What do the Mediterraneans have that we don’t have? A much healthier diet, for sure. Those countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea may be an ocean away from us, but their style of eating and cooking is certainly not out of our reach. If you are searching for a heart-healthy, feel better plan for eating, the Mediterranean diet may be just what you are looking for. The Mediterranean diet incorporates the basics of healthy eating plus a splash of olive oil and maybe a great glass of red wine.
Most healthy eating plans include fresh fruits,vegetables, fish and whole grains, and limit unhealthy fats. However, subtle and simple modifications in proportions of certain foods may make a big difference in your risk for heart disease and other potential health problems.
The Mediterranean diet is thought to reduce your risk of heart disease. In fact, a 2007 study conducted in the United States found that both women and men who followed a Mediterranean diet lowered their risk of death from both heart disease and cancer. They probably felt a whole lot better in many ways.
What does a Mediterranean diet include?
1. Eating a generous amount of fresh fruits and veggies…minus all the fondue and ranch dressing for dipping.
2. Consuming healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil…forget about the other heart clogging fats. The focus of the Mediterranean diet isn’t to limit total fat intake but to make smart choices about the types of fat you eat. No butter on your whole grain bread. Try dipping your bread in a little bit of tasty olive oil instead.
3. Eating small handfuls of nuts… walnuts, almonds, pecans,and brazil nuts…not the entire bag, or box, a small handful. One of the best snacks going!
4. Drinking red wine, in moderation, for some. Ask your Doc first. Drinking no sugar added purple grape juice may be a healthy alternative to wine.
5. Consuming very little red meat, if any.
6. Eating fish on a regular basis, especially water-packed tuna, salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines and herring are great choices.
Read food labels so you know what you are putting into your body. Reduce–or better yet–eliminate saturated fat and trans fat from your diet, (also known as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils). For example, most peanut butters have added hydrogenated fat. Eat natural peanut butter…. And READ those sneaky labels!
This Mediterranean style of eating is not trendy or complicated, doesn’t require much brain power, and you don’t have to go to Barnes and Noble to buy it. By the way, how many years of diet books do you have collecting dust on the book shelf?Â This daily plan for eating is simple and a whole lot of healthy.Â The Mediterranean people have been eating like this forever and they are pretty darn healthy. It just makes good clean sense. A little less in your face….and perhaps, a lot less on your ass!!!
Eat healthy, enjoy, and be fit for your future……