We have all heard of the incredible benefits of the Mediterranean diet. It fights obesity and brings great benefits to our cardiovascular health, all of which have been considered as one of the best and most complete diets.
Sometimes our pace of life, faster and with less time to dedicate not only to the kitchen but also to ourselves, causes us to feed improperly and with an excess of fats and industrial chemical components, very harmful to our health. The Mediterranean diet also implies a particular lifestyle, a varied and balanced contribution of natural and traditional products from this area bathed by the Mediterranean Sea. They are basic fruits, vegetables, legumes, cereals, olive oil as a source of fat, fish, and in more moderate amounts, eggs, and poultry.
What foods constitute the Mediterranean diet?
The foods that make up the Mediterranean diet are very varied. This variation is precisely one of its greatest benefits to include a lot of fruits and vegetables, fish, nuts and even medicinal herbs that combine exquisitely in each of their dishes. We make a small reference to them.
- Bread and pasta, as the main source of carbohydrates.
- Fruits, especially citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, apples, melons, watermelons, figs, grapes…
- Vegetables such as peppers, carrots, onions, lettuce, spinach, brussels sprouts, aubergines, pumpkins, potatoes, tomatoes … Also important is garlic, present in almost every meal.
- Nuts, such as nuts and legumes, which contribute to this diet a lot of fiber and antioxidants.
- The olive oil as the main source of fat.
- The wine, in small quantities in the main meals.
- Fish such as sardines, tuna, and salmon.
- Spices like thyme, rosemary, oregano …
- The usual use of honey.
- Lean meats. Especially those belonging to poultry.
Why is a healthy diet?
Several nutritional studies carried out both in Greece and in other countries on the Mediterranean coast concluded in the 1960s that the Mediterranean diet is one of the most complete, balanced and healthy Exist. The dimensions to which it is always usually concluded are the following:
- Lower obesity.
- Longer life expectancy.
- Lower rate of cardiovascular and degenerative diseases.
- Low blood cholesterol.
You may also like to read: Pregnancy in Patients With Heart Disease
Characteristics of the Mediterranean diet
- The fat present in your meals comes basically from olive oil, are therefore suitable fats and beneficial.
- A balanced contribution between polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-6 and omega-3)
- It is also a diet rich in natural antioxidants: oranges, lemons, vegetables …
- It is very rich in fiber
- As soon as animal fat is consumed, the contribution is very low compared to other countries.
Basic Tips on the Mediterranean Diet
- It varies the food in your plate to the maximum, but always in few quantities. For example: make salads with various vegetables, add tomatoes, onions, olives, cheese, oregano, oil, pieces of raw peppers … and then accompany the second course with a fish rice, for example.
- Always respect your meal schedules and do not skip any of them. The normal thing is 5 meals a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. At noon you can eat some fruit, as well as a small snack in the afternoon. Remember that you never consume large quantities.
- Always choose lean meats like chicken or turkey. Remove the fat before cooking.
- At least four pieces of fish are consumed per week: salmon, tuna, sardines …
- At all meals, a salad is included as a starter. Always seasoned with olive oil.
- Up to date, at least three pieces of fruit are taken. Start your mornings with lemon or orange juice.
- Legumes, rice, and pasta are taken at least four times a week.
- Each day includes a good ration of cereals, plus nuts such as walnuts.
- Avoid including too much salt in your meals. But yes, use condiments from aromatic herbs, thyme, rosemary, oregano…
- At day we will consume at least one liter and a half of water.