Diets are the worst. Or at least the way we usually do diets. We try something, and quit, try something else, and quit, only to go round and round on the diet-go-round. Too often, we become deceived by “fad diets” that cause burnout and lead to quitting.
But if you’re looking for something different, a diet that really will make a difference in your health and help you lose weight, a diet that will change your mindset and lifestyle, then say hello to the Mediterranean diet.
Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet
According to the Mayo Clinic, the Mediterranean diet is a heart-healthy eating plan centered around foods and recipes of Mediterranean-style cooking. It incorporates basic principles of healthy eating, such as vegetables, fruits, fish, and limited amounts of unhealthy fats. It also adds items such as olive oil and red wine in moderation.
The Mediterranean diet offers many health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease. It has been associated with lower levels of LDL cholesterol and likewise with reduced risks of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease as well as reduced rates of cancer.
How to Eat Like Mediterranean people
So, with all of these benefits, it seems worthwhile to try this Mediterranean diet, but how? Mayo Clinic lists eight key components to eat like the Mediterranean:
- Eat mostly plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts.
- Eat healthy fats like olive oil and canola oil instead of butter.
- Reduce salt intake and flavor with herbs and spices instead.
- Only eat red meat a few times a month.
- Eat poultry and fish at least twice per week.
- Enjoy meals in a group, with family and friends.
- Optional red wine in moderation.
- Regular exercise.
How to Get Started
Start by eating 7 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Make this a staple of your eating plan, and the rest will fall in place. Next, stock up on a variety of unsalted nuts for small, filling snacks. Make the switch to canola oil to flavor your foods and for cooking, while ditching the salt in lieu of other spices. Eat red meat only on rare occasions and eat more fish and poultry, along with low-fat dairy options.
With these simple steps and intentional plan to change the way you eat, you’ll be on the path to health, Mediterranean style, in no time.
What are your favorite Mediterranean meals? Share below!