The Mediterranean Diet: How to Follow It

The Mediterranean diet has been around for a long time, even before the time of the ancient Romans. People living in countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea follow this diet every day and without effort. But in America and other countries across the ocean, the Mediterranean diet can be quite foreign.

After all, most people in the modern world follow a strict diet of fast food and processed foods because they are fast and easy. But the downside of these foods is that they are not all that healthy. Instead, they tend to be loaded with sugar, salt, and fat. Eating too much bad food can cause people to gain weight and it can also cause health problems such as heart disease.

Learning how to follow the Mediterranean diet might be an easy solution to eating healthy. Keep reading to see what makes this diet unique and delicious.

What Is The Mediterranean Diet?

Most diets focus on restricting the amount of food you can eat. But not being able to eat this or that or only being able to eat one slice of bread for the week can be difficult and not all that fun. No one wants to spend their lives eating salads and abandoning most other foods just to lose weight and eat healthily.

Fortunately, with the Mediterranean diet, you can eat a large variety of foods and still be healthy. The main rule of this diet is moderation. While you can eat many different kinds of food, eating them in moderation will ensure that your diet is healthy. Beyond this rule, there is no right or wrong way to follow the Mediterranean diet. For that reason, this diet can be great for all kinds of people regardless of your lifestyle.

mediterranean diet

There is no room for junk food in the Mediterranean diet. Instead, you will find that it mostly consists of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats. And, due to its proximity to the sea, this diet also includes a lot of seafood (which is also full of healthy fats). Many people who live around the Mediterranean Sea and follow this diet tend to be very healthy and live very long lives.

The maternal side of my family is from Spain and when I visited them, I immediately noticed how different the food was compared to food in America. They ate plenty of fish, rice, steak fresh from the cow, vegetables, eggs, few carbs, and no dinner was complete without a glass of wine. They are all over the age of 40 and have more energy than many 20-year-olds I find in America.

But how should you go about following this diet?

How to Start

To follow this diet, you might have to clean out your closet a little. Junk food like potato chips and pretzels have to go. In their place, try incorporating fresh foods like potatoes, fish, whole grains, olive oil, fruits, and vegetables. Dairy products such as eggs, milk, and yogurt are also important.

By eating all of these foods in moderation, you will be able to absorb all the nutrition from all sections of the famous food pyramid. For example, green vegetables like spinach are rich in vitamin K and can keep your blood flowing smoothly. On the other hand, fish is full of omega-3 fatty acids which can help improve your cholesterol levels. Fruits and wine are beneficial because they are chock full of antioxidants.

Also, around the Mediterranean, the people there don’t always have meat at dinner, especially not red meat. They tend to eat seafood a couple of times a week and might have steak once a week. Other times, they will make another kind of food the center of the meal such as eggplants.

mediterranean diet

But what about dessert? One interesting thing I noticed in Spain is that there is a serious lack of sugary foods in grocery stores. You won’t find things like Lucky Charms or Nutter Butters on the shelves. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t any good dessert.

Instead, the desserts I discovered were lighter and smoother and not as overwhelmingly sweet. After dinner, my family liked to have yogurt. Not only was the yogurt sweet enough to be refreshing after dinner, but it was also healthy and blended with fresh fruit. I also discovered a unique Spanish dish called membrillo which looks like a pink block of gelatin.

In reality, it is a mix of mashed quince fruit, lemon zest, and vanilla served with Manchego cheese. It was only slightly sweet but was very flavorful and refreshing.

Remember that when following the Mediterranean diet, you have plenty of opportunities to experiment and try out healthy new foods.

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