Mediterranean diet: Doctor shares tasty recipes to help slimmers ‘maintain healthy weight’

This Morning: Dr Sara debunks Mediterranean diet claims

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Dr Poole often shares his extensive knowledge with others, explaining and celebrating Mediterranean ingredients which he has said “adds years to his life”. Entitled The Real Mediterranean Diet, the doctor has recently published a book containing all the information dieters need to start following the Mediterranean diet, including plenty of easy and tasty recipes for them to try at home.

Speaking about the Mediterranean diet with, Dr Poole described its benefits, saying that it is both advantageous for weight loss and general health.

He said the diet “sits beautifully in a position where it helps you to lose weight, helps you to maintain a normal weight, but also protects you from chronic diseases as you grow older”.

The Mediterranean diet’s secret, according to Dr Poole, is that “processed foods are very limited on the diet and it’s full of low glycemic index (GI) carbohydrates, which is really good”.

“When people talk about low carb diets, what they are really talking about are low GI carbs,” the doctor explained.

The GI rates carbohydrates according to how quickly they raise the glucose level of the blood.

Low GI foods prolong digestion due to their slow breakdown, which may help people feel fuller for longer and, consequently, lose weight.

Examples of low GI ingredients include soy products, beans, fruits, vegetables, milk, pasta, porridge, lentils, and, Dr Poole explained, wholegrains, such as brown bread and brown rice.

These foods are all part of the Mediterranean diet, as well as “fats, which are good fats, and, in particular, extra virgin olive oil”.

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In his book, Dr Poole goes into more detail about the science behind the Mediterranean diet, and also explains how it is not only a diet, but a lifestyle too.

In Mediterranean countries, a big part of the culture is to eat at the dinner table, slowly, with family.

This, according to Dr Poole, also contributes to weight loss as eating slowly slows down digestion and, consequently, makes people feel fuller for longer.

Below, has chosen our favourite recipes from Dr Poole’s new book.

Carne alla Pizzaiola (serves four)


320g of lean cuts of beef, chicken, pork or lamb

200ml chopped tomatoes or passata with vegetable stock one clove of garlic

Mixed olives stones removed

Two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

Seasoning including Italian herbs such as oregano or rosemary, with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste

Grated parmesan or pecorino cheese


Pour the oil into a pan, add the minced garlic and let it brown.

Add the tomato sauce and a little water or stock, add salt and pepper.

Cook for 10 minutes over medium heat, add the slices of beef and olives, cover with a lid and cook the meat, turning the slices and adding the oregano.

Serve hot and with grated cheese, a sprig of basil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Enjoy your meal. Cooking time and amount of stock or added water will depend on the meat. Ensure chicken and pork in particular are fully cooked throughout.

Aubergine Flatbread (serves one)


For the flat bread

A quarter cup of whole wheat flour

One eighth cup of warm water

One tbps extra virgin olive oil

One eighth tsp dried or fresh wild thyme

Sprinkle of sea salt

For the toppings

Two pieces of baby aubergine

15g pomegranate seeds

One tbsp extra virgin olive oil

One tbsp pomegranate molasses

A quarter cup of fresh coriander leaves

Three cloves of garlic

A quarter tsp sea salt

One eighth tsp black pepper

Five cherry tomatoes


For the flat bread

Add the flour, salt, thyme and three-quarter tbsp extra virgin olive oil to a bowl and cut the fat into flour by rubbing it together.

Then add the water slowly and knead the dough until it comes together.

Add the rest of the extra virgin olive oil to a bowl and rest the dough covered for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough in a 1mm round.

Panfry the dough in a heated pan with extra virgin olive oil on both sides until crispy.

For the toppings

Char the aubergines on top of a gas stove or in the oven until the aubergine skin is charred.

Chop the coriander leaves and mince the garlic.

Peel the charred aubergines carefully and slice in half.

Slice the cherry tomatoes.

In a pan sweat the garlic and coriander in extra virgin olive oil with a bit of salt.

Season the tomatoes with salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil.

Season the aubergines with pomegranate molasses, extra virgin olive oil and salt.

Top the flat bread with all the topping and serve at room temperature.

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