The Mediterranean diet has become incredibly popular with people all over the world. Scientific research has shown that those who follow this diet tend to be healthier overall with less risk of heart disease, diabetes and other serious conditions. If you want to start eating healthier, it is important that you learn about this diet and everything it has to offer.
What is the Mediterranean Diet?
There have been a number of changes to Mediterranean food as we know it over the last several decades. This basis of this diet is made up of the traditional food of the region, which includes seafood, vegetables, fruits, dairy, nuts, and plenty of olive oil. Chances are you already eat most of these foods on a regular basis, but there is always room for improvement. This diet is also all about getting lots of exercise and sharing meals with the people closest to us.
Benefits of Following the Mediterranean Diet
You will quickly find that there are many health benefits associated with the Mediterranean diet, and it’s important that you know what they are. Some of these benefits include:
Myths About the Mediterranean Diet
There are lots of myths and misconceptions surrounding the Mediterranean diet that you should be aware of.
MYTH #1: It is too Expensive to Follow this Diet
The fact is that you really don’t need to spend a lot of money to follow the Mediterranean diet properly. A lot of people who make the switch to this diet actually find that they spend less than they did before. Just make sure that you are using lentils or beans as your primary source of protein.
MYTH #2: The Mediterranean Diet is All About Eating Lots of Bread
While a little bit of bread here and there is fine, this diet definitely does not encourage tons of pasta and bread. It’s all about moderation and balance. You can have your pasta as long as you also have some vegetables, fish, and other healthy food items. Those who are looking for a low carb diet will find that this is a good choice.
MYTH #3: The Mediterranean Diet is Just About Which Foods to Eat
The Mediterranean diet is about more than just eating healthy and wholesome foods. This diet encourages you to take the time to sit down and share meals with family and friends. It is also about maintaining a healthy level of physical activity on a regular basis. This is why so many people who follow this diet are happy and healthy overall.
Tips for Getting Started
Making the necessary changes to your eating habits can seem a bit overwhelming, but there are some tips that can help you with getting started.
Focus on Vegetables
Vegetables make up a very important part of the Mediterranean diet, and they are essential for good nutrition. If you want a healthy in-between meal snack, some tomato slices with a little bit olive oil on them can be delicious. There are tons of different ways to incorporate vegetables into your meals. Salads and soups both offer great ways to get plenty of healthy vegetables in your diet on a regular basis.
Don’t Skip Breakfast
You’ve probably been told your whole life that breakfast is an important meal, and it’s true. Those who follow this diet should focus on eating foods that are high in fiber in the morning. This will help you stay full at least until lunch time.
Eat Plenty of Seafood
It is highly recommended that you eat some sort of seafood at least a couple of times a week. Salmon, tuna and herring are all great choices because they are packed with omega-3 fatty acids. Other seafood items like clams and oysters have brain-boosting properties that can potentially improve mental function. This is definitely an essential part of the Mediterranean diet, so you shouldn’t overlook it entirely.
Go Vegetarian Just Once Each Week
You should try making one entirely vegetarian meal each week. This can be a bit of a challenge at first, but you’ll likely be glad you did it. There are plenty of creative ways to use vegetables, beans, grains and other foods to make these meals for you and your family.
Limit Your Dairy Consumption
It is fine to eat dairy products when you are on the Mediterranean diet, but you shouldn’t over do it. Plain yogurt isn’t packed with saturated fat like many other dairy products, and it can be very tasty.
Use the Right Kinds of Fats
There are actually good fats and bad fats, and it’s important that you know the difference. A few foods that are loaded with healthy fats include sunflower seeds, olives, and nuts. The “bad” fats come from processed foods and fatty meats like beef.
Planning Your Meals
If you are serious about following the Mediterranean diet, you will need to make a point of planning your meals ahead of time. You should write down each of the meals you are going to have every day for at least a week in advance. This will help to keep you organized and on track. It can be very tempting to go out for fast food or eat unhealthy if you don’t already have a meal plan in place. There is always room for being spontaneous, but it’s a good idea to adhere to your plan for the most part.
Who Should Follow the Mediterranean Diet?
The Mediterranean diet is a great option for anyone who wants to lose weight or just improve their overall daily nutrition. If you are unhappy with your current eating habits, this diet will provide you with an effective structure for a healthier way of living. There are tons of low carb diet recipes that you can follow with this diet. You should take the time to explore some of these recipes so you can get a better idea as to what this diet is really all about.