The Mediterranean diet consists of the types of food originally eaten by the people of the region, like in Greece.
Through the years, research has indicated that these people were more healthy than Americans and had a lower risk of disease. The diet has proven to reduce weight and help prevent heart attacks, strokes and type 2 diabetes.
Basically speaking it means:
- Eat: Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, breads, herbs, spices, fish, seafood and extra virgin olive oil.
- Eat in Moderation: Poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt.
- Eat Only Rarely: Red meat.
- Don’t Eat: Sugar-sweetened beverages, added sugars, processed meat, refined grains, refined oils and other highly processed foods.
It’s not all that difficult to eat out, enjoy your meal and remain on the Mediterranean diet regime.
Here are a few tips on how to create your diet and some suggestions when dining out:
- Vegetables: Tomatoes, broccoli, kale, spinach, onions, cauliflower, carrots, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, etc.
- Try a Greek Salad
- Legumes: Beans, peas, lentils, pulses, peanuts, chickpeas, etc.
- Try Lentil Soup
- Tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, yams, etc.
- Try Skordalia (Greek Potato and Garlic Dip)
- Whole Grains: Whole oats, brown rice, rye, barley, corn, buckwheat, whole wheat, whole grain bread and pasta.
- Dip your Pita in Skordalia
- Poultry: Chicken, duck, turkey and more.
- Try a Chicken Gyros Bowl
- Healthy Fats: Extra virgin olive oil, olives, avocados and avocado oil.
- Dress your salad with EVOO alone or use a pure Greek dressing to add some spice
When at home, a good way to start the day is with:
- Fruits: Apples, bananas, oranges, pears, strawberries, grapes, dates, figs, melons, peaches, etc.
- Dairy: Cheese, yogurt, Greek yogurt, etc.
- Try Greek yogurt with strawberries and oats
And while you’re at the office, out shopping or enjoying a sporting event:
- Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, Macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and more.