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All You Need To Know About The Mediterranean Diet

All You Need To Know About The Mediterranean Diet

  • December 03, 2020
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For original article click here
DIY body washMediterranean Diet InfographicImage: Shutterstock

A Mediterranean diet incorporates the traditional healthy living habits of people from countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, including France, Greece, Italy and Spain, according to the National Health Services (NHS) – public-funded healthcare systems of the United Kingdom. Mediterranean diet is rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, beans, cereals, grains, fish, and unsaturated fats such as olive oil. It usually includes a low intake of meat and dairy foods.

Mediterranean DietImage: Shutterstock

Normally, a Mediterranean diet is said to be really healthy for the heart. You can tweak your diet to make it more Mediterranean by consuming plenty of starch-rich food like pasta or bread (you can choose a healthier version aka brown bread or gluten-free bread), include more fruits and vegetables in your diet preferably more greens, incorporate more sources of proteins like fish for those who consume a non-vegetarian and seafood diet and legumes and pulses for those vegetarian, preferably cutting down on eating meat especially red meat. It is linked to increased cases of cholesterol and other issues which can also lead to colon cancer as observed in the United States.
1. Here’s How You Can Make Your Diet More Mediterranean:
2. Switch Cooking Oils
3. Include More Fish
4. Add More Veggies
5. Hello, Whole Grains!
6. Say Yes To A Little Wine!
7. Don’t Gobble, Savour
8. FAQs On Mediterranean Diet

Here’s How You Can Make Your Diet More Mediterranean:

Here's How You Can Make Your Diet More Mediterranean:Image: Shutterstock

  • Eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day.
  • Base your meals on starchy foods such as potatoes, bread, rice and pasta – choose wholegrain versions where possible.
  • Eat some beans or pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including two portions of fish every week, one of which should be oily).
  • Have some dairy or dairy alternatives such as soya drinks – choose lower-fat and lower-sugar options.
  • Choose unsaturated oils and spreads, and eat them in small amounts.
  • Drink six to eight glasses of fluid a day.
  • If consuming foods and drinks that are high in fat, salt or sugar, have them less often and in small amounts.

If you’re looking to switch to a Mediterranean diet, here are a few simple ways to do that. Read on…

Switch Cooking Oils

Mediterranean Diet: Switch Cooking OilsImage: Shutterstock

Sunflower oil or coconut oils are two of the most common cooking oils that you find in most kitchens. However, since the whole idea of following a Mediterranean diet is to keep your heart and health in check. To keep more in line with the diet, try using virgin or extra virgin olive oil in your cooking. They are rich in PUFAs which works towards lowering blood pressure and lose more weight.

Include More Fish

Mediterranean diet: Include More FishImage: Shutterstock

The most important part of a Mediterranean diet is fish. The emphasis is more on fatty fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel. These are rich in omega-3-fatty acids which are good for heart and brains. Start with one meal of fish and eventually increase the intake over time.

Add More Veggies

Mediterranean diet: Add More VeggiesImage: Shutterstock

Instead of munching on chips or leftover pizzas, try including salad veggies and greens into you munch hours. You could also try and whip up a simple green salad to satiate your cravings but with a healthy twist to it. Don’t forget to add olive oil to your salad dressing instead of adding unhealthy sauces or dips.

Hello, Whole Grains!

Mediterranean diet: Hello Whole Grains! Image: Shutterstock

Have you heard of a dish named Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa? That’s exactly the kind of bowls and meals you should be looking at. High in proteins and fibre, you are fulfilling your requirements of healthy yet necessary quantities of nutrition. Try whole-wheat bread or pasta in case you struggle to find one.

Say Yes To A Little Wine!

Mediterranean diet: Say Yes To A Little Wine!Image: Shutterstock

According to sommeliers and food critics, a healthy intake of wine during your meals is a good addition to your Mediterranean diet. As we all are well aware, Spanish, French and Italian do not shy away from wine when it comes to including in their food. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, it is advised for women to stick to a three-ounce (approximately 30 ml) serving of wine per day. If you are a complete teetotal, do not bother!

Don’t Gobble, Savour

Mediterranean diet: Don’t Gobble, Savour Image: Shutterstock

As studies state, the ideal way to consume your food is by taking up just how much a spoon or fork can take and masticate 32 times. That can be a bit of a task every time to eat, however, it is very important to ensure that you do not gobble or gulp down your food.

FAQs On Mediterranean Diet

Q. What is a Mediterranean diet?

What is a Mediterranean diet?
Image: Shutterstock

As mentioned earlier, a Mediterranean diet is a diet influenced by Mediterranean countries like Spain, France, Greece, and Italy. It majorly includes fatty fish, more vegetables and fruits, pulses and legumes, and whole-grain foods. Timely consumption of food and regular intake of liquids is highly recommended and endorsed.

Q. What kind of oils should I use while cooking?

Look for oils that are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids or PUFAs as opposed to monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). Options like a virgin and extra virgin olive oil, cold-pressed canola oil, peanut oil or safflower oils can slowly be incorporated in your diet.

Q. What foods are not allowed in the Mediterranean diet?

Foods are not allowed in the Mediterranean dietImage: Shutterstock 

Avoid red meat, added sugar, refined sugar and refined grains while observing and following a Mediterranean diet.

Q. Are there any disadvantages of a Mediterranean diet?

The Mediterranean diet emphasises on the consumption of fish. While intake of fish like mackerel, orange roughy, tuna and others can raise your mercury levels which can act as endocrine disruptors. Switch to low-mercury options like sardines, salmon, cod and tilapia.

Q. Can I consume eggs in a Mediterranean diet?

Although the diet consists mainly ofplant-based foods, you can include moderate amounts of dairy and eggs.

Q. What kind of bread can you have in this diet?

What kind of bread can you have in this dietImage: Shutterstock

Bread and pasta are completely okay to consume. You can opt for whole-grain pita bread or pasta. You can also include sides like hummus, tahini or olive oil.

Q. What kind of desserts are allowed in this diet?

You can have blood orange olive oil cake, gluten-free lemon cake, balsamic berries with honey yoghurt, whipped yoghurt with apples and walnuts. You could also look up recipes or alternatives for sweets in Mediterranean diets online.

Q. Can you include sourdough bread in the diet?

Sourdough bread is a part of low GI (glycemic index) diets (green vegetables, raw fruits, kidney beans, cereals and pulses). They regulate your blood sugar levels, aid in weight loss, and lower your risk ofcontracting a heart condition. Yes, you can include sourdough bread in a Mediterranean diet.

Q. Does Mediterranean foods include smoothies?

Mediterranean foods include smoothiesImage: Shutterstock

Yes, you can most definitely knock yourself out while opting for smoothies however bear in mind that fruit juices are extremely high in sugar. If you are working towards losing weight, it would be more helpful to balance out your smoothies with vegetables and flax seeds, for instance.

Q. What kind of vegetables should I be shopping for?

Fresh seasonal vegetables and fruits are highly recommended for those on this diet. Include more greens and fibre-rich vegetables like kale, broccoli, cabbage, beet greens, tomatoes, and spinach. Fruits can include apples, bananas, pears, dates, figs, melons and peaches to name a few.

Also Read: 10 Reasons Why You Should Include Tomatoes In Your Diet

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