The Mediterranean Diet is a well-known diet that helps to prevent many lifestyle diseases and it is completely safe to start! Learn about the basics here.
The Mediterranean diet consists of traditional foods that are eaten in Mediterranean countries like Greece and Italy.
According to research, it has been found that people that followed such a diet are healthier than Americans.
Besides, the Mediterranean diet leads to a low risk of developing many lifestyle diseases.
There is a reason why people worldwide are taking an interest in the Mediterranean diet. It is known for preventing type 2-diabetes, strokes, heart attacks, premature death, and helps with weight loss.
Now, since the Mediterranean diet is followed in different ways through the Mediterranean region, there is no right way to follow the diet.
This post looks at the dietary patterns which are normally prescribed in many of the studies conducted on the Mediterranean diet and suggests the healthiest foods.
It provides a general guideline to those of you that are interested in adopting a Mediterranean diet. Adjust the diet according to your needs.
The Basics of the Mediterranean Diet
- Foods to Eat Frequently: Seafood, fish, spices, herbs, bread, whole grains, potatoes, legumes, seeds, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and extra virgin olive oil
- Foods to Eat in moderation: Yogurt, cheese, eggs, and poultry
- Foods to Eat rarely: Red meat
- Foods Not Eaten: Added sugars, sugar-sweetened beverages, refined oils, refined grains, and processed meat
Avoid Unhealthy Foods
Unhealthy foods and ingredients should be avoided if you want to completely follow the Mediterranean diet. These are mentioned below.
- Trans-fats: Margarine and other processed foods.
- Refined Grains: Pasta made from refined wheat and white bread.
- Added Sugar: Ice cream, candies, soda, table sugar and the like.
- Refined Oils: Cottonseed oil, canola oil, soybean oil, and others.
- Processed Meat: Hot dogs, processed sausages, etc.
- Highly Processed Foods: Foods that are labeled as low-fat or diet because they are normally made at a factory.
How to Start the Mediterranean Diet?
If you are anxious to know how you can start the Mediterranean diet, then all you need to do is incorporate the foods mentioned below into your diet. The foods that need to be avoided should not be consumed.
There is great variation between Mediterranean countries when it comes to food. However, the diet examined in most of the studies is low in animal foods and high in healthy plant foods.
But, fish and seafood are vital. They should be consumed at least twice a week. Please note that the Mediterranean lifestyle also plays a huge role as it involves sharing meals with people, regular physical activity and just enjoying life.
If you are wondering about what you should eat, then the following will help give you an idea.
- Fruits: Grapes, strawberries, pears, oranges, bananas, apples, melons, figs, peaches, and dates.
- Vegetables: Brussels sprout, carrots, cauliflower, onions, spinach, kale, broccoli, tomatoes, and cucumbers.
- Nuts and Seeds: Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, walnuts, and almonds.
- Legumes: Chickpeas, peanuts, pulses, lentils, peas, and beans.
- Whole Grains: Pasta, whole wheat, corn, barley, rye, brown rice, and whole oats.
- Fish and Seafood: Mussels, crab, clams, oysters, shrimp, mackerel, tuna, trout, sardines, and salmon.