What To Know About The Mediterranean Diet?
The Mediterranean diet began to be studied when scientists realized that people living in Italy, Greece and Spain had better hearts and were overall healthier than the rest of Europe. They studied everything these people did, and it all came down to this diet. The Mediterranean diet is not a diet in the typical sense, though- it’s a lifestyle. It includes both food aspects, but it also encourages one to be active! I’m here to show you the basics from the food point of view, to see what it is that makes southern Europeans so healthy!
1. Eating Lots Of Vegetables, Grains, And Fruit
Seems pretty common sense, but the Mediterranean diet emphasizes vegetables and fruit in your diet, and not just carrots and peas. Any vegetables will do, and you can come up with inventive ways of cooking them to make sure they don’t taste bland. Especially now in the summer, you can have a simple plate of slices tomatoes, drizzled with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, or even roasted vegetables if you want to change your usual barbecue menu. As for fruit, you can easily replace any dessert with a serving of your favorite. And remember, it’s cantaloupe season right now! So why not give that one a try to calm your sweet tooth with something healthy and natural?
The Mediterranean diet obviously includes things that generally grow in the Mediterranean area, and in this case there are a lot of grains. Choose whole grains to enjoy the full nutritional benefits- and yes, that includes whole grain bread, which you can dip in extra virgin olive oil or eat as it is.
2. Healthy Fats
Nuts are also highly regarded in the Mediterranean diet, as they contain healthy fats. Of course, they are high on calories, so they should be seen as a snack rather than a full meal, but do enjoy a handful of nuts every now and then to get all the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet!
And of course, a staple of the Mediterranean diet is olive oil. Try to buy organic extra virgin olive oil to get the full nutritional benefits. You can add it to salads, as it is or mixed with herbs, and you can even dip your bread in it before throwing it for a few minutes in the oven, on the way to crouton-heaven!
3. Treat Meat Differently
In the Mediterranean diet, red meat is eaten only a few times a month and even then in moderation. The Greeks for sure love their sea food, and if you want to be as healthy as they are you should love it too. They eat fish at least twice a week, but make sure it’s not fried or breaded, otherwise you will compensate the benefits with some nasty caloric bombs that bring little nutrition to your body. If you’re not that much into fish, you can replace red meat with poultry, as long as you make sure you don’t drown it in oil when you cook it.
TheMediterranean diet consists of a bit of dairy, but not too much, and usually low fat. So choose a Greek yogurt (I wonder why it’s called that way…) and feel free to add some fruit for a proper dessert!
5. Wine Not?
Of course I left my favorite part last.
The Mediterranean diet encourages drinking a bit of red Wine every day. Although this might seem like a fairy tale, it’s quite easy: red wine contains flavonoids, which are antioxidants. When you drink it is moderation, it can help your heart be healthier. So unless your doctor forbids any alcohol in your diet, do ry having a half glass of red wine with your dinner- it’s good for your healthy, and good for your soul!
Have you tried changing your lifestyle to that of the Mediterranean diet? How do you feel this has helped your health improve? Share your experience with us in the comments section below.