You must be hearing a lot these days about Mediterranean Diet !! Here’s an article which will help you get the basics..
The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating based on the traditional cuisine of countries close to the Mediterranean Sea. While there’s no single definition of the Mediterranean diet, it’s usually high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nut and seeds, and olive oil.
The main components of Mediterranean diet include:
- Daily consumption of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and healthy fats
- Weekly intake of fish, poultry, beans and eggs
- Moderate portions of dairy products
- Limited intake of red meat
We break down six essential elements of the Mediterranean diet.
1. Healthy Grains: Can be included in breakfast, lunch, or dinner as whole. These healthy grains are full of fiber, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties and are also beneficial in preventing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes. Common whole grains include brown rice and oats, while ancient grains such as quinoa, amaranth, farro, buckwheat, and bulgur pack the added perk of being gluten-free.
2. Vegetables: These plant-based foods are vibrant, wholesome, and extremely resourceful. Whether raw, grilled, steamed, sautéed, roasted, or pickled, vegetables should be on your plate during every meal. They’re easy to spread over pizza, mix into scrambled eggs, or toss into salads.
3. Proteins: Good proteins sources include fish and shellfish, especially those that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Some of the healthiest you can eat are salmon, mackerel and oysters. Also plant proteins such as beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds—as they contain unsaturated fats, fiber, and can add instant texture and flavor to salads or stand alone as satisfying snacks.
4. Fruits: Healthy fruits in the Mediterranean diet include olives, avocados, grapes, and figs, all of which contain fiber and antioxidants. Consume as many types of fruit as possible. In terms of when to eat fruit, focus on as in the afternoon or after dinner.
5. Healthy Fats: Olive oil is the primary healthy fat source and is used for cooking, baking, sauces, vinaigrettes, and more. In addition to olive oil, cooking oils such as canola, peanut, and safflower are also recommended.
6. Red Wine: The health benefits of red wine are particular significant, one serving of red wine daily (150ml. or 5 oz.) adds to an increase of good cholesterol in the body. Sipping a glass of wine can help you de-stress while also enhancing the flavor of your food.
Eating the Mediterranean way
Interested in trying the Mediterranean diet? These tips will help you get started:
- Eat more fruits and vegetables.
- Opt for whole grains.
- Use healthy fats.
- Eat more seafood.
- Reduce red meat.
- Enjoy some dairy. Eat low-fat Greek or plain yogurt and tiny amounts of a spread of cheeses.
- Spice it up. Herbs and spices enhance flavor and reduce the need for salt.
The Mediterranean diet is an appetizing and healthy way to eat. Many people who switch to this style of eating say they’ll never eat any other way.
Please note: This article is based on our research and is for knowledge purposes only. Please do consult your Dietitian before changing your diet plans.
Dr. Mansi Pujara’s Clinic