The Mediterranean diet is an eating plan based on the way that people in countries bordering the Mediterranean eat.

Mediterranean Food

Mediterranean Food

Adopting a Mediterranean diet can be easy and cheap. The Mediterranean diet features mostly fresh foods that have gone through minimal processing; it also involves using herbs and spices for seasoning instead of salt.It goes beyond a diet, however, by encouraging daily physical activity and embracing an attitude about food and eating that fosters pleasure.

This diet takes on a distinctive diet by the natives of the Mediterranean region and applies those principles to gain the benefits of low saturated fats and high antioxidants from the food. As for any diet program or structure, there is a food pyramid created that illustrates the general idea of the diet in detail. The pyramid, for the Mediterranean diet, would consist of high quantities of fresh fruits and vegetables which are followed by lots of proteins and whole grains.

Chickpeas

Eaten daily, combined with grains and starches, beans provide high-quality protein along with folate, calcium, iron, and zinc. They also offer benefits like healthy, filling doses of fiber (both soluble and insoluble), phytates, and phyto sterols; studies suggest beans may help manage diabetes, prevent colon cancer, and reduce heart disease risk.

Olive Oil

Prized since antiquity, olive oil is imperative in Mediterranean cookery, especially when it comes to preparing vegetables. Rich in monounsaturated fat and (in extra-virgin types) antioxidant polyphenols; many believe its wide use throughout the Mediterranean explains much of that region’s low heart disease rates.

Fish and Poultry

Two servings of fish or shellfish per week should be consumed on the Mediterranean diet. Fish and poultry should be consumed in place of red meat. Red meat is limited to only 12 to 16 oz.per month. Recommended items include chicken, turkey, oysters, shrimp, salmon, squid, mackerel, mussels, tuna, lobster, tilapia, salmon and flounder.

Broccoli Rabe

To be Italian is to appreciate dark, leafy vegetables, especially this earthily bitter brassica that pairs beautifully with bold ingredients like sausage, anchovy, and hot pepper. Like other cabbage family members it’s a nutrition superstar, providing plenty of vitamin C, potassium, calcium, and fiber as well as carotenoids and cancer-fighting indoles and isothiocyanates.

Nuts

Nuts are another staple of the Mediterranean diet. Like olive oil, they contain unsaturated fatty acids, and also contain beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts that can be consumed include those that come from trees, such as walnuts and pecans. Because even these nuts are high in calories, they should be eaten in moderation–only an ounce or two a day. When possible, opt for unsalted nuts, and avoid candied nuts, because they are high in sugar.

Vegetables and Fruits

Vegetables should be consumed in large amounts when following the Mediterranean diet. Featured foods include artichokes, eggplant, celery, broccoli, onions, peas, peppers, sweet potatoes, lettuce, mushrooms, celery and tomatoes. In place of sweets, fruits are eaten for desserts. Some fruits recommended on the diet are apples, cherries, dates, peaches, grapefruit,s melons and strawberries. Seven to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables should be consumed daily.

Mediterranean Diet Foods

Mediterranean Diet Foods

Benefits of the Mediterranean diet

Research has shown that the traditional Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease. In fact, an analysis of more than 1.5 million healthy adults demonstrated that following a Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of death from heart disease and cancer, as well as a reduced incidence of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

The Mediterranean diet as an eating plan that can help promote health and prevent disease. And the Mediterranean diet is one your whole family can follow for good health.