A Mediterranean diet is thought to be the healthiest diet in the world but why is this? Perhaps because it’s full of great foods like vegetables, fruit, whole grains, fish and olive oil. It contains sources of lean protein and of course, red wine in moderation. This kind of diet is said to help with weight loss, good glucose control and even a lower risk of depression. It has also been linked to a lower risk of heart attack and Alzheimer’s. Here are some ways you can adopt a more Mediterranean cooking style:
- Change your oil
Make the switch to extra-virgin olive oil as this is high in monounsaturated fatty acids which help improve the good cholesterol in your body. This HDL cholesterol helps to eliminate bad particles out of your arteries. Olive oil can be used on salad dressings, drizzled over chicken and fish dishes and used in potato and pasta dishes.
- Get fishy
Protein-rich fish is a big part of the Mediterranean diet, particularly the fatty types like salmon, mackerel and sardines. These are bursting in omega-3 fatty acids which are good for the heart and brain. Why not incorporate fish into a variety of dishes such as tacos, soup, stir fry and pasta. Treat yourself to a taste of the Med with a visit to a Restaurant Dublin like http://www.toscanarestaurant.ie
- Tons of vegetables
Following a Mediterranean diet, it’s easy to get your 5 a day in a delicious and fun way. Why not munch on some pepper strips for a snack? Or make some quick and easy side dishes including spinach? You don’t need to go overboard, especially if you don’t currently eat a lot of veggies. Aim for around 2 portions to begin with and maybe up to 3 when you’re ready.
- Go nuts!
Snacking on nuts is a great idea for a quick and easy energy boost during the day. The Mediterranean approach includes nuts of all varieties. Did you know by replacing crisps and biscuits with almonds, for example, your diet will contain less salt, sugar and calories. Nuts are also packed with fibre, minerals and potassium.
- A little vino
Mediterranean people are known for their love of red wine and in moderation, red wine has some surprising benefits. The key is to sip it along with a meal and stick to around a 3oz serving for a woman and 5oz for a man. If you don’t drink at all though, there’s absolutely no need to start to follow a Mediterranean diet.
- Take your time
The thing about this diet is that it represents more of a lifestyle than just the food you eat. To eat like you’re French, Italian, Greek or Italian means enjoying social family meal times, not rushing it down in front of the TV. Savour the joy of eating and slow down your chewing and swallowing. This helps you to feel your body more and understand when you’re hungry and when you’re full. This way, you’re more likely to eat only what you need and not just until you feel like bursting.