The Mediterranean recipes diet is one that has been adapted from the foods and recipes found in the 16 countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Many today think of Mediterranean food as the same as Greek food. Although Greek food is very much the same, the other bordering countries have had a large influence as well. Cooking methods grow out of a rural lifestyle where the vegetables, herbs, and other ingredients are locally grown by small farmers. Many herbs and greens that are gown in the wild are also used.
Olive and lemon trees which are two important parts of Mediterranean cooking grow well in the region. Locals use many herbs and spices such as garlic, oregano, mint, thyme, and basil in their preparation. Foods are kept as fresh as possible and those that are cooked are cooked very slowly with the freshest of ingredients giving flavors time to meld.
Red meat is eaten usually no more than once a month. Because the population is so close to the sea, fish is a mainstay in the diet. Fish along with organically produced cheeses, oils, fruits, nuts, grains, legumes, and vegetables are the basis of their diet. Water in large quantities is also regularly consumed and red wine is consumed in moderation. Sweets are usually consumed in the form of fruits which is lower in calories and much higher in fiber and nutrients than sugary pastries.
Because of the high use of vegetables and legumes and almost no saturated fat, heart disease is found much less often than in the US or other countries which diets are high in red meats and dairy. The New York Times and US News and World Report both reported on initial studies indicating a possible reduction in Alzheimer's disease in people following this type of diet.
Although I am not a proponent of "diets" per se, the Mediterranean Diet is really just a healthy eating plan using the freshest of ingredients, no saturated fat, almost no red meat, and little refined sugar. How could you possibly not lose weight using this type of "eating plan." In addition, the recipes are easy and usually take less than 20 minutes to prepare.