Imagine you live on the Mediterranean Sea. Does it sound like a beautiful dream gone wrong?
While you may not be able to pack your bags and move to Greece, you can eat Mediterranean cuisine from the comfort of your own home. Named the Best Diet of 2023 by US News and World Report, the Mediterranean Diet brings you the Mediterranean holiday with added benefits. health benefits for your heart. Here’s everything you need to know about this nutrient-dense and non-restrictive diet.
What is the Mediterranean Diet?
The Mediterranean diet is inspired by the traditional diets of people living along the Mediterranean coast. Although each country’s diet may differ, the Mediterranean diet consists primarily of plant foods, seafood, lean poultry, whole grains, nuts, beans, olive oil, herbs and spices. The key is to eat fresh foods as much as possible, as highly processed foods are limited in the diet.
Green Mediterranean diet
A recent popular variation of the Mediterranean diet is called the green Mediterranean diet. Instead of occasionally eating red and processed meat on the regular Mediterranean diet, the Green Mediterranean diet cuts out meat altogether and puts more emphasis on plant-based foods. There is a set amount of calories and protein you should consume each day, along with three recommendations. Every day an individual must obtain 100 grams of duckweed (an aquatic plant, usually put in a shake), 3 to 4 cups of green tea And 1 ounce walnuts. A 2021 study found that the green Mediterranean diet variation may be healthier for the heart than the original diet. It may even be more effective in preventing and managing chronic diseases. A 2022 study found that the diet may help with age-related brain health.
Read more: 5 ‘Exercise Snacks’ You Can Start Now
Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet is not only a great diet for those who are kosher, vegetarian or budget-conscious, but it also has many health benefits.
The most well-known benefit of this diet is its potential to improve heart health. A 2019 study concluded that the Mediterranean diet could lower the risk of stroke and heart disease. Due to the lower content of saturated fat in the diet, another study found that it can slow down the process of plaque formation in the arteries.
The Mediterranean diet can promote brain health as we age. A recent study on Alzheimer’s disease found that a Mediterranean diet may reduce the risk of dementia and other risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. It can also improve memory and cognitive function.
Possible weight loss
This diet can help you lose weight and maintain weight loss in the long term. A 2020 study found that participants who lost at least 10% of their body weight on the Mediterranean diet were twice as likely to maintain their weight.
Keep in mind that any diet is not complete without additional exercise. If you’re serious about losing weight, add daily exercise to your routine in addition to a new diet.
Read more: How does blood type affect your heart?
How does the Mediterranean diet work?
The Mediterranean diet is one of the easiest to follow and does not require calorie counting. Although there are no strict rules, there are some recommendations. These include food fish or seafood at least twice a week, drink a lot of water, eating a wide variety of foods And filling your plate daily with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and olive oil. In addition to these recommendations, you decide your own meals and snacks. This is what you are encouraged to eat.
Foods to eat on the Mediterranean diet
On the Mediterranean diet, try to eat plant-based, whole foods. These may include:
- Fish (salmon, tuna, herring, etc.)
- Poultry, in moderation
- Dairy products
- Eggs, in moderation
- Olive oil
- Yogurt, in moderation
- 100% whole wheat bread
- A glass of red wine with a meal (no more than one glass for women, two glasses for men)
- A little dark chocolate
Foods Restricted to the Mediterranean Diet
While no food is “off limits,” try to rarely eat the following:
- Red meat
- Sugary foods and drinks
- Processed foods
Fill your shopping list with these meal ideas for the week.
- Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and a cup of tea
- Whole wheat toast with natural peanut butter and a cup of coffee (cream and sugar added in moderation)
- Chicken orzo soup with vegetables
- Greek salad with olives, avocado and feta cheese
- Salmon cooked in olive oil, brown rice and roasted vegetables
- Tuna over quinoa and arugula with olive oil vinaigrette dressing
- Assorted nuts and seeds with natural cheese
- Pita bread and vegetables with hummus
Is the Mediterranean Diet Right for You?
Although voted the best diet of 2023, the Mediterranean diet is not suitable for everyone. Talk to your doctor before making any major changes to your diet. If you’re considering trying this diet for yourself, here are some points to keep in mind.
Then try the Mediterranean diet:
- You do well with non-restrictive diets
- You already eat a lot of seafood, plant foods, and whole grains
- You are looking for a budget-friendly diet with few unhealthy fats and many healthy fats
Try a different diet or seek a dietitian if necessary:
- You need more structure or require some foods to be completely banned
- You have severe food restrictions or allergies
- You need a tailored diet, weight loss and exercise plans