If you’ve heard about the Mediterranean diet, let me first tell you that this is NOT a diet per se. The options are endless and there is no calorie counting, weighing of food, or feeling hungry. It’s more of a healthy life-style change, a way of healthier eating that Westerners need to learn more about. Unbeknownst to me, the Mediterranean diet is not just based on Greece. It also includes Spain, Italy, Morocco, Turkey, and more. This style of eating is all about plant-based foods. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, seeds, mixed nuts, pasta, rice, and leaner sources of protein such as chicken and fish rather than red meat. It’s ok to have red meat once or twice a month, just limit your portions. The good news for wine drinkers is that red wine is included in moderate amounts.
Research proves that the Mediterranean way of eating reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, as well as lowers cholesterol. It is also said to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, cancer, Parkinson’s, and diabetes. It’s also a brain-friendly way of eating, rich in anti-oxidants. It is being called the healthiest diet in the world by millions.
Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables.
Cooking with olive oil or canola oil is something we’re all familiar with, so don’t change anything there. According to the Mayo Clinic, extra-virgin olive oil is the least processed form provides the highest levels of the protective plant compounds that provide antioxidant effects. Canola oil contains a type of omega-3 fatty acid which is beneficial in lowering triglycerides, decreasing blood clotting, lowers your risk of sudden heart attack, improves your blood vessels, as well as moderating blood pressure.
Many of us have greatly reduced our salt intake. Keep up the good work. Instead, use spices and fresh herbs to season your food. Replace your salt with flavorful cinnamon, rosemary, thyme, tarragon, coriander, basil, cilantro, garlic, and pepper. If you reduce your salt consumption little by little, you won’t miss it after a while. Read labels! When you are buying canned goods, beware of the added salt. Rinsing canned vegetables helps reduce the salt. Fresh or frozen is always best.
Avoid processed foods. They are usually loaded with fats, chemical preservatives, artificial ingredients, and salt. Avoid sugar. Avoid junk food. Avoid fast food joints.
If you need a snack, a handful of mixed nuts, olives, Feta cheese, a whole grain pita dipped in hummus or olive oil
You can have your bread, but look for whole grain which contains more protein and minerals.
Eat slower. You’ll eat less while enjoying your food more.
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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018