Mediterranean diet may have the distinction of being the healthiest diet in the world. It is replete with veggies, fruits, whole grains, olive oil and lean sources of protein. This diet ensures you meet the nutrient needs of your body while avoiding unhealthy, calorie-laden food choices that can wreak havoc with your health and weight.
While the Mediterranean diet has been around for decades, it is in the last few years that the world has been waking up to this heart-healthy diet plan. This diet makes you fall in love with your food all over again. It sets your taste buds alight with subtle bursts of flavors.
If you are getting confused with the name and thinking that for the diet you have to go to the Mediterranean lands, then don’t worry as Shakespeare has said What’s with the name? You can easily find out the ingredients of the diet within your kitchen or in the nearest retail store from where you buy things for your everyday needs.
Mediterranean Diet is inclusive of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, beans, herbs, spices, olive oil, red wine, and seafood. The cooking style resembles the countries located on the coast of Mediterranean Sea from where it has got its name. There is a variety of flavors and tastes that you can explore and give vibrancy to your diet plan.
Benefits of Mediterranean Diet
Numerous researches have been done on the people who are residing in the coastal areas near the Mediterranean Sea. The findings confirmed that Mediterranean eating pattern can protect you from several diseases such as diabetes, depression, heart diseases, Alzheimer, Parkinson and also improve brain function. Therefore, they have a healthier and longer lifespan. The researchers indicate that the diet is low in cholesterol and balanced with all the essential nutrients and vitamins. This will easily ensure that you can reduce a major part of your extra body fat at ease.
Mediterranean Diet Tips for Healthy Weight Loss
If you want to follow the Med Diet, then you have to make few changes in your diet. We have listed few diet tips that you should incorporate into your diet plan.
- Mediterranean diet is a lifestyle: Mediterranean diet is not just about foods, it is a lifestyle. For the Mediterranean people, the foremost aspect of healthy living is a daily physical activity(minimum 30 minutes).
- Eat Fresh Fruits and Vegetables: Vegetables and fruits are important for a well-balanced, healthy diet. Including fruits and vegetables in your regular diet can help you fight many diseases. Since they are low in fat, salt and sugar, they can protect you from obesity, cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Replace your cravings for sweet dishes with fresh fruits. Fruits supply fiber, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. All these nutrients are important for healthy living as well as maintaining a healthy weight. Fruits also contain vitamins and minerals which you don’t get from other foods. Eating a variety of fruits in moderation will ensure that you are getting all the nutrients required by the body.
- Never rush while eating: Your brain takes 15 minutes to register that you have eaten enough. Eat in a calm and patient manner and take at least 20 minutes to eat your food to avoid overeating. Eat your meals with family or friends; indulge in a conversation with them to enjoy your food. This will ensure that you slow down your eating. As a result, you eat less.
- Seafood: Make a habit of eating seafood at least three times a week. Include Seafood that is rich in omega-3s like salmon and fresh tuna. Moreover, they are also a good source of healthy fat protein.
- Dairy, Poultry, and Wine: Dairy products are rich in protein, calcium, vitamin A and Vitamin B12. Avoid products which are high in saturated fats, for example, cream, butter, whole or full cream milk. Instead use yogurt, skimmed milk, low-fat cheese and butter in smaller quantities.
Eggs and poultry are a good source of protein and should be eaten 2-3 servings per week. Include a moderate portion of organic free-range chicken for a healthy diet. Drinking a glass of red wine daily is healthy. But, anything beyond that could be harmful. You should drink wine only if your health allows you.
- Red Meat and Sweets: Red Meat and Sweets are least preferable foods in the Mediterranean diet. You should limit your intake of red meat and sweets to 2-3 times a month. Only eat grass-fed lean cut red meat.
- Avoid Eating Meat once in a Week: Meats are a rich source of proteins. However, including a vegetarian diet at least once in a week will reduce the caloric intake and harmful fats in your body. Besides, it will also elevate the weight concern.
- Whole Grains: Include whole grains such as barley, bread, couscous, buckwheat, durum, farro, millet, oats, polenta, wheat berries and brown rice in your diet in whole or minimally processed form. These are a good source of protein, fiber, B vitamins, antioxidants, and trace minerals.
- Good Fats:– You might think that fats are always bad. Well, some foods contain fats that are essential for the body. They substantiate the need of fats within the body. Fruits like Avacado, sunflower seeds, peanuts and peanut oil along with olives are some of the foods that are good source of healthy fats.