5 Simple Steps to Switching to the Mediterranean Diet
A huge nutrition study out of Spain was published in 2013, delivering some wonderful health news that confirms what we’ve been saying for some time.
The New England Journal of Medicine offered compelling evidence to prove that the Mediterranean Diet delivered an approximately 30% chance of lowering cardiovascular diseases, including stroke.
Researchers for the Harvard School of Public Health, the Cambridge Health Alliance, the British Medical Journal and others have reported similar findings.
Younger looking and stronger skin, healthy weight loss and improved mental functioning have also been linked to a diet rich in plant foods, vegetables and fruits, the right kinds of fish, good fats and whole grains – the basic ingredients the Mediterranean Diet revolves around.
So, how do you switch to the Mediterranean Diet ?
Put the following 5 simple steps in practice, and your brain, heart and entire body will begin feeling and looking healthy and fit.
1) Don’t be afraid of fat.
The key here is in knowing the fats that are good for you, and which are bad.
Saturated and trans fats? Very bad, and found in way too many processed foods. They are unhealthy for your heart, and lead to obesity and other health problems.
Nuts, extra virgin olive oil, sunflower seeds and avocados are “good fats”.
Start swapping these in your diet immediately.
2) Your mum was right. Eat your veggies!
The heart-healthy and brain-strengthening Mediterranean Diet includes whole grains, whole foods, good fats, fish, fruits, lean healthy meat on a limited basis and natural, high-fiber foods.
All of these are needed for your body to function properly, and at a high level, but vegetables are the food All-Stars and deserve your greatest attention. Make fresh vegetables the biggest part of every meal.
3) Eat Mediterranean Diet foods first.
Vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains make you feel full faster and longer than processed foods. So during any meal, eat these food items first.
You will find yourself feeling sated quickly, eating less “bad foods” and enjoying the health benefits that come with a Mediterranean-style diet.
4) Eat fish 2 to 3 times a week.
Halibut, salmon, tuna and sardines are exceptionally high in omega-3 fatty acids. They are also low in calories and carbs, high in protein, and the preferred “meat” of the Mediterranean Diet.
They are extremely versatile, can be eaten hot or cold after cooking, and should replace red meat and processed meat in your diet wherever possible.
5) Go big on beans.
Legumes are definitely an important part of the Mediterranean Diet. They are heart healthy, fill you up quickly and keep you feeling full longer, and there are literally dozens of varieties available.
You can use beans to make dips, hummus and other pastes, or eat them on their own. Use them to complement vegetables, fruits and whole grain products as an essential part of your healthy Mediterranean Diet plan.
The Mediterranean diet is a deliciously healthy way to eat and because of this, unlike many other diets, people find it easier to stay with long-term.
Just by incorporating these 5 simple steps into your diet, you can look forward to all the proven benefits associated with the Mediterranean diet.