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Why Mediterranean Diet Recipes Make The Best Flat Belly Food

Tim Boyer's picture
Food made with Mediterranean Diet Recipe

A recent scientific study states that eating a Mediterranean diet can extend a person’s life by 2-3 years. It's healthy and using the Mediterranean diet recipes one can make the best flat belly food. In this article we will take a look at Mediterranean diet recipes and see what ingredients go into Mediterranean diet recipes and why they are so healthy.

An interest in the connection between flat belly foods and the Mediterranean diet was viewed in a recent episode of the Dr. Oz Show where Dr. Oz presented a number of his favorite flat belly foods that included olives, almonds, walnuts, red peppers and yogurt—all of which reside within the bottom third of the Mediterranean diet food pyramid and therefore are healthy choices toward achieving a flat belly.

Following a Mediterranean diet is much more than eating from Mediterranean diet recipes - it’s a heart healthy lifestyle that recent research shows can prolong your life an average of 2-3 years.

Why Mediterranean Diet Recipes Work

In a nutshell a Mediterranean diet is a healthy eating lifestyle that includes:

• Exercise
• Enjoying meals with friends and family
• Using herbs and spices to flavor foods rather than using salt
• Eating red meat no more than a few times a month
• Deriving your primary sources of protein from whole grains, nuts and legumes
• Eating primarily green leafy vegetables and fruits
• Eating fish and poultry a minimum of twice a week
• Drinking red wine in moderation—it’s not a “have-to,” but can make meals more enjoyable as well as benefit the heart

Multiple studies have shown that eating meals planned through following Mediterranean diet recipes is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and a reduced incidence of developing cognitive and neurological disorders such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.

Mediterranean Diet Origins
The Mediterranean diet gets its name from the fact that traditionally the people of Greece eat very little red meat, but lots of fruit and vegetables with some pasta and rice as their source of carbohydrates.

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As sources of protein they primarily consume grains, nuts and legumes. However, with the Mediterranean diet, this is no excuse to go nuts over nuts. While nuts are high in the good fats, they are also high in calories and should be present in Mediterranean diet recipes in significantly lesser amounts than grains and legumes. A handful of nuts a day is the general recommendation.

Whole grains are preferred due to the fact that they contain very little of the unhealthy trans fats. And, rather than using butter on their bread—another source of trans fats—bread is either eaten plain or dipped in olive oil. Olive oil is the primary source of fat in a Greek diet and is noted for its heart healthy monounsaturated fats that lower LDL cholesterol levels in the blood.

Fish—in particular fatty fish such as sardines, mackerel, lake trout, herring, salmon, and albacore tuna—are an important part of a Greek diet and in creating Mediterranean diet recipes. They are among the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

Mediterranean Diet Recipes

When considering what makes up a Mediterranean diet recipe, however, it does not mean that you have to find an encyclopedic history of Greece and traditional Greek Mediterranean recipes - although, it is a nice idea if you have the time. Rather, part of the fun of eating is the creating and sharing of your own Mediterranean diet recipes using the basic foods described earlier.

For example, to create a healthful and delicious Mediterranean dish, give some thought to the ingredients you feel would complement each other and get experimenting. One possibility is to create your own Mediterranean salad.

A Mediterranean diet type of salad could include almost any combination of vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, sweet onions, and arugula with a touch of fresh basil. A mix of Dijon mustard with Balsamic vinegar, and of course - lots of olive oil, provides sensations that removes any need or taste for added salt. Add in some whole wheat bread or chickpeas for your grains and a moderate amount of small chunks of roasted, skinless chicken breast for added protein and texture to balance the softer vegetables. Follow your palate and the recommended ingredients and you will have a Mediterranean diet recipe that you can call your own.

Mediterranean Diet Lifestyle
And remember, a Mediterranean diet lifestyle is more than food—it’s about food with friends and family. Just as you are the company you keep, your Mediterranean diet is what you serve and share with others. Raise a glass of red wine if you are so inclined (no more than one glass for women, two for men) and celebrate a Mediterranean diet lifestyle with recipes and drink that will not only give you a lifetime of memories, but a long lifetime.

Image source of Mediterranean Diet Recipe: Wikipedia

Updated 6/2/2014