If you are tired of these tasteless, fad diets that you have chosen to follow in the past, it’s time you had a look at the Mediterranean diet. It is a “hearty” diet, in two ways. It’s is a fantastic way of eating to bring upon a healthy heart, but in the same breath, it is hearty in taste being abundant in pleasurable flavours and substance. It’s actually not a “diet” in the most common understanding of the word. It’s more a way of life in the sense that you will not need to starve yourself or totally avoid all the good things in life. It is a healthy way of life, while enjoying an occasional glass of red wine and the use of flavoursome olive oil with nearly every meal.
The Mediterranean’s, eat what’s in abundance to them in the regions where they live.
They are all active in their everyday lives, allowing them to enjoy healthy fats such as olive oil and cheese, as well as carbohydrates, which often includes potatoes and bread, without gaining excess weight.
The Mediterranean diet consists mainly of plant-based foods such as legumes, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds as well as whole grains. Greeks living in Greece have been seen to eat at least 6 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
Legumes are grown and eaten at least once a day or a few times a week within the Mediterranean diet. They are a great source of plant-based protein as well as abundant in many other nutrients. When eaten as a meal, they can keep you satisfied and full of energy the entire day.
The grains eaten within the Mediterranean regions are mostly whole grains and even their bread is low in salt, saturated fats and unhealthy chemicals. Bread is an important part of every Mediterranean meal, as they lead active lifestyles and need the energy from these carbohydrates. They do however eat it with their meals or dip it in olive oil which is much healthier than adding the harmful fats of butter to it.
The Mediterranean diet does not focus on limiting total fat eaten, but rather on consuming healthier fats over unhealthy trans and saturated fats. Olive oil and nuts are examples of these healthy and nutritious fats that are eaten in abundance. Olive oil is the most commonly used fat in the Mediterranean diet, be it to flavour or cook with. It is a monounsaturated fat, which also helps in the reduction of cholesterol. Nuts and seeds not only are a great way to get your healthy fats but also are also rich in vitamins and minerals, supplementing your diet with these essential nutrients.
Red meat consumption is limited and often replaced with fish and seafood. Fatty fish such as sardines, tuna, trout, herring and mackerel are popular within the Mediterranean diet and are also high in omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3’s help to moderate blood sugar, decrease blood clotting and prevent sudden heart attacks.
Organic red wine is enjoyed amongst the Mediterranean’s. They make their own, as well as it is also found in abundance in these regions. Drinking a glass of red wine for women and a maximum of two glasses a day for men, has been said to be healthy for the heart and heart disease.
The Mediterranean diet is about following the eating habits and lifestyle of people from the Mediterranean, without being too strict and rigid. Basically allowing yourself to eat, drink, be merry and still be healthy.