With countless diets competing for our attention, it can be hard to distinguish one diet from another, let alone know what healthful eating looks like. Believe it or not, one of the diets that promotes heart health and weight loss is also one of the oldest.
What’s the Mediterranean Diet?
From the depths of Italy to the shorelines of Turkey, the Mediterranean diet is inspired by the cuisine of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. With an emphasis on healthy fats and real and plant-based foods, the Mediterranean diet is full of nutritious elements that will keep you feeling fuller longer and healthy.
New Diet, New Food
The Mediterranean diet focuses on simple, unrefined foods, and includes lean proteins, good fats, fruits, veggies and beans, and healthy carbs packed with fiber and nutrients. Most of the recommended foods are affordable and readily available. Some can even be grown at home!
Get started with these tips.
- Eat Daily
- Fruits and veggies
- Whole grains
- Beans and legumes
- Nuts and seeds
- Olive oil, herbs and spices
- Eat Weekly
- Poultry and eggs
- Low-fat cheese and yogurt
- Eat Every So Often
- Red meat
BONUS: Because of its antioxidant properties, red wine is a staple in the Mediterranean diet. If you’re of legal drinking age, enjoy a glass…in moderation, of course.
The recommendation is no more than one 5 oz. drink a day for women and two 5 oz. drinks a day for men.
Find Your Favorites
The secret to success is identifying go-to staples that keep you satisfied and on track.
A few favorites include:
- Cottage Cheese
Eat it as a standalone treat or add some fruit or tomatoes.
A small handful of nuts is the perfect snack. Alternatively, create your own trail mix with nuts.
- Olive Oil
Olive oil is a must-have. Use it for dressing salads, cooking fish and sautéing vegetables. Just keep portion control in mind.
Why Change Your Diet?
The Mediterranean diet’s emphasis on healthy fats and fiber-laden food helps promote weight loss. Additionally, its anti-inflammatory and bad cholesterol-fighting staples may reduce your risk of developing heart disease and high blood pressure. Studies also show a reduced risk for Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, Parkinson’s disease and Type 2 diabetes.
For more information, watch the below video.
Our outpatient nutrition counseling services, provided by registered dietitians, can help you get your diet on the right track. Ask your primary care doctor for a referral.