Mediterranean Diet,  Nutrition,  Recipes

Why the Mediterranean Diet is Good for You!

The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest diets you can eat. So, what is it about the Mediterranean diet that makes it so good for you? Well, the diet emphasizes whole, minimally processed foods, and the focus is on filling your plate with mostly plants rather than red meat and leans on a variety of flavors that enhance, instead of hurting, your health. On this diet, herbs and spices are the keys to adding flavor and not salt. Eating a diet that is low in red meat, sugar, and saturated fat significantly reduces your risk of chronic health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes. It also has a profoundly positive impact on brain and gut health and cancer risk. Eating the Mediterranean diet is not as hard as you think. See below, where I have added a few ways to make this diet your own.

  1. Make vegetables the main component of your dish. Allow meat to be the side item. Eliminate meat from your diet at least once a week and try to cook more meals with beans.
  2. Enjoy fish and seafood twice a week. Oily fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines are good for your heart and brain.
  3. Eat some dairy. Enjoy plain Greek yogurt and small amounts of cheese.
  4. Switch to whole grains. Skip white, refined grains and choose barley, brown rice, and oats.
  5. Include fresh fruit in your diet as a snack or for dessert. In Italy, fruit is used for dessert instead of sugary cakes and pies.
  6. Let extra virgin olive oil become your go-to oil. Use it for cooking instead of butter, and use it to make salad dressing. In Italy, they use olive oil and balsamic vinegar mixed. 
  7. Eat healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and seeds.
  8. Save red meat and sugary desserts for special occasions. 

Changing to a Mediterranean Diet is not just a change in eating it is a lifestyle change. One that we must all consider if we want to live a better-quality life. It is not always easy when we all have busy schedules, and McDonald’s is just a drive-thru away, but if we continue to eat poorly, bad health can catch up with us. The truth is that this country is seeing exorbitant rates of heart disease, obesity, etc., and the food industry is not doing anything to help keep us all healthy. In fact, they are advertising all around us. It doesn’t mean you have to give up fast food, but instead of going to McDonald’s, you could make healthier fast-food choices. Healthier people will make time to eat healthily. I myself have adopted this diet lifestyle as a means of better health, and again I love it because it is a lifestyle change, not just a diet. The Mediterranean diet is such a delicious, palatable diet, and it is something that you can eat anywhere. The first thing is that something must change, and it just must be something that is valued, your health. 

For some Mediterranean diet recipes, click here or check out more Mediterranean recipe ideas saved to our Facebook board. For more on Our Fitness Journey, please follow our blog.