The Mediterranean diet is said to be the the healthiest of diets but is it? What is a Mediterranean Diet exactly.
A Mediterranean Diet is low in saturated fat, rich in healthy oils, and packed with fresh fruits and vegetables, everything a healthy diet needs to keeping you body in good shape.
It’s claimed to be one of the best diet in helping you to live a long life and has been endorsed by countless scientist that back a Mediterranean diet as being one of the healthiest diets in the world.
Mediterranean Diet: A Healthy Eating Plan
A Mediterranean pyramid is helpful in getting a better understanding of what food groups in what amounts are recommended in an Mediterranean diet
Traditionally Mediterranean meals include fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Bread is important part of the Mediterranean diet unlike the no carbs diet that eliminates a lot of carbs. In Mediterranean recipes rice, pasta and bread are eaten daily as part of a healthy diet.
Fruit and vegetables like baby carrots, apples, bananas and tangerines are kept on hand for quick satisfying snack. Fruit is used mainly for puddings instead of cakes or ice cream
Nuts, seeds and pulses are a big part of the Mediterranean Diet
Red meat is eaten sparingly and lean cuts are chosen and consumed in small portion sizes about the size of a deck of cards. Red meat is replaced by fish and poultry for protein which is eaten in abundance.
The Western diet overuses salt as a flavouring, in Mediterranean meals however herbs are used instead of salt for an healthier alternative giving Mediterranean recipes more variety of tastes.
Butter and lard is replaced by olive oil for cooking, and drizzling on salads, bread is dipped into olive oil instead of spreading butter or margarine.
Nuts, seeds and pulses are consumed and dairy products are eaten.
Health Benefits to a Mediterranean Diet
Mediterranean foods promote healthy eating through fresh ingredients and not relying on highly processed convenient foods.
The Diet Helps in Reducing:
*Lowers blood pressure
*Lowers risk of some cancers
*Can help in weight lose
The Mediterranean diet also promotes healthy living and encourages daily exercise and to eat meals with family which is good for your psychological health. Alcohol consumption is a social affair and consumed in moderation as part of the experience of the main meal. Water is the main beverage throughout the day.
Following a Mediterranean Diet – But I Don’t Like Fish
I don’t religiously follow a Mediterranean diet but I would like to. I’m trying to get my husband to adopt eating more fish in his diet but he hates the stuff – me, I love fish, but he can’t even stand the smell let alone the taste. My husband wont eat fish pie, shrimps or seafood, he wont even eat the humble tuna in a tin. If my husband was a brown bear during salmon season he would starve to death :)
My other half only eats white fish if it’s processed, covered in bread crumbs and comes out the freezer, even then you can bet 6/10 times when eating it he will say the fish tastes off. When I make myself Kippers for breakfast I have to go through military maneuvers to make sure there are no smells in the house – throwing open windows even in the middle of winter, clean everything while I’m cooking, clean everything straight after eating, clean my teeth and decontaminate the microwave, so you can see the difficulty I’m having in following a Mediterranean diet completely.
In the Mediterranean diet it’s recommended that you eat fish 5-6 times a week, we eat fish roughly once every 8 weeks in our current diet. He’s not that keen on nuts either so I’m stuck with giving my hubby red meat for protein. I do cook him Mediterranean recipes throughout the week, the ones without fish :)
Becoming a Partial Vegetarian – a Day at a Time
We’ve adopted many parts of different healthy diets in our quest for healthier meals from the Mediterranean diet, vegetarian diet, French diet and a low sugar diet.
I couldn’t get my husband to be a complete vegetarian, but at least I’m winning the battle on that one. Before we started to lose weight my husband only like 4 vegetables and one of those were potatoes (which isn’t classed as a vegetable at all). Now after introducing veggies to his diet a little at a time, he likes them – even broccoli and brussel sprouts!. I can get adventurous in the kitchen cooking vegetarian recipes and trying weird looking fruits and vegetables. I cooked cabbage steaks with lemon juice the other day served on a bed of lettuce with rice and veg, it was delicious and there wasn’t a morsel left on my husbands plate, we have several days a week devoted to vegetarian meal choices to cut down on the amount of meat we eat in the week.