Taking a Look at the Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is known for its heart-healthy properties and the delicious foods it includes. Far from being a fad diet, the Mediterranean diet is a super healthy way of eating that has health benefits galore. Those who follow a Mediterranean diet are treating themselves to a lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and more.

Your whole family can enjoy this diet, which emphasises:

  • Vegetables and fruits
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts and legumes
  • Olive oil instead of butter
  • Fish and poultry
  • Limited amounts of red meat
  • Red wine in moderation (optional)

Many people who try the Mediterranean diet say they’ll never switch back to any other style of eating. That’s because this diet is so easy to follow as well as being highly enjoyable. Here are some tips for getting started:

  • Make vegetables and fruits the bulk of your meals. Include them at every meal and enjoy them as snacks as well. Fruit salad is an easy way to fit more fruit into your day. Keep them cut and ready to eat for the greatest convenience.
  • Switch to whole-grain bread, pasta, and cereal.
  • Go nuts! Enjoy walnuts, pistachios, almonds, cashews, and more. Buy natural peanut butter (read the label and avoid added sugar and hydrogenated oils). Try tahini as a dip or spread.
  • Use olive oil instead of butter. Olive oil is healthy and delicious whether drizzled over vegetables or used as a dip for bread.
  • Use lots of herbs and spices to make your food taste great without a lot of added salt or fat.
  • Enjoy fish at least twice a week. Salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel, and herring are all good choices. Fish is easy to prepare when grilled, broiled, or baked. (Do pass on breaded and fried fish.)
  • Have red meat no more than a few times a month. Keep portions small and cuts lean.
  • Choose low-fat dairy products, including milk, yogurt, and cheese.

The health effects of red wine have been (and will continue to be) highly debated. There’s no question that excessive drinking is bad for your health, but if you want to enjoy a moderate amount of red wine (one drink per day for women and two for men), the Mediterranean diet allows for it. Small amounts may have heart-protective benefits. It’s okay to skip it, though, if alcohol isn’t your thing.

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