How to Eat Healthy with the Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet is such a healthy choice because it is filled with plant foods. It's not just a diet; it's a lifestyle, taken from the heart-healthy and active people of Greece, Southern Italy and Spain. The healthy foods in this diet include herbs and spices, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, olive oil and red wine. Make the following changes to your diet to reap the health benefits that people of the Mediterranean have been enjoying for hundreds of years.
Make Fruits and Vegetables the Centerpiece of Your Meals
The Mediterranean diet is vegetable-rich. Plant foods are commonly the healthiest choices for any diet and should make up the bulk of your meals. Choose colorful fruits and vegetables for the most health-conscious plan. Eggplants, peppers and tomatoes are common in Mediterranean recipes. Snack on fruits, such as oranges, throughout the day or for dessert to curb a sweet tooth.
Eat Fish Instead of Red Meat
Mediterranean meals are filled with fish. Fish is ultimately much healthier than steak as it contains less fat than red meat. Coldwater fish have omega-3 fatty acids, which are very good for the heart. To eat the Mediterranean diet, you don't have to give up red meat entirely; just eat it sparingly.
Replace Butter With Olive Oil
A main staple of the Mediterranean diet is olive oil. Though olive oil is fatty, it's made up of good fats. Replace butter with olive oil, such as when eating bread. Make your own salad dressings with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a healthy alternative to fatty, dairy-based dressings.
Use Herbs Instead of Salt
Instead of seasoning with salt, use a variety of herbs and spices to season your foods. Herbs and spices are often tasty yet small additions to meals that can take the place of salts and fats, both of which do not belong in large amounts in a healthy diet.
Eat With Your Family
As part of the Mediterranean lifestyle, make mealtimes social events. Don't eat in front of the TV or all by yourself. Instead, socialize and make it a cheerful time. Plan enough time for dinner instead of rushing and eating quickly. All of these encourage good eating habits. When you are aware of and enjoying your food, you're more likely to feel satisfied afterwards.
A Mediterranean diet is delicious and healthy. The people who eat this diet have been eating it for hundreds of years with good results. It's part of a culture that is food-oriented yet still healthy. It provides a template for satisfying and guilt-free choices.