Planning to Opt For a Mediterranean Diet?
Are you planning to opt for a Mediterranean diet? If you are looking for a heart healthy diet plan then this might be the right one for you. The components of Mediterranean diet include the basics of healthy eating incorporated with flavourful olive oil and red wine mixed with other components. These components characterize the traditional cooking style of countries on the border of Mediterranean Sea.
The diet plan includes fish, vegetables, fruits and whole grains and excludes unhealthy fats. While this way is a tried and tested way of a healthy diet. Any small little variation here and there can cause risk of heart diseases.
What are the benefits of the Mediterranean diet?
Many studies have stated that following a Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of heart problems. An analysis of more than 1.5 million healthy people suggested that following the diet was linked to a reduced risk of death from heart problems as well as cancer. It also stated that the diet is associated to a reduced risk of Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases. Mediterranean diet is a plan that your entire family can follow in order to reduce the risk of heart disorders.
What are the key components of the Mediterranean diet?
The Mediterranean diet emphasizes on the following:
Consuming plant-based foods such as vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes and fruits
Opting for healthy fats such as olive oil over butter
Usage of salt and flavour foods to be replaced by natural herbs and spices
Consumption of red meat should be limited to few times a month
Eating poultry and fish twice a week
Consumption of red wine but moderately (option)
The diet also suggests enjoying the food with your family and includes regular exercising.
Some quick steps to get you started with Mediterranean diet plan
A diet plan that is healthy and tasty and many people who switch to Mediterranean diet have said that they would like to stick to it forever and that they will never eat any other way.
A variety of fruits and plant foods should become a part of your diet. Include whole grains in your major meals. The food should be minimally processed. Include veggies and fruits for snack time as well as in big meals. Opt for whole grain bread, pastas and rice products. Baby carrots, bananas and apples can be your mid-time snack. Fruit salad is another healthy diet dish to go for.
Have nuts and seeds as they are a good source of fibre, healthy fats and proteins. Keep some nuts handy like cashews, pistachios, walnuts and almonds. Go for natural peanut butter instead of hydrogenated fat. Tahini also known as sesame seeds can be a perfect spread on bread or can be used as a dip.
Avoid butter completely. Opt for olive oil or canola instead of margarine or butter. Drizzle it over the vegetables lightly. Add a touch of olive oil after cooking pasta, add onions and garlic as this will add good flavour. Spread olive oil on bread or use as a dip instead of consuming butter.
Use herbs and spices to make your food tasty.
Eat fish every twice a week. Salmon, trout, fresh or water-packed tuna, herring and mackerel are healthy to eat. Broil, grill or bake fish for easy clean up and good taste.
Don’t eat meat often. Few times a month is okay but pay attention to the quantity while consumption.
Avoid higher fat dairy products. Opt for low fat dairy such as whole or 2 percent milk, ice cream and cheese.