We’ve heard a lot about the Mediterranean diet lately. Experts says that, the Mediterranean diet is one of the most healthy forms of nutrition. Here are 5 rules on the Mediterranean diet.

Is the Mediterranean diet healthy?

The health benefits of the Mediterranean diet have been widely discussed recently. It is said that those who feed Mediterranean style are happier and even have a longer life.

Nutritional habits and lifestyles of communities that have long lived for years are examined. In Japan, the ‘Okinowa diet’ formed by the long-life philosophies of the elderly over 100 years ‘Ikigai’, the ‘Nordic diet’ reflecting the cold Scandinavian culture, the vegetarian 7th day adventures, the ‘Baltic Sea diet’, the salt restriction ‘Dash diet’ all over the world Among the popular diets considered healthy.

However, with the ‘Dash diet’, the Mediterranean diet, which has been competing for years, was chosen by health experts as the healthiest and easiest diet in 2019.

5 Rules of Mediterranean Diet For Beginners

  1. Consume cold press olive oil.
  2. Consume fruits and vegetables in variety and season.
  3. Eat a handful of walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds every day.
  4. Cook the food in the right way and with the recipe. Reduce salt and season food.
  5. Exercise at least twice a week for 30 minutes to increase heart rate. Be active throughout the day.

80% of the weight given back

80 percent of those who follow popular diets are taking back much of their weight. The best diet for an individual is to gain a balanced and healthy eating habit that fits the lifestyle and culture. For example, individuals with gluten sensitivity should be fed gluten-free, while individuals with digestive problems such as constipation should increase their consumption of whole grain foods.

It is not a diet that alone causes weight loss or regional weakening, and there is no food group. However, American Diabetes Association (ADA) research shows that low ‘simple’ carbohydrate consumption is effective in weight loss. Low-calorie diets stress the body and increase fat in the long run. Calorie restriction must be regulated by an expert and supported by exercise.

BENEFITS OF THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET:

The Mediterranean diet is widely regarded as a healthy and nutritious diet among health professionals.

There are numerous benefits to eating the Mediterranean diet.

Studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk or complications of numerous health conditions and diseases. In fact…

  • Evidence has shown that the Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk for heart disease and stroke 
  • Studies also show that the Med diet prevents cancers such as breast cancer and colorectal cancer.
  • A study by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) revealed that the Mediterranean diet can reduce complications from diabetes such as retinopathy.
  • The Mediterranean diet is also associated with lower risk for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, as well as lower mortality rates, in general.
  • The Mediterranean diet has even shown reduce inflammation associated with arthritis.
  • Overall, the Mediterranean diet has also been shown to reduce depression, promote healthy weight loss and increase the overall quality of life.

As you can see, there are tons of health benefits to adopting the Mediterranean diet. Now, let’s see what foods we can eat

FOODS TO EAT:

Now, the yummy part! These are some common Mediterranean foods ;

Fruits such as apples, apricots, bananas, cherries, grapes, pears, oranges, strawberries, clementines, figs, avocado, lemon
Vegetables such as carrots, onions, potatoes, eggplants, beets, arugula, broccoli, zucchini, sweet potatoes
Legumes such as chickpeas, hummus, beans, lentils,
Healthy Oils such as olives and olive oil
Nuts & Seeds such as almonds, pistachios, pine nuts, walnuts, cashews, sesame seeds
Whole Grains such as barley, buckwheat, wheat, oats, rye, rice, pasta
Fish such as salmon, whitefish, tuna
Herbs & Spices such as basil, thyme, garlic, pepper, parsley, rosemary, oregano, sage, mint
For a comprehensive list of Mediterranean foods, be sure to check out this great resource!

FOODS THAT ARE OKAY TO EAT:

The following foods should be eaten in moderation. They are okay to eat one in a while, but try to keep it to only a few times per week (for example, 2-3 times per week).

  • Poultry such as chicken, turkey
  • Dairy products such as cheese, and yogurt
  • Eggs


FOODS TO AVOID:

The Mediterranean Diet is known for its natural, whole foods. Therefore, processed foods should be avoided when following the Mediterranean diet.

The Mediterranean Diet is pretty much the opposite of the Standard American Diet (or SAD diet 🙁 ), which is characterized by the following unhealthy foods and is often associated with increased risk for heart disease, stroke, and cancer. The SAD diet consists of….

  • Fried foods
  • Processed meats such as ham, hot dogs, bologna, sausage, salami, etc.
  • High sodium intake
  • High sugar consumption
  • Highly processed foods

The following foods should generally be avoided when you’re following the Med diet:

  • Red meat such as beef, lamb, pork (limit to a few times per month or rarely)
  • Salt
  • Processed Foods
  • Refined grains such as white bread, white rice, white pasta
  • Trans Fat
  • Butter
  • Sugars
  • Junk Food

SIMPLE MEAL IDEAS:

So now that you know what kinds of foods you should or shouldn’t be eating with the Mediterranean diet, let’s take a look at some ideas for different meals!

Breakfast Ideas: oatmeal, fruit, Greek yogurt, toast, eggs

Lunch Ideas: salad with veggies, quinoa, pasta salad, Mediterranean bowl, stuffed peppers, tuna salad

Dinner Ideas: soup, lentils, chickpeas, beans, sweet potatoes, fish, chicken, asparagus

Snack Ideas: nuts, fruit, veggies with hummus dip

Dessert Ideas: fruit, dark chocolate

This is obviously a simplified list that provides a general idea of some yummy meal ideas that you can eat with this diet, but hey, it’s a start!

5 Rules of Mediterranean Diet For Beginners
5 Rules of Mediterranean Diet For Beginners


Carla Rodrigues
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