The Mediterranean diet is one of the most popular diets in the world and it’s here to stay. Unlike the Atkins or paleo diet, the Mediterranean diet is not something new or unique. In fact, it is the way the people in the Mediterranean countries prepare and eat their food. To them, it’s no big deal. That’s just how things have always been.To the Americans and the rest of the world that consume processed and junk food on a daily basis, the health benefits of this diet seem dramatic and almost unbelievable.
The diet gained massive popularity after results of a 5 year Spanish study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that the Mediterranean diet slowed aging, reduced bad cholesterol, prevented the onset of diseases such as Alzheimer’s Parkinson’s, stroke, cardiovascular disease, etc.
So, we know the diet is awesome. The following tips should be followed if you wish to make the best of the Mediterranean diet.
1Eat Fruit Daily
The Mediterranean people sure love their fruit and eat servings of it a few times a day. Not only will this cut down on your sugar cravings but they’re a good source of fiber.Consume a wide variety of fruit. Kiwi, pomegranate, figs, berries, apricots, apples and bananas are all popular fruit that is part of the Mediterranean diet.
2 Olive oil is your staple source of fat
This is one of the fundamentals of the Mediterranean diet. Most of your cooking should use extra virgin olive oil. This is extremely beneficial to the body.One of the main causes of obesity in the world is due to the use of hydrogenated vegetable oils. These are extremely detrimental to the body and are loaded with Omega-6 fatty acids when what the human body really needs is Omega-3 fatty acids.
Extra virgin olive oil is also referred to as liquid gold because it is that valuable for health. Full of anti-oxidant properties and monounsaturated fatty acids, it is highly beneficial to one’s health. Use it to roast or lightly sauté your vegetables. Use it whenever you can to enhance the taste and flavor of your cooking.
3Consume leafy green veggies often.
This applies even if you’re not on the Mediterranean diet.
4 Eat fish and eat it often.
Cod, salmon, tuna, etc. Besides olive oil, fish oil is another important component in the Mediterranean diet. You should always choose fresh fish and freeze any excess you have to use later. The Mediterranean diet is low in meats such as chicken, beef and pork. This low consumption of saturated fat could probably account for why there is a much lower risk of heart disease associated with this diet.
5 Have a glass of wine every night after dinner.
This is a key component in the Mediterranean diet. Most people are more used to guzzling beers or knocking down shots of tequila or Sambuca which is unhealthy, to say the least.Red wine however is rich in antioxidants and beneficial to the body while drinks such as bourbon, vodka, etc. are treated as a poison by the body. Drink a glass of wine daily and in moderation. Your heart will thank you for it.
Follow the above 5 tips and your health will get better. Unlike most diets, the Mediterranean diet is not tough or restrictive. With a few small changes, you should be able to adapt to it and actually find it delicious.