The Prasouda Diet, also known as the Mediterranean diet is the only diet recommended by the Mayo Clinic. There are no special diet pills, supplements, or ready-made foods. The Prasouda approach is as much a lifestyle as a diet, emphasizing moderate portions, exercise and these foods: fruits, vegetables, legumes, fish, meat in small amounts, and olive oil – lots of it!  It also includes nuts, grains, dairy products such as cheese and yogurt and the occasional glass of red wine. The Prasouda Diet is easy to follow and includes really delicious foods (and drink).

This diet is a lifestyle that emphasizes healthy food, exercise, good living and a moderate amount of wine.

Where did it come from? 

Although there are regional differences in cuisine within the Mediterranean region, there are basic similarities. Research reveals that residents in this part of the world tend to have low levels of heart disease, stroke, and long longevity. Recognizing the health benefits of diets from this area, the “Mediterranean or Prasouda” diet was born. According to the Mayo Clinic, a recent analysis of over 1.5 million healthy adults demonstrated that a Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of overall and cardiovascular mortality and reduced incidences of cancer, cancer mortality, as well as reduced incidence of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

Recommended Foods 

Meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy:  You should eat fish and poultry at least twice a week and red meat no more than a few times per month. Experts advise eating pasture raised or organic animal products rather than conventionally raised animal products, thus reducing the additives in your food. When choosing dairy, choose the low-fat options.

Olive oil and nuts: Other than animal products, olive oil and nuts make up the majority of the dietary fat intake in the Prasouda diet. They are high in unsaturated fats and low in saturated fat. Choose natural peanut butter as the other types contain added hydrogenated fat. Avoid candied nuts.

Fruits and vegetables: Nowadays, fruits are made with higher levels of sugars and often heavily sprayed with pesticides and other chemicals. Where possible, eat organic. If this isn’t possible due to cost or convenience or accessibility, thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables, especially those without skin that is peeled before eating. Aim for seven to 10 servings a day of veggies and fruits.

Grains:  Most modern grains are nutritionally weak and contain anti-nutrients such as glutenlectins, phytic acid, and enzyme inhibitorsTo remove or lessen these substances, throughly wash or soak your grains for a couple of hours before cooking.

Wine: The Mediterranean diet typically includes a moderate amount of wine. This means no more than 5 ounces (148 milliliters) of wine daily for women (or men over age 65), and no more than 10 ounces (296 milliliters) of wine daily for men under age 65.

What are the Benefits? 

Less Cardiovascular Disease: Following a healthy diet consisting largely of  vegetables, fruits and fish, low in saturated fats, lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. A diet high in fruits, vegetables and fish, with a moderate amount of lean meat can lower incidences of cardiovascular problems.

Healthy Lifestyle: This diet also helps protect against other diseases, such Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, obesity and diabetes which have also been linked to diets that are high in saturated fat.

Weight Loss: The Prasouda approach encourages you to fill up on veggies. As a lifestyle approach, it also requires regular exercise. By monitoring portions and eating fewer calories than you burn through exercise, you are more likely to lose weight on the diet.

Long Term Health: The Prasouda diet is easy to follow long term because it permits eating favorite foods and does not restrict any of the food groups.

Lowers LDL cholesterol levels: Olive oil is a significant part of this diet,  it lowers LDL cholesterol to help maintain heart health. High LDL cholesterol contributes to clogged blood vessels, which may lead to strokes and heart attacks.  

No preservatives:  Eating whole foods, rather than processed foods, can prevent the build up of chemical compounds, additives, preservatives and other toxic elements in your body.

Drawbacks

Weight Gain: The jury is out regarding whether most people lose weight on the Prasouda diet. In general, it does not have portion control, nor does it restrict any food groups. For weight loss, you will need to increase your exercise and make sure that you burn more calories than you ingest.

Pricey: Due to its emphasis on fresh, natural and organic ingredients, the Prasouda diet  can be pricey for those on a budget. There are many ways to reduce  cost, such as buying in bulk or choosing only foods that are on sale.

The Prasouda diet focuses on eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and legumes; fish, olive oil; nuts, wine and grains. Red meat is restricted to a few times per month. As a balanced diet, it is easy to follow and contains foods from every food group. It has been linked to lower incidences of diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and cancer. In addition to nutrition, it emphasizes the enjoyment of food – which may explain its growing popularity.