Perhaps it’s time to change your eating habits and dive into a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, if you’re looking for a new diet plan, you found just the article.
When was the last time you cooked something for the first time? Do you ever feel like you’re always eating the same foods?
Today, we present you all the delicious, healthy and tempting sides of a Mediterranean Diet.
This healthy eating plan is not only perfect for those of you who want to lose some weight. Actually, it’s the right choice for those looking after their health and preserving their vitality.
Here’s why: a Mediterranean diet incorporates all the best components of good eating habits. Due to this, it’s beneficial for your health. To put it simply, it reduces the risk of heart disease by reducing the ‘’bad’’ cholesterol from your system.
But that’s not all. In addition, it is associated with prevention of other major diseases such as breast cancer, Parkinson’s and even Alzheimer’s.
Think I’m exaggerating? Wait until you hear what the essence of a Mediterranean Diet is.
Here are 10 ways to follow a Mediterranean Diet and look after your health.
1. Eat More Vegetables and Fruit
Table of Contents
- 1 1. Eat More Vegetables and Fruit
- 2 2. Eat Whole Grains and Nuts
- 3 3. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 4 4. Switch Your Proteins For Your Mediterranean Diet
- 5 5. Drink Lots of Water
- 6 6. Herbs Instead of Salt
- 7 7. Low-Fat Dairy
- 8 8. Say Goodbye to Industrial Sweets
- 9 9. Never Skip Your Breakfast
- 10 10. Share Your Food with Friends and Family
- 11 Final Thoughts
The base of the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid is the lovely nature’s products we all seem to forget about. Actually, Mediterranean diet will have you looking for the healthiest groceries you can think of.
However, it will also open a new door for you- the door of combining natural products into perfectly healthy and wonderful dishes.
Let’s start with vegetables. You should base all your meals around all kinds of vegetables you can lay your hand on. People of the Mediterranean countries, such as Greece, Croatia or Spain eat several portions of vegetables every day.
Here’s why: it’s the healthiest food there is. Firstly, almost all vegetable is low in fat and rich in protein. Next, it’s an important source of fiber and vitamins.
Moreover, none of them have cholesterol. In fact, vegetables are crucial for so many aspects of your health: digestion, eyesight, brain and heart functioning, vitality, skin, muscles and so much more. There’s not a bad side to these super healthy nature’s products.
Therefore, dig in and don’t look back. Vegetables are your new favorite food.
Fruit is the guilty pleasure of this diet. Even though it contains sugar, it’s natural and insignificant compared to health benefits fruit gives us.
Here’s the deal: fruit is essential for good blood pressure, reducing cholesterol, providing crucial vitamins, fiber and acids. Feel free to eat all your favorite fruit since it’s the only source of sugar you’ll eat if you follow your new meal plan.
And we all need some sugar.
To help you with the Mediterranean diet, you can follow the Mediterranean diet pyramid :
2. Eat Whole Grains and Nuts
Unrefined grains, or ‘’whole’’ grains are super healthy and give you the space to create some of the most interesting meals. Have you ever tried quinoa or barley?
If not, make sure to search for some amazing recipes you can enrich with these healthy grains. Whole wheat bread or brown rice as a side dish is a must in a Mediterranean diet.
You are allowed to try and consume all the other healthy grains such as corn, oats, couscous, and buckwheat. Feel free to make pancakes, pasta, bread and other pastry using all of the above.
Another fantastic category we’re about to explore is nuts. You should eat a handful of these nutritious, healthy and tasty little babies every day.
What are they good for? Let’s take a closer look.
We’ve got almonds, pistachios, walnuts, cashew nuts, peanuts, hazelnuts and so much more on the table. First of all, they are super nutritious. They provide protein and fiber, which is a major thing especially if you’re on a vegetarian or vegan diet.
In addition, nuts are filled with healthy fat, which is another major plus side. To top it all off, they make boring dishes taste better.
Still, make sure not to eat too many nuts and always look for the unsalted version. This way, you keep your body satisfied and healthy.
3. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
In order to cook your food just like the people of the Mediterranean, you can forget about butter, margarine, and grease. Instead, switch to the healthiest oil nature has given us: olive oil.
Extra virgin olive oil is a must for a full Mediterranean experience. But, what makes an olive oil extra virgin? Here’s what: it’s unrefined, of the highest quality and has less oleic acid that other oils.
Due to its monosaturated fat content, it reduces the risk of heart disease. There’s more: some studies show that it even reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s and preserves your brain functions and memory.
Therefore, make sure to stack up on extra virgin olive oil, the core of the Mediterranean diet. Use it to bake, grill, roast, and cook. It’s perfect for every combination. Also, it’s great on salads as a dressing, giving your vegetables an exotic twist.
4. Switch Your Proteins For Your Mediterranean Diet
We all know most protein is found in meat and we seem to be forgetting that not all meat is as good for you. The thing is, most people consume red meat and think it’s fine due to the protein intake.
Although red meat does contain proteins, it’s also full of saturated fat. In other words, it can raise your ‘’bad’’ cholesterol levels and cause some serious heart issues.
This is why most Mediterranean dishes focus on the healthier meat types. Primarily, you should eat fish once or twice a week. The best fish for a healthy diet is definitely tuna, salmon, trout, and herring. They give you omega 3 acids, proteins, vitamin D, selenium and much more.
Sounds great, right? This lowers the risk of a variety of diseases and conditions such as depression, Alzheimer’s, high blood pressure, ADHD, arthritis, and the list goes on. In addition, other seafood such as shrimp, lobster, clam or crab is very welcome from time to time.
Apart from fish, you could opt for poultry in a Mediterranean diet. Skinless chicken and turkey are a good choice to mix things up if you wish for a break from the fish.
They’re a good way to make your diet plan versatile and interesting.
5. Drink Lots of Water
Do we need to speak in favor of water? It’s the drink of all drinks and it should be your number one drink always and forever. Let’s dig deeper and see why water is the key to good health.
To begin with, water makes about 60% of our bodies. That means you need to keep your body hydrated so as to maintain the balance in your body. Due to this high percentage, water keeps everything working for you. First, it increases your energy and flushes out toxins.
Then, it boosts your immune system and your metabolic rate. Not to mention it promotes weight loss, keeps your digestive system up and running and is a true beauty elixir making your skin, hair, and nails strong and shiny.
A Mediterranean diet recommends you drink at least 8 glasses of pure, clear water every day, so as to keep your body up and running perfectly. Remove all the sugar drinks which are bad for your health.
Still, every once in a while you can treat yourself with a glass of red wine. It’s good for your blood pressure and your heart.
Make sure not to exaggerate with it. A glass of wine after a nice meal could be a healthy treat for you and your friends.
6. Herbs Instead of Salt
For many of us, salt is the primary and even the only, thing we use to season our food. Due to this, we often step over the recommended daily dosage of salt intake (which is about 5g).
Too much salt can lead to kidney problems, heart disease, and even stroke. Therefore, the Mediterranean diet recommends you spice things up using healthy herbs.
Instead of salt, try adding some rosemary, chili pepper, turmeric or parsley to your meals. They make a great addition to soups, stews, and salads. Also, try using ginger and cinnamon for a stronger flavor.
Not only do they taste good and give a new twist to your meals, they’re also extremely healthy. Mediterranean diet is sprinkled with oregano, basil, thyme, saffron and so much more nature’s best spices and herbs. Make sure to try them out and create a fun, healthy combination you’ll love.
The bottom line is, there’s nothing better than using the beautiful herbs nature has given us to season your new, creative dishes.
By adding only a few of these to your kitchen spices shell, gives you a variety of choices for every new meal you make. It will refresh your kitchen as well as your body.
7. Low-Fat Dairy
Dairy is good for you if you consume it in moderation. We’re not saying you should give it up completely, but pay attention to reducing your daily dairy intake. Therefore, be aware that the Mediterranean diet is lower in dairy and it should be consumed rarely and moderately.
Still, the dairy you do consume should be low-fat and healthy. It would be best if you eliminated whole milk, cheese, and ice-cream. Instead, choose a lighter version and keep in mind it should not be the focus of your dish. On the contrary, dairy should be served as a side dish or a light snack.
That brings us to Greek yogurt, which is packed with nutrients, has low sugar level and is creamy, sour and tasty. It’s a perfect snack and even better refreshing addition to a salad.
You can also eat feta cheese and make it a delicious addition to your meals. Most importantly, make sure to try a tzatziki sauce and feel the magic of the Greek cuisine.
8. Say Goodbye to Industrial Sweets
Even though it might seem impossible for some of you, it actually isn’t that hard to remove these white sugar containers out of your diet. If you just step back to think how much damage too much sugar can cause to your body, you might decide to stop consuming it all together.
First of all, too much sugar triggers weight gain. In addition, it gives you high blood pressure as well as other metabolic dysfunctions. Then, it feeds certain cancer cells, causes fatty liver disease, causes addiction and even damages your brain. Finally, sugar speeds up the aging process.
All things considered, a Mediterranean diet is not a sugar-supporter. Industrial sweets, candy, doughnuts, ice-cream, cookies, muffins and other tempting foods we like, need to be removed from the menu. Instead, you can satisfy your sugar cravings with nice portions of fruit and natural sweeteners.
9. Never Skip Your Breakfast
Kick start your day with a delicious, spicy, rich and yummy portion of vegetables, grains, fish and other fiber-rich food. This way, you’ll provide your body with the energy it needs to carry out the task before it.
Why is breakfast so important? Picture this: you’ve been sleeping for 8 hours and suddenly you need to get up, go to work and face the day. In addition, all the problems, stress and possible conflicts are about the hit you. In other words, your body starts to work very hard all of a sudden.
This is why a Mediterranean diet tells you to give energyand fuel to your body before doing anything else. In other words, treat yourself to a rich meal and make sure not to put your body through additional stress.
Finally, there’s one thing you need to remember: food is not about eating, it’s about being surrounded by loved ones.
What do we mean by that? It’s simple. Even though food is essential for pure survival, you should try adding another meaning to it. Use the time of day when you eat to gather as many people as possible and bond with those you love.
Food should be the cause but not the essence of your day. What is more, sharing food with others is a form of sharing your love for them.
With that being said, the Mediterranean diet recommends you always eat with your favorite group of people, whether it’s friends, family or coworkers. It will give you a new perspective on life and you’ll find joy in every new dish you prepare.
So there you have it guys, a diet that not only feeds the body but it feeds the soul as well.
A Mediterranean diet is definitely different and has a special charm to it. We hope you got the basics down: eat plenty of vegetables, whole grains, fruit, nuts, and fish.
Also, don’t eliminate fat. Simply find the healthy version of it. Besides this, use natural spices and extra virgin oil to keep your Mediterranean dishes super-healthy. And lastly, share your love for food with those you love.
Was this article helpful for your Mediterranean adventure? Do you have any thoughts about the Mediterranean way of eating? Have you ever tried this type of a diet?
Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts with us and our readers. The comment section is a place for exchanging ideas and we would love to hear yours.