Research has shown the Mediterranean Diet to be one of the healthiest ways to lose weight. This diet is also good for your overall health too.
A study on 15,000 people undertaken at the University of Auckland, in New Zealand also found that the risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke did not increase in those that consumed junk food such as fatty snacks or fizzy soft drinks alongside a Mediterranean Diet.
Other benefits of a Mediterranean Diet include:
- Reduced risk of certain types of cancer
- Lower chance of diabetes
- Added protection from Alzheimers and Parkinson’s
If this sounds appealing then read on to discover some of the best tips to start eating a Mediterranean Diet:
#1: Choose a healthier oil
Instead of your usual cooking oils, choose olive oil as it contains heart-healthy fats.
#2: Eat tomatoes daily
Tomatoes are full of antioxidants such as lycopene and vitamin C, which are good for boosting your overall health.
You can add tomatoes easily to a variety of food dishes, including pasta, salads and soups.
#3: Use lots of garlic
Keep the mouthwash handy as the Mediterranean Diet uses plenty of garlic.
Garlic can help protect your heart so make sure to add it to your sauces, curries and casseroles.
#4: Eat more fruit
Preferably at least 2 portions of European fruits daily.
These include fruits such as apples, oranges and pears.
#5: Swap your cheese
We all love a little cheese, but our usual choices are probably not the best choice for us.
Instead of our usual harder cheese choices, choose a lower fat, calcium-rich feta cheese.
#6: Swap red meat for fish
Fish such as salmon and sardines are full of omega-3 fats that can help protect your heart. Therefore it makes sense to swap your usual steak for fish occasionally.
#7: Eat vegetables with every meal
Vegetables are low in calories yet contain a large number of nutrients that our bodies require.
Therefore it makes sense that you should be eating as many of these as possible, especially if you value your health and are looking to lose a few pounds.
To add a little variety, you can alternate between your usual vegetable choices and more Mediterranean favourites such as red peppers, avocados and aubergines.
#8: Use wholegrain rice
White rice is highly processed, which means that it has lost most of its nutritional content.
Consuming it can also cause a blood sugar spike to occur, which is always short-lived. After which your blood sugar levels will crash, resulting in further food cravings.
Eating wholegrain rice, will not cause the same spike and fall to occur.
#9: Add more beans and pulses to your diet
These are full of soluble fibre that can help to reduce your cholesterol.
You can add these to your soups, sauces and casseroles easily.
#10: Snack on nuts
Nuts are full of heart-healthy fats and other nutrients, so make the perfect snack food for when you are feeling peckish between meals.
Just make sure to choose the unsalted variety, and to eat them in moderation. Remember even healthy foods contain calories.
#11: Enjoy a glass of wine
Wine contains resveratrol that has been shown to be an ingredient that can boost the health of your heart.
Just make sure to consume wine in moderation, which is one of the key words when eating a Mediterranean Diet.
#12: Use lentils as a side
Instead of your usual chips, try putting a portion of lentils as a side for your main meals.
#13: Use olive oil instead of butter
Most butters are full of saturated fats, which are not good for your heart when consumed excessively.
Instead try drizzling a little olive oil onto the bread instead.
#14: Eat live yoghurt daily
This is full of calcium and protein. Plus, it can help boost your digestion too.
#15: Savour your food
The slower you eat your food the less you will likely eat, this is because it takes up to 20 minutes for the signal to reach your brain that you are full.
Therefore does it not make sense for you to savour your food, and to enjoy it rather than rushing it?
#16: Nibble on olives pre-meal
Olives are full of healthy fats that can help to curb your hunger before you sit down to your meal.