Are you looking for eating habits that can improve your overall health and be a long term lifestyle choice? Well, the Mediterranean diet might be the perfect meal plan for you.
Mediterranean dishes consist mainly of plant-based foods. These include vegetables, fruits, herbs, beans, whole grains, and nuts. If you are on a Mediterranean diet, try to make your plate as colorful as possible to get the most of the nutrients. Make your plate look like a rainbow with different kinds of fruits and vegetables. Eating plant-based foods can provide your body with lots of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. These are all nutrients that can protect your body from harmful diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.
Another part of the Mediterranean lifestyle is eating healthy fats. Oily fish, nuts and olive oil are the main sources of fat in the Mediterranean lifestyle. Olive oil and nuts have monounsaturated fat, which can help lower total cholesterol and LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels when eaten as part of a healthy diet. Fatty fish like mackerel, tuna and salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat. Omega-3 fatty acids can potentially help lower triglyceride levels and lower the risk of heart disease.
Foods like dairy products, poultry and eggs are consumed in moderate amounts in the Mediterranean lifestyle. For the most part, fat-free or low-fat dairy products are recommended. Examples are Greek yogurt, low-fat mozzarella, Parmesan or low-fat milk. When choosing meat, lean meats such as chicken, turkey, or fish are recommended more often, with red meat being eaten less often.
After all, the Mediterranean lifestyle is not like other diets where you will likely stick to it for a few months and then give up. This eating behavior is sustainable, healthy, and can be a lifestyle choice for years to come.
It’s not just about what you eat, it’s how you eat. Eating with family and friends is an integral part of the Mediterranean lifestyle. Eat at one table. Have a chat. Go to the Mediterranean Sea with those you love to stay happy and healthy.