalamansi Juice
  • Whole Wheat Bread or one bowl of Oatmeal/Corn Flakes
  • Grapes
  • Almond Nuts
*Olive oil is a bit expensive, if you are not comfortable with the high price of olive oil, try to choose canola oil or flaxseed oil.

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