The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest diets in the world and it can help you live longer, stay fit, keep your brain healthy and reduce your risk of disease. Here’s how you can make your diet more Mediterranean:
Eat More Plant-Based Foods
Increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables to at least 5 servings per day, and go for meatless meals at least twice a week. You can have legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, favabeans. You can also start every meal with a plant-based soup like tomato soup or broccoli soup, or a salad. For dessert, instead of having calorie-packed options, go for fresh fruit or fruit-based desserts like apple crumble.
Enjoy Bread … and Pasta!
The Mediterranean diet is not low in carbs, yet people who follow it have the lowest rates of obesity in the world! That’s because they make smart quality carb choices, such as complex carbs (whole bread and brow pasta) as well as whole grains like couscous and oat. So no need to be afraid of carbs anymore!
Switch Red Meat For Fish
Seafood and fish are known to provide omega-3 fatty acids which are good for the heart as well as the brain. In the Mediterranean region, people generally eat fish and seafood at least three times a week.
Consume Healthy Oils and Good Fats
The Mediterranean diet is not low in fat, but it is low in unhealthy saturated fats like those found in whole-fat dairy and red meat because low fat doesn’t matter anymore. Replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fat can reduce your risk of heart disease. Go for foods that are rich in monounsaturated fats like olive oil and canola oil, or polyunsaturated fats like fatty fish (salmon, trout), walnuts and sunflower oil.
The Mediterranean diet includes moderate amounts of red wine, one glass per day for women and two for men. Drinking red wine in moderation can be good for your heart’s health. And if you don’t drink alcohol, you can have natural grape juice which provides you with polyphenols that are beneficial to your heart.
Cut Down On Sweets and Treats
The Mediterranean diet is actually low in added sugars and rarely includes fried food, candy, or sweetened beverages, which is one reason why it’s considered so beneficial for your health.
Dietitian Christelle Bedrossian