6 Surprisingly Easy Ways to Follow a Mediterranean Diet

6 Surprisingly Easy Ways to Follow a Mediterranean Diet

6 Surprisingly Easy Ways to Follow a Mediterranean Diet

We often associate the word “diet” with weight loss and strict eating habits. However, not all diets are meant for weight loss. The Mediterranean diet, for example is all about culture, cuisine and health. It’s not about restriction, but rather what’s in season and what works for your budget.

The main food groups of the Mediterranean diet include:

  • fresh produce – fruits and veggies.
  • healthy fats – nuts, avocados, olive oil.
  • whole grains.
  • fish.
  • lean dairy.
  • wine.
  • Legumes.

For thousands of years, the Mediterranean diet has been associated with better health. Researchers have shown that following the Mediterranean diet may lower your risk for heart disease, improve overall brain health and lower your overall risk for chronic disease and illness. It is also thought to help promote longevity, overall health and happiness.

Here’s how you can make the Mediterranean diet work for you on a daily basis. 

1. Make your grains whole.

Start with whole wheat bread, cereals, pasta and brown rice instead of white. Also, include plenty of ancient grains like quinoa, bulgar, buckwheat, amaranth, spelt, chia, etc. You can include these grains into a number of healthy meals or enjoy them on their own as a dish or side. Add them to veggie bowls, stir fries, soups, salads, pastas and more.

2. Eat more fish and veggies.

Fresh fish is a staple food in Mediterranean cooking. Choose fish instead of meat at least 3 times a week or opt for a meatless dinner and bulk up on grains, veggies, fruits and legumes. Fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, an essential nutrient needed for a number of healthy body functions. Choose fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, etc.

3. Ea the right kind of fats.

You don’t need to be afraid of fats, especially the healthy ones. Include nuts, seeds, oils, avocados and coconut oil as your fat sources. Limit your amount of trans and saturated fats and stick to the good ones. These fats can actually improve your health. However, as with all high caloric foods, eat within moderation.

4. Eat dairy.

Dairy products are a great source of health-boosting calcium, potassium and hunger-combating protein. Greek yogurt, is also a staple ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine, enjoyed throughout the entire day. It is incorporated into a number of delicious recipes, served with breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

5. Enjoy wine.

Enjoy wine in reasonable quantities with your meals, but know your limits. When you are not consuming wine, choose water and always avoid processed, sugary beverages.

6. Be picky about processed foods.

If you are prone to eating fried, fatty foods or pre-made meals, it’s time to change your eating habits. If the ingredient list takes longer than just a few seconds to read, throw it out. Instead, choose whole, real foods with only ingredients you recognize. If you must buy something packaged, make sure it contains 5 ingredients or less.

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