This Is Why The Mediterranean Diet Is So Famous!

The Mediterranean Diet

The promise: Delicious food that has stood the test of time and helps you stay healthy for years to come. It is at the heart of the traditional Mediterranean diet.

There is no single Mediterranean diet, but in general, you will eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, beans and nuts, healthy grains, fish, olive oil, small amounts of meat and dairy products, and red wine.

This lifestyle also encourages daily exercise, sharing meals with others, and enjoying it all.

What you can eat and what not

You will eat mostly plant-based foods, including fruits and vegetables, potatoes, whole wheat bread, beans, nuts, and seeds, You can eat yogurt, cheese, chicken, and eggs in small portions.

You should eat fish and shellfish at least twice a week. “Good” fats are approved: think olives, extra virgin olive oil, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and avocados instead of butter or margarine. You will use a lot of olive oil while cooking. Look for herbs and spices to add flavor.

Red wine is appreciated, in moderation (one glass for women, one or two for men). But water is your drink of choice.

The dessert is usually fruit. Sweets and red meat are fine from time to time.

Effort level: low to medium

It’s a tasty and good diet for you, although you may have a learning curve at first.

Limitations: few. The Mediterranean diet allows a lot of variety and experimentation.

Kitchen and Groceries – Make it simple by planning your meals in advance; Keep staples like olive oil, canned tomatoes, whole grains, pasta, and tuna on hand; and buy fresh produce and seafood a few times a week. You can easily grill or roast many foods in the Mediterranean diet.

Related Article: Apples: 7 seasonal varieties to discover

Snacks can be quick and easy too – grab a clementine or a handful of walnuts, or dip whole wheat pita chips in hummus.

Packaged foods or meals: None. The diet emphasizes fresh foods.

Face-to-face meetings: No.

Do you allow dietary restrictions or preferences?
Vegetarians and Vegans: Sticking to fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds is very easy for vegetarians. If you are vegan, you will have to skip dairy products.

Low sodium diet: You will depend on herbs and spices for flavor rather than salt, which is helpful if you are looking for a low sodium diet.

Low-fat diet: The Mediterranean diet is not considered a low-fat diet. But it’s low in saturated fat and meets the American Heart Association guidelines well.

Gluten-free: If you are avoiding gluten, you can choose gluten-free cereals.

What else do you need to know?

If you are looking for a long-term lifestyle change, this can be a fun and realistic way to do it. You can be creative, approach your food in a new way, and enjoy the foods you love in moderation.

Costs: None beyond your purchases.

Support: There are many books and articles online about the Mediterranean diet, but no official group.

What Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD Says:

Does it work?

No doubt. Years of research have shown that the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest out there.

To lose weight, keep it off for more than 6 months (preferably forever), exercise regularly, and monitor your portions.

Is it good for certain conditions?

This diet is important for the health and longevity of the heart. Studies suggest that it can make you less prone to heart disease, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, help you control diabetes, and help you avoid certain cancers and chronic diseases.

The last word

Research continues to show that the Mediterranean diet, based on healthy foods and physical activity, is the best recipe for long and healthy life. It’s a great, enjoyable, easy-to-follow, and flexible eating plan.

Even if you don’t follow the diet faithfully, just eating more of the plan, eating more leisurely, and being more active are big health goals.

Related Article: Apples: 7 seasonal varieties to discover

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