No need for Calorie Counting
When adopting the Mediterranean diet, you won't be counting calories or cutting out major food groups. Alternatively, you'll substitute bad fats for heart-healthy ones - olive oil instead of butter; fish or poultry instead of red meat. Additionally, enjoying fresh fruit instead of sugary, fancy desserts as well as eating your fill of flavorful veggies and beans will turn out to be a much better and healthier choice. Nuts are an excellent snack, too, however keep them to no more than a handful a day. Also, you can even have whole-grain bread and wine in moderation.
When you eat like Mediterranean people do, the focus is on fresh, seasonal food prepared in simple, mouth-watering ways. Prepare a delicious salad from spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, and classic Greek ingredients like black olives and feta cheese. You’ll definitely love it.
Enjoy the Bread
Choose whole grains, a Mediterranean diet staple. Bread as well as pasta made with whole grains has more protein and minerals and is generally healthier than the white flour kind, which means it won't give you a sugar rush and then a crash. Try whole-grain pita bread dipped in olive oil, hummus, or tahini.
Fat Is Still On the Table
The good kind of fat - that's good for your heart - is a staple of the Mediterranean diet. Which one is the good fat though? Well, you'll find it in nuts, olives, and olive oil. These type of fats not only add flavor, they also help fight diseases from diabetes to cancer.
The Menu Is Huge
The Mediterranean diet doesn't limit you to Greek and Italian. The region also includes France, Spain, Turkey, Morocco, and other countries. Choose foods that stick to the basics: light on red meat and whole-fat dairy, with lots of fresh fruits and veggies, olive oil, and whole grains.
The Spices Are Very Tasty
Mediterranean herbs and spices - including bay leaves, cilantro and coriander, rosemary, garlic, pepper, and cinnamon - add so much flavor you won't need to reach for the salt shaker. And, some have wonderful health benefits, too. Coriander and rosemary, for instance, have disease-fighting antioxidants and nutrients.
Very Simple to Make
Greek meals are generally small, easily assembled plates called mezzes. Also, for your own serve-it-cold casual meal, you could put out plates of cheese, olives and nuts.
Wine Is Included In the Diet
Drinking wine with meals is common in many Mediterranean countries, where dining is generally leisurely and social. Also, according to some studies, for some people, up to one glass a day for women and two for men may be good for the heart. Red is the Mediterranean choice and may be healthier than white wine. However, make sure to check with your doctor to see whether sipping wine is right for you.
You Won't Feel Hungry
The Mediterranean diet allows you to eat rich-tasting foods like roasted sweet potatoes, hummus, and even bean spread. You digest these slowly so that you feel full longer. Hunger's not an issue when you can eat nuts, olives, or bites of low-fat cheese when a craving strikes. Keep in mind that feta and halloumi are lower in fat than cheddar, however still rich and delicious.
You Can Lose Weight
You may think it’s impossible to lose weight eating nuts, cheese, and oils. However, those Mediterranean basics leave you feeling full and satisfied - which helps you stick to a diet. Regular physical activity to keep a healthy weight is also an essential part of a balanced and healthy lifestyle.
You’ll have a Healthy Heart
Almost everything in the Mediterranean diet is good for your heart. Olive oil and nuts help lower "bad" cholesterol. Fruits, veggies, and beans help keep arteries clear. Fish helps lower triglycerides and blood pressure. And, even a daily glass of wine may be good for your heart!
Have you tried the Mediterranean diet, yet?