What foods are not allowed in the Mediterranean diet?

In this article, we are going to discuss and answer the question “What foods are not allowed in the Mediterranean diet?”. I will also define the Mediterranean diet and the food allowed in it.

What foods are not allowed in the Mediterranean diet?

Some food to eliminate from the Mediterranean diet is mostly processed food and sugary food. 

Sugar 

Added sugar is limited in the Mediterranean diet. Foods such as chocolate, syrup, white sugar, brown sugar, ice cream, sodas, and candies are limited. Sugar consumption in excess causes inflammation in the body. 

Processed meat  

Processed meat is also eliminated from the Mediterranean diet. Processed meat is unhealthy and contains a lot of additives and preservatives some of which can cause some health issues and allergies. 

Processed meat contains any kind of meat that undergoes any processing. Some of these include processed sausages, hot dogs, deli meats, chicken or beef, beef jerky, or any meat that is not freshly cut. I would like to add that processed food contains some added carbs and sugar in them, and some even add artificial flavoring.

Fast food or highly processed food

These foods include food that is calorie-dense yet low in nutrients. Empty food is food that adds no nutritional value to your diet and only adds calories. Some of this food includes fast food like cheeseburgers, hamburgers, fries, ready-to-bake meals, bars, microwavable meals, and popcorn.

Processed oils

These oils undergo a chemical process of changing their chemical composition so they can tolerate high heat, but the effect of these oils on health is detrimental. Oils include  soybean oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil, and grapeseed oil. These oils stimulate the production of inflammatory substances called prostaglandins. 

Trans fat

Trans fat raises the bad cholesterol (the LDL cholesterol) and lowers the good cholesterol (the HDL cholesterol). Trans fat includes margarine and fried food. According to the American Heart Association, trans fat increases the risk of developing heart diseases and stroke. 

Refined grains 

Refined grains are grains that lose more than 80 percent of their fiber content. The body needs the fiber in the husk of these grains for normal bowel movements, digestion, and prevention of constipation. Upon the removal of fiber, the grains become refined and the low fiber in this food makes you more hungry compared to eating whole grain choices. Some of this food includes white bread, pasta, tortillas, chips, and crackers.

What is the Mediterranean diet?

The Mediterranean diet is a heart-healthy diet. It is a diet of the countries neighboring the Mediterranean sea. It includes Greece, Italy, and Spain. 

The interest in the diet began in the 1950s, heart diseases were not as common. Then with the prevalence of heart diseases and stroke with the rise of fast food and unhealthy eating habits the Mediterranean diet was encouraged. 

The Mediterranean diet focuses on plant-based food. These include whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, seeds, and olive oil. Olive oil is the basis of the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet focuses on whole grains and fiber consumption as well. 

Healthy fat is part of the Mediterranean diet. Seafood like fish, salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, and albacore tuna contains omega 3 fatty acids that are heart-healthy and good for your body. It reduces triglycerides, blood clotting, strokes, and heart diseases.  

The primary source of fat in the Mediterranean diet is olive oil. Olive oil is used in dishes and cooking. It lowers total cholesterol and LDL, the bad cholesterol. Another source of fat in the Mediterranean diet is seeds and nuts. 

Studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet promotes weight loss. It also prevents heart attacks, strokes, type 2 diabetes, and premature death according to this study.

Water is a beverage that is most consumed in the Mediterranean diet. Water is essential for the body, skin, and kidney function. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends a bit under 12 cups of water  (2.7 liters) a day for women , and a bit less than 16 cups of water (3.7 liters) a day for men.

Tea and coffee can also be consumed in moderation, and it is better to limit or avoid added sugar or creams. 

Conclusion

In this article, we discussed and answered the question “What foods are not allowed in the Mediterranean diet?”.I also defined the Mediterranean diet and the food allowed in it.

References  

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/5-studies-on-the-mediterranean-diet

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29244059/

Trans Fats | American Heart Association

Mediterranean Diet 101: Meal Plan, Foods List, and Tips (healthline.com)

Mediterranean diet for heart health – Mayo Clinic

What was missing from this post which could have made it better?

Leave a Comment