The Mediterranean Diet isn’t an eating plan – it’s a lifestyle. The region harbors some of the most revered recipes in the world, but also some of the longest-living people. While the meal plans are important, the diet shifts the focus from calorie counting to a total life change. This diet reduces risk of heart disease, while also having a significant standing in the decrease of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease through its proven lower likelihood of cognitive impairment. Based on the habits of the inhabitants of the Mediterranean Basin, this plan finds its grounding in consuming mainly fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts. Other recommendations of this diet include regular physical activity and eating with family and friends, making this a great plan to enjoy with others.
- Base meals mainly around seasonal fruits and vegetables
- Replace butter with extra virgin olive oil, and use it often
- Season with herbs and spices rather than high sodium salt
- Eat less meat, and more fish and poultry
- Choose whole grains
- Snack with nuts and seeds
- Limit dairy, or choose fat-free options
- Add a glass of wine
The Mediterranean Diet focuses on the importance of eating healthfully regularly. The idea is that indulging in fine wine, or nice cheese, habitually will prevent binging. More than anything, this diet is grounded in the rich love of food cultivated in the Mediterranean region – namely countries like Italy, Greece, and Spain. This is one diet that will never feel restrictive or bland due to the use of fresh fruits, lush vegetables, flavorful herbs, and excellent wine. So, go ahead and treat yourself to fine European dining, and enjoy the benefits of healthy living.