If you asked what exactly is a Mediterranean diet, there’s a broad definition, which includes the foods traditionally eaten by people that live in countries that border the Mediterranean Sea. The diet is chock filled with whole foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, whole grains and olive oil. There’s no breaded and fried foods like you’d find at today’s fast food places. If eating a healthy diet is your goal, a Mediterranean diet could be the perfect choice.
The Mediterranean diet has other unifying components.
Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts whole grains and healthy oils is always a good option and important to any diet. Red meat and dairy products are more limited in the Mediterranean diet. While some people find they have less congestion from limiting milk, it’s hard to take for others. Studies do show that cutting back on red meat is a healthy option.
A plant based diet has been touted as being healthier and the Mediterranean diet is more plant based.
Having a meatless Monday can be good for both your wallet and your health. The Mediterranean diet is created more around vegetables than meat. Even other animal products, like milk, eggs and poultry are more limited. There’s more seafood in the diet than red meat, but even that is more limited to twice a week. Fatty fish, which is high in Omega-3 fatty acids, are often used. Deep-fried fish isn’t part of the diet.
Healthy fat is an important part of the Mediterranean diet.
Rather than eating foods cooked in saturated or trans fats, the Mediterranean diet uses healthy fats. Olive oil is one of the primary oils. It’s a monounsaturated oil that helps lower LDL—the bad cholesterol levels. Nuts and seeds, which also contain the monounsaturated fats are also part of the Mediterranean diet. The diet also focuses on fatty fish, which has Omega-3 a polyunsaturated fat thats’ also healthy.
- Part of the joy of following a Mediterranean diet is making a meal a social event to share with family and friends. A glass of wine with the meal is also good for health, as is the laugher and comradery.
- Many of the herbs and spices that are used liberally in the Mediterranean diet also have additional nutrients, no calories and some health benefits. They reduce the need for salt.
- Just like any healthy diet, increasing your servings of fruits and vegetables to seven to ten a day can be a very healthy change. Not only does it add more vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, it adds fiber, which can keep your blood pressure lower and regulate blood sugar levels.
- Whole grains are used for breads and pasta. Whole grains provide far more nutrients than white bread or products made from refined flour. Our nutritional program can help you find if a Mediterranean diet is right for you.
For more information, contact us today at Thrive Fitness Performance Atlanta