Sonoma Diet™


The Sonoma Diet™ is a weight loss diet based on the Mediterranean diet, but allows for a broader spectrum of foods to be consumed. "The Sonoma Diet" book and wine series emphasizes that eating is an activity to be enjoyed; it promotes portion control and careful selection of foods, but promises delicious recipes. The diet does not instruct its followers to avoid carbohydrates, healthy fats, or whole grains.
The Mediterranean diet is based on healthy eating and lifestyle habits of the people living in southern Italy, the Greek island of Crete, and other areas of Greece in the early 1960s. The Sonoma Diet™ uses the Mediterranean diet as a framework, but adapts the diet to include mostly American food choices.
The Mediterranean diet became a popular area of study due to observations made in the 1960s of low incidences of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and high cholesterol. Additionally, high life-expectancy rates exist among populations who consumed a traditional Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet gained much recognition and worldwide interest in the 1990s as a model for healthful eating. Riding the wave of interest in the Mediterranean diet, "The Sonoma Diet" bookwas published in 2005, at about the same time that American popular culture began to revere wines from this region of California.
The Sonoma Diet™ is rich in heart-healthy fiber and nutrients including omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. The diet generally includes: fruits, vegetables, and unsaturated "good" fats, particularly olive oil. Olive oil has been associated with benefits such as lower blood pressure and a lower risk for heart disease. In addition, olive oil may benefit people with type 2 diabetes.
The popularity of the Sonoma Diet™ rides on the trend of diets that encourage people to eat a balanced diet as recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Related Terms

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The Sonoma Diet™ advocates that individuals should eat primarily foods from the website and book series. This diet involves a lot of cooking from fresh ingredients. If readers deviate from the recipes endorsed by the Sonoma Diet™, it is suggested that they choose ingredients from a pre-approved list.
Lean meats, fresh vegetables, nuts, olive oil, and wine are the staples of the Sonoma Diet™.
Many of the foods advocated by the Sonoma Diet™ are also functional foods. Functional foods, also called nutraceuticals (a combination of the words "nutrition" and "pharmaceuticals"), are considered to be any food that possesses beneficial health and wellness properties beyond the well proven nutritional benefits a person might find on the food label. The supposed benefits of functional foods go beyond the dietary needs listed on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) food pyramid. The USDA defines functional food as "any food, modified food or food ingredient that provides structural, functional or health benefits, thus promoting optimal health, longevity and quality of life." Foods might inherently possess these supposedly beneficial qualities, or they may be fortified and/or genetically modified. A common example is yogurt, which often contains live bacterial cultures known as probiotics. These fermented foods are thought to promote a healthy environment in the body.
The Sonoma Diet takes place in three phases, which are called "Waves."
Wave 1: This 10-day period is designed to eliminate large amounts of sugars, refined flour products, and most junk food from the diet. Examples include products containing refined sugar, non-whole grains, and anything containing large amounts of hydrogenated or saturated fats. These foods are permanently eliminated from the diet. Other foods, such as fruit, are not eaten during this period but integrated back into the diet in later waves. People usually lose between two and five pounds during this period.
Wave 2: This wave is designed as the stage where the reader adopts habits of long term weight loss. During this time, individuals are encouraged to consume fruit, vegetables, fat-free yogurt, and moderate amounts of wine. Occasionally, individuals may consume honey or dark chocolate. People usually lose 0.5 to 1.5 pounds per week in this wave. The reader stays in this wave until he or she achieves his or her target weight loss goal.
Wave 3: The reader enters this stage when they have lost their target amount of weight. Occasional treats such as soda, butter, and dark chocolate are permitted.
All food eaten in the Sonoma Diet™ is subject to portion control. Recipes are geared towards a seven-inch plate and a two-cup bowl.
The Sonoma Diet™ endorses physical activity, though it is not stressed.
An individual abides by the Sonoma Diet™ through a variety of utilities available in the book and on the website. Meal planners, shopping lists, a weight tracker, and a food diary are also available through the website. Individuals who pay a fee too the Sonoma Diet™ website may participate in message boards and other aspects of an online community.