WHY ALL THE FUSS ABOUT THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET ?
The Mediterranean Diet appears in a lot of headlines and articles as the best ways to improve your eating habits, maintain good health, control your weight, and a whole list of other benefits. But why is this diet better than any of the other diets we have been hearing about over the last 20+ years? Is it really that new and revolutionary? And what about folks like us who don’t live in the Mediterranean region and have busy schedules to manage and don’t have time to cook fancy exotic recipes? Can it really help us?
The Mediterranean Diet is just a way of eating and it focuses on the eating habits of people who live in Southern Europe in countries that are along or near to the Mediterranean Sea. This includes Greece, Crete, Italy, Spain, Southern France and Portugal. This is not about deprivation or eating extreme healthy stuff to take away your appetite. It is just a way of eating that provides better nutrition and less of the foods that are associated with health issues. The Mediterranean way of eating includes real regular food that tastes good and it does not involve counting calories or buying diet products. You can still eat meat, if you like meat, and you can have some wine, if you drink wine. You can even have some desserts. The point is that you do not feel starved or deprived of anything that tastes good.
This diet is characterized by an abundance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts, as well as moderate amounts of fish, poultry, and red wine. The Mediterranean diet is also rich in healthy fats, such as olive oil and avocado, and is low in saturated fats and processed foods.
One of the main principles of the Mediterranean diet is to eat a variety of nutrient-dense foods, rather than relying on a few specific nutrients or food groups. This approach helps to provide a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients that are necessary for good health.
One of the key aspects of the Mediterranean diet is the inclusion of healthy fats, particularly those that come from olive oil, avocados, and nuts. These fats have been shown to have a number of health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke, as well as improving blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity.
The Mediterranean diet also emphasizes the importance of physical activity and social connections. Regular physical activity, such as walking, cycling, or swimming, can help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, while social connections can provide emotional and mental support.
Overall, the Mediterranean diet is a balanced and nutritious way of eating that can provide a wide range of health benefits. By incorporating a variety of nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and moderate amounts of fish and poultry, along with regular physical activity and social connections, it is possible to achieve optimal health and well-being.
It's worth mentioning that the Mediterranean diet is not a strict diet plan but a way of eating and living that varies across countries and cultures. It's adaptable to different cultures and cuisines and can be modified to suit individual needs and preferences. This is a healthy and delicious way of eating that can provide a wide range of health benefits. By incorporating a variety of nutrient-dense foods and regular physical activity, along with social connections, it is possible to achieve optimal health and well-being.
The ingredients you need to follow the Mediterranean way of eating are all around you. There is no need to search out exotic ingredients which are out of season or not available locally. Many of the standard Mediterranean recipes can be modified to incorporate or substitute ingredients which you can find wherever you live, at whatever time of year it is.
Eating the Mediterranean way does not cost you more as many of the ingredients are fresh and unprocessed, so you will not be paying for manufacturing costs, shipping costs and packaging costs. And you will not be paying for advertising costs – when was the last time you saw a commercial for fruit or vegetables?
The fact is, with some small adjustments to what you currently like to eat, you can Mediterraneanize your meals and make them better for you without adding cost or depriving yourself.