We are celebrating the Mediterranean Diet all May! This diet is proven to be one of the most effective and successful diet options in the prevention of disease and improvement in health. Studies have found numerous health benefits associated with following the Mediterranean diet for example reduced risk of heart disease. The diet has even been linked to a reduced risk of early death and is proven to be a successful strategy for healthy weight loss!
The Mediterranean Diet focuses on making basic, yet essential changes in the way we eat in order to promote health. The foundation of the diet encourages eating primarily plant based foods. This includes incorporating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds in meals and snacks on a regular basis. The diet also emphasizes the use of healthy fats from olive oil as an alternative to butter or margarine. Olive oil can be used to cook, as well as to drizzle on top of salads, vegetables, pasta, or bread. In addition, the diet focuses on utilizing a variety of herbs and spices in place of salt and fat in recipes. Cooking with ingredients such as garlic, basil, oregano, etc., are simple ways to incorporate healthy ingredients into your meals while avoiding excessive fat and sodium intake.
The Mediterranean diet strongly emphasizes the common consumption of fish. Fish is a low calorie protein source, packed with essential nutrients and healthy fats. According to the diet, fish should be eaten at least twice a week. Tuna, salmon, trout, halibut, etc. are all healthy and delicious options that can easily be grilled, baked, or broiled. A primary component of the diet emphasizes limiting red meat. Red meats such as beef and pork should be eaten no more than a few times a month. Fish and lean poultry should be a common substitute for red meats. In addition, processed meats that are high in fat such as bacon and sausage should be avoided. Finally, higher fat dairy products such as whole milk or 2% milk, cheese, and ice cream, should be replaced with low-fat dairy products. A simple switch to skim milk, fat-free yogurt, and low-fat cheese is an easy way to reduce calories and fat in the diet.
In addition to healthy food choices, the diet emphasizes daily physical activity, such as walking, on a regular basis. The combination of nutritious eating and physical activity create the perfect recipe for healthy living. It is evident that the Mediterranean Diet is an effective and successful method that encourages a healthy lifestyle. Living by these basic guidelines on a daily basis can help promote health, prevent disease, and improve overall wellness. Follow the links listed below to learn more, and get started today!
Click here for delicious and simple Mediterranean diet recipes!
Learn more about the Mediterranean diet here!
This blog is brought to you by MANNA’s Nutrition Department.