What is the Mediterranean diet?
The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating based on the traditional cuisine of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. While there is no single definition of the Mediterranean diet, it is typically high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, and olive oil.
The main components of Mediterranean diet include:
- Daily consumption of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats.
- Weekly intake of fish, poultry, beans, and eggs.
- Moderate portions of dairy products.
- Limited intake of red meat.
Other important elements of the Mediterranean diet are sharing meals with family and friends, enjoying a glass of red wine and being physically active.
Although it’s called the Mediterranean Diet, this way of eating focuses on flexibility instead of counting calories or cutting certain foods. Moreover, this makes it an easier plan to follow. According to the U.S. News & World Report, it takes the top spot in four different rankings including Best Diets Overall, Easiest Diets to Follow, Best Diabetes Diets, and Best Plant-Based Diets.
Since it takes the top spot as the easiest diet to follow, according to the U.S. News, eating along the Mediterranean Diet is a great way to put pep into your step.
Eating the Mediterranean way
Interested in trying the Mediterranean diet? These tips will help you get started:
- Eat more fruits and vegetables. Aim for 7 to 10 servings a day of fruit and vegetables.
- Opt for whole grains. Switch to whole-grain bread, cereal and pasta. Experiment with other whole grains, such as bulgur and farro.
- Use healthy fats. Try olive oil as a replacement for butter when cooking. Instead of putting butter or margarine on bread, try dipping it in flavored olive oil.
- Eat more seafood. Eat fish twice a week. Fresh or water-packed tuna, salmon, trout, mackerel and herring are healthy choices. Grilled fish tastes good and requires little cleanup. Avoid deep-fried fish.
- Reduce red meat. Substitute fish, poultry or beans for meat. If you eat meat, make sure it’s lean and keep portions small.
- Enjoy some dairy. Eat low-fat Greek or plain yogurt and small amounts of a variety of cheeses.
- Spice it up. Herbs and spices boost flavor and lessen the need for salt.
Mediterranean Diet weight loss can lead to clearer skin! By eating fewer sweets, red meat, and dairy in addition to more vegetables and healthy fats, you will experience a benefit of losing weight that is not on the inside. Your skin will look better. Your clothes will get looser, and your stomach will shrink with the Mediterranean Diet.
A 2019 study found that one year of following the Mediterranean Diet, blood pressure measurements were “significantly improved.” According to the American Heart Association, maintaining a healthy weight is the key to lowering blood pressure. The survey found that people lost weight less dramatically than other diets, but the Mediterranean Diet still resulted in positive results.