3,2,1… Mediterranean Diet for Beginners!
There is no doubt that food and nutrition are two highly valued aspects in all cultures. The fast pace of life today involves a series of risks to our health and nutrition, mainly because we have less time for cooking and we eat meals away from home (many of them high in calories) at fast food chains or from supermarkets selling out-of-season products.
Among the numerous diets and dietary guidelines, the Mediterranean Diet is considered as one of the best, as confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The Mediterranean Diet is based on the balanced combination of different food groups (olive oil as the main fat, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, cheese and yogurt, fish, bread and wheat products and a moderate consumption of wine and meat)
Performing regular physical activity.
If you are thinking about changing your eating habits, we suggest you adopt the Mediterranean Diet. Here are the guidelines.
Focus on unprocessed healthy foods:
- Vegetables: tomatoes, broccoli, kale, spinach, onions, cauliflower, carrots, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, etc.
- Fruits: apples, bananas, oranges, pears, strawberries, grapes, dates, figs, melons, peaches, etc.
- Nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
- Legumes: beans, peas, lentils, pulses, peanuts, chickpeas, etc.
- Tubers: potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, yams, etc.
- Whole grains: whole oats, brown rice, rye, barley, corn, buckwheat, whole wheat, whole-grain bread and pasta.
- Fish and sea food: salmon, sardines, trout, tuna, mackerel, shrimp, oysters, clams, crabs, mussels, etc.
- Poultry: chicken, duck, turkey, etc.
- Eggs: chicken, quail and duck eggs.
- Dairy products: cheese, yogurt, Greek yogurt, etc.
- Herbs and spices: garlic, basil, mint, rosemary, sage, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper, etc.
- Healthy fats: extra virgin olive oil, olives, avocados.
Sugary beverages, added sugars, processed meats, refined grains, refined oils and other highly processed foods.
- Water will become your go-to beverage. It is advisable to drink 1.5 to 2 liters per day.
- You can include moderate amounts of red wine, around 1 glass a day.
- Coffee and tea are also recommended, but you should avoid sugar-sweetened beverages and fruit juices, which are very high in sugar.
3. AND DON’T FORGET!
The Mediterranean lifestyle also involves regular physical activity–try to do 15 minutes of gentle exercise, walk half an hour, share meals with other people and enjoy life.