The Mediterranean Diet plan has many health benefits, read on to find out more. It is an eating pattern that has been around for many years and is based on the eating habits of people living in Greece, South Italy and Spain. This eating pattern includes an increased intake of vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, olive oil, herbs, and spices. It includes a decreased intake of red meat, high-fat dairy, processed foods and high-sugar foods. It also emphasizes the importance of physical activity.
Why is this a healthy eating pattern to follow? This diet has been extensively studied and has been shown to prevent heart disease, stroke, improve cholesterol and improve the health of blood vessels which may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. It has also been shown to help prevent the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and to reduce blood sugar levels in people who already have type 2 diabetes. Studies have also found that it reduces the risk of developing other medical conditions related to type 2 diabetes such as high blood pressure, overweight and obesity, high cholesterol, high triglycerides and heart disease.
How can you incorporate this eating pattern into your diet?
- Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables- try eating fruit as a snack and vegetables at lunch and dinner.
- Replace white bread and grains with whole grains such as brown rice.
- Add more healthy fat sources such as olive oil, nuts and seeds which contain a type of fat called monounsaturated fat which is a heart-healthy fat.
- Reduce your intake of red meat, high-fat dairy, eggs and processed meats which are higher in saturated fat- choose white meat poultry and turkey more often.
- Include more seafood and fish into your diet- they contain heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
- Have at least one plant-based meal a week.
- Add flavour with spices and herbs and use less salt.
Are you at risk of developing any of the above mentioned medical conditions or are you simply trying to incorporate healthier foods into your diet? Try incorporating some of the foods from the Mediterranean Diet! This diet has a lot of health benefits. If you would like an individualized eating plan related to your own health risk, you can book an appointment for a nutrition consultation on my website- www.hanamnutrition.com.