What is the Mediterranean Diet?
Trendy diets come and go, but many doctors and dieticians have recommended one diet plan again and again, stating that it is effective in preventing disease and helping people stay healthy.
This diet doesn’t rely on counting calories and even leaves room for a daily glass of wine. In fact, the word “diet” is misleading: this way of eating doesn’t have rigid rules. Looking to feel healthier and more vibrant without going hungry? Look no further than the Mediterranean Diet.
The Mediterranean Diet was declared the Best Overall Diet in 2021, 2020, 2019, and 2018, according to U.S. News & World Report. That’s four years and counting! The Mediterranean Diet may offer important health benefits like improved heart and brain health, cancer prevention, weight loss, and diabetes prevention and control.
Why is it called the Mediterranean Diet?
Interest in the Mediterranean Diet started in the 1960s with the observation that people living in Mediterranean countries, such as Greece and Italy, were less often affected by coronary heart disease than those in the US and northern Europe.
What are the guidelines?
Remember, this way of eating can be adjusted to fit your needs and preferences – there isn’t just one way to enjoy the Mediterranean Diet.
- Eat every day: Leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, whole grains, herbs, spices
- Eat moderately: Lean proteins from fish, some poultry, and eggs
- Eat only rarely: Red meats and sweets
- Avoid: Sugar-sweetened beverages, added sugars, processed meat, refined grains and oils
- Focus on plant-based, not meat-based eating
- Use healthy fats like olive oil instead of butter while cooking
- More herbs, less salt!
Sound simple? That’s because it is. Here are a few lifestyle tips from the Mediterranean Diet that will have a positive impact on your health:
- Eat mindfully—savor every bite
- Enjoy your meals with friends and family, not in front of the TV
- Move your body daily
As with any new eating plan, speak to your doctor to get the all clear and experiment safely to find what works for you.