Considered as the world’s best diet, a Mediterranean diet is a healthy eating plan based on Mediterranean style cooking. If you’re looking for a healthy diet plan, then it might be the right choice for you. Most of the diet plans are comprised of fruits and whole grains, but the Mediterranean diet incorporates healthy eating with a flavor of olive oil and sometimes a glass of red wine. This diet promotes weight loss and prevents heart attacks, stroke, Alzheimer, and type 2 diabetes. The eating pattern is similar to the people in countries on the border of the Mediterranean Sea. Reports suggest that the Mediterranean diet improves sleep quality and reduces cardiovascular disease.
Because of variations in countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, the exact foods belonging to the Mediterranean diet also varies. Most of the studies reveal that it is more of healthy plant foods and less of animal foods. Traditional Mediterranean diet includes whole grains, legumes, fish, and healthy fats.
Insertion: Because of variations in countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, the exact foods belonging to the Mediterranean diet also varies. Most of the studies reveal that it is more of healthy plant foods and less of animal foods. Traditional Mediterranean diet includes whole grains, legumes, fish, and healthy fats. Follow this link if you’d like to know what types of fats are healthy.
The basic food includes bread, herbs, spices, seeds, nuts, potatoes, seafood, and extra virgin olive oil. Foods that should be eaten in moderation include poultry, eggs, cheese, and yogurt. You should eat red meat very rarely. The unhealthy foods you need to avoid are added sugars (soda, candies, and ice cream), refined grains (white bread, pasta), trans fats (margarine and processed foods), refined oils (soybean oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil, etc.), and processed meat (hot dogs).
Though water is the go-to drink in the diet, a moderate amount of red wine is also acceptable. Other drinks that are acceptable include coffee, tea, and fruit juices. But, you should avoid sugar-sweetened beverages.
If you’re going to a restaurant for eating, you can still follow the Mediterranean diet by asking them to fry your food in extra virgin olive oil. Also, choose seafood in your main course. Try to avoid butter and eat only whole-grain beard.
Building a meal plan can be difficult especially if you’re new to it. We’ve made a sample plan which may be beneficial for you.
- Pan fried egg, whole-wheat toast, grilled tomatoes, 1 cup of greek yogurt, 1 cup of whole-grain oats with dates and unfiltered honey, raspberries, and scrambled eggs.
- Stewed zucchini, roasted chicken with a splash of olive oil and lemon juice, 1 cup of quinoa with bell peppers, roasted garbanzo beans with oregano and thyme, a warm salad comprising 2 cups of steamed kale and tomatoes, roasted anchovies in olive oil on whole-grain toast with a sprinkling of lemon juice, boiled white bean with spices, and whole-grain sandwich with grilled vegetables.
- Whole-grain pizza with tomato sauce and grilled vegetables, one roasted potato with olive oil, one-half cup of whole-grain pasta with tomato sauce, 2 cups of steamed spinach with a sprinkling of herbs, one boiled artichoke with olive oil, 2 cups of steamed kale with tomato, cucumber, and parmesan cheese, oven roasted vegetables (artichoke, carrot, and sweet potato), 1 cup of whole grain couscous, and a small portion of white fish.
- Whole fruits, nuts, dried fruits, yogurt, hummus with celery or carrot, and avocado on whole-grain toast.
Quit cooking food with vegetable oil and switch to healthy virgin olive oil. Olive oil improves the good type of cholesterol i.e. HDL cholesterol. The main source of protein in the Mediterranean diet is fish. Fishes like salmon, sardines, and mackerel are rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Other fish rich in protein are cod and tilapia.
Try to eat vegetable all-day-long and instead of having a meal in front of the TV, slow down and eat with your family to savor the dish and relieve the stress. Instead of deserts, eat traditionally produced cheese like feta or Pecorino Romano with cherries. Replace fast foods meals with home-made meals.
Consumption of dairy products in moderation can help in lowering the risk of diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. Stop buying unhealthy foods as it will only tempt you to eat it.
Following a Mediterranean diet requires dedication. It is all about making sustainable dietary changes. If you’re not feeling satisfied with the diet, talk to a dietitian for additional or alternative foods. It is more about lifestyle and not a diet. Additionally, you can Google about the recipes of the dishes in the Mediterranean diet. Don’t forget to include more water and less red wine in your diet. The dishes are really delicious if made properly.