WHERE DO YOU BEGIN AND HOW DO YOU STAY ON TRACK WITH THIS DIET?
So is using feta in your recipes enough? Drizzle olive oil over salad? Although these practices may appear Mediterranean, what matters in terms of a genuine Mediterranean diet for physical and mental health improvement is the pattern of eating rather than the individual foods. The diet is inspired by the dietary patterns of Italians, Spanish, Greeks, and others in the region who are recognized for their good health and longevity.
The foods and ingredients which are mostly preferred are plant-based foods such as whole grains, fruits, legumes, olive oil, vegetables, and lean protein in moderation, such as chicken and fish. It also suggests the addition of spices and herbs to flavour dishes rather than excessive salt. Individuals who follow this dietary pattern have a decreased risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, a lower risk of prostate, breast, and colorectal cancer, enhanced cognition, and lower rates of obesity, according to research.
According to Connie Diekman, RD, author of The Everything Mediterranean Diet Book, (Diekman, 2010) olive oil’s polyphenols are also considered to decrease inflammation and insulin resistance, which is the cause of many conditions such as breast cancer and diabetes. For example, it has been proven that MD cuts the risk of breast cancer by 57% and diabetes by 30%, according to 2016 research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
For starters, here are five dietary modifications you can implement right now. Choose one and try it for a week or two before moving on to the next. #gomediterranean
Consume more nuts
Nuts are high in vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, all of which are good for your health. They are largely unsaturated fats that help prevent cardiovascular diseases. A handful of nuts every day is the suggested quantity. Try to consume them in their original state and avoid chocolate- or sugar-coated varieties.
Make the shift to olive oil
The diet is based on olive oil, and many of the advantages appear to be due to the beneficial monounsaturated fats as well as the polyphenols in the olive oil. To enjoy the advantages and eat larger quantities of cooked vegetables, you must replace other fats with olive oil, making it your primary source of fat in your diet.
Prepare a few simple Mediterranean dishes
Mastering 2-3 simple meals will help you eat healthier. Here are some recommendations:
Add Mediterranean spices and fresh herbs
Use fresh plant herbs and spices instead of salt to flavour your food, and your dishes will pop with distinct aromas and fascinating flavours. A little goes a long way, and it’s a healthy approach to make meals delicious. Find more about Mediterranean spices and fresh herbs here.
Be vegan 1 time per week
Abstaining from animal products at least one time per week is very typical in the Mediterranean diet. For example, the Greek Orthodox church considers Wednesdays and Fridays as non-olive, non-animal products fasting days. This has become an integral part of Greek culture as well as it fits with the Mediterranean pyramid itself, as it highlights a decrease in meat consumption.