If you've ever looked into healthy eating styles, you've probably heard about the Mediterranean diet. This diet is considered one of the healthiest lifestyle changes out there according to most dietitians and doctors, and there are a variety of books and articles on the subject.
The problem is that there is simply so much information out there, it can be difficult to define what the Mediterranean diet is. Fortunately, understanding the Mediterranean diet, and even switching to it, is relatively easy.
What the Mediterranean Diet consists of
Rather than completely excluding you from any one nutrition source, except possibly processed foods, the Mediterranean diet embraces most food groups. Eating the Mediterranean diet doesn't mean cutting out carbs or saying no to meat. It is instead, choosing to eat mostly fruits and vegetables, supported by whole grains, lean meats, and the occasional glass of wine.
Because the Mediterranean diet consists of the food eaten by the native people of 23 different countries, there's a great deal of variety in what is considered acceptable. The focus is on fresh, wholesome, foods over highly processed ones.
So what foods specifically can you expect? Here are a couple of great options found commonly in almost all Mediterranean countries.
All Mediterranean countries serve salads, and plenty of them. Dieters who never want to see another lettuce leaf again may feel disappointed at first, until they see the dazzling toppings often included on these leafy treats. Mediterranean salads often feature a delicious blend of fruits, nuts, dressings, and other toppings to make that arugula and kale go down easily.
Fish and other Seafoods
When we think of the Mediterranean, we think of the sea, tropical beaches, and palm trees. It should come as no surprise then to learn that the Mediterranean diet consists of lots of seafood. Fish contain omega 3 fatty acids which are often neglected in the American diet, and can boost your cognitive function as well as your mood. Adding seafood of any kind is a great way to make your meals healthier.
Mediterranean diets include a type of bread called pita, a bread that has gained attention through the health world because of its excellent flavor and wholesome nutrition. This flat bread is used with a host of different dips, running from hummus to olive oil, and so much more. Flat bread is a major component of this diet, and it should definitely be included in yours if you plan to switch.
How to adopt the Mediterranean Diet
If you want to lose weight, lower your risk of heart disease, and embrace a healthy lifestyle that doesn't limit you to a single food group, the Mediterranean Diet is the right choice for you. To get started, all you need to do is to incorporate more of these foods into your diet. Choose a variety of colors on your plate, including vegetables in every color and fruits as well. Enjoy lean meats, sea food, and snack away on your pita bread and dips. The Mediterranean diet even allows for some alcohol—wine in particular, in moderation.
Long term studies have followed the Mediterranean diet, and have found it to be an extremely healthy way to live.