The Mediterranean diet is based on traditional meals eaten in countries such as Italy and Greece around 1960. According to the experts, these people were extraordinarily healthy compared to Americans and had a low risk of numerous lifestyle disorders. An increasing amount of research suggests that the Mediterranean diet can aid in weight loss and the prevention of heart attacks, strokes, type 2 diabetes, and premature death. There is no one correct way to follow the Mediterranean diet because there are so many countries around the Mediterranean Sea and people in different regions may have eaten different things.
It’s debatable which foods belong in the Mediterranean diet, partly because they vary so much between countries. The majority of research focused on a diet high in nutritious plant foods and low in animal foods. It is, nevertheless, recommended that you consume fish and seafood at least twice a week. Regular physical exercise, sharing meals with people, and living life to the fullest are all aspects of the Mediterranean way of life.
Things to eat on a mediterranean diet
You should base your diet on these healthy, unprocessed Mediterranean foods:
- Vegetables: Tomatoes, broccoli, kale, spinach, onions, cauliflower, carrots, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, etc.
- Fruits: Apples, bananas, oranges, pears, strawberries, grapes, dates, figs, melons, peaches, etc
- Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
- Legumes: Beans, peas, lentils, pulses, peanuts, chickpeas, etc
- Tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, yams, etc.
- Whole grains: Whole oats, brown rice, rye, barley, corn, buckwheat, whole wheat, whole-grain bread and pasta.
- Fish and seafood: Salmon, sardines, trout, tuna, mackerel, shrimp, oysters, clams, crab, mussels, etc
- Poultry: Chicken, duck, turkey, etc
- Eggs: Chicken, quail and duck eggs.
- Dairy: Cheese, yogurt, Greek yogurt, etc.
- Herbs and spices: Garlic, basil, mint, rosemary, sage, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper, etc.
- Healthy Fats: Extra virgin olive oil, olives, avocados and avocado oil.
Water should be your major beverage on a Mediterranean diet. This diet also includes a modest amount of red wine each day — around one glass. This is entirely optional, and anyone suffering from alcoholism or having problems controlling their consumption should avoid wine. Coffee and tea are also OK, although sugar-sweetened beverages and fruit juices should be avoided.
Mediterranean diet on a budget
Some of these necessary components can be rather pricey. As a result, we’ve come up with a few suggestions to help you stick to this heart-healthy diet on a budget.
- The Mediterranean diet evolved from a peasant way of life in which meat was considered a luxury commodity. Increase the amount of vegetables on your plate while treating meat as a rare source of protein.
- You purchase whatever is in season, locally farmed, and grown nearby. It is less expensive and has a better flavour. Avoid the notion that you must buy “Mediterranean” fruits and vegetables.
- If you follow a Mediterranean diet, you’ve probably bought some good olive oil. The only dressing you’ll need is olive oil and vinegar; make your own instead of buying bottled salad dressings, which are not only more expensive but also provide no nutritional value. Because you don’t know what kind of olive oil was used (extra virgin is best for the most benefits), and because the antioxidant compounds in olive oil are very sensitive to water, bottled salad dressings containing extra virgin olive oil will have very little, if any, of these protective substances.
- The popular chicken breast is fairly expensive and, to be honest, lacks flavour. Whole chickens, or even chicken legs, are less expensive and more flavorful. If you remove the skin before eating, you’re fine.
Also read : MEDITERRANEAN DIET: THE NEW LOW CARB DIET