Choosing a Healthy Diet Plan
Getting the right nutrition is important. Depending on your fitness goals, it can also be tricky. Some people want to lose weight, others want to monitor their sugar intake, and some people just want to eat better. Whatever your goal is, it’s important that you find a sustainable diet plan that you enjoy and stick to it. One well known and effective diet is the Mediterranean diet. This diet has remained popular for decades and may just be the refreshing take on healthy eating that you’ve been searching for. Here’s why:
What is The Mediterranean Diet?
The Mediterranean diet embraces traditional southern European foods from countries like Italy, Greece, Spain, and Southern France. Some examples of foods from the Mediterranean diet include fish, fresh produce, healthy grains, and fats. While this may not seem like much of a diet, research shows that these eating habits can drastically improve your heart health, lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and help prevent chronic diseases.
A Long History
The Mediterranean diet has been around for centuries. Long before it became mainstream, people who lived in Southern Europe had been eating this “diet” for generations. However, in the 1950s and 1960s researchers discovered that even the poorest Southern European citizens had better health than wealthy Americans. Their secret was the food that they ate and, more importantly, the foods that they did not eat (like red meat and foods with added sugars). This diet became known as the Mediterranean diet and would become very popular from the late 90s until current times.
Mediterranean Diet Plan
The principle of the Mediterranean diet is simple – eat fresh. Unlike other diets, the Mediterranean diet is flexible, as there is no single meal plan. There are no ratios of proteins, carbs, and fats to worry about and it doesn’t involve counting calories or eating less. The most important thing is eating more fresh foods and more seafood instead of meat and poultry. While that may not seem as drastic as other diets, the Mediterranean diet works because it is sustainable, low in saturated fats, low in added sugar, high in fiber, and nutrient rich.
Mediterranean Foods to Enjoy
As mentioned, the Mediterranean diet is very flexible. You can enjoy foods like fish and other seafood, whole grains such as brown rice or quinoa, fruits, vegetables, nuts, chicken, eggs, healthy fats like olive oil, and even red wine. Keep in mind that while you can eat seafood, chicken, red meat, and dairy, these foods should not be the main feature of the meal. Instead focus on eating more fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Pros of the Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet proves that you can eat well, take care of your body, and manage your weight without starving yourself. Not only is the diet high fiber, low sugar, and full of antioxidants and vitamins, but it is also one of the most flexible diets out there. The Mediterranean diet is not written in stone which makes it suitable for more people and more sustainable than other diets in the long term. Studies also show that the Mediterranean diet can be good for your heart health, help manage your blood sugar, control diabetes, and help prevent chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.
Cons of the Mediterranean Diet
Despite its numerous health benefits, the Mediterranean diet does have its shortcomings. For example, the Mediterranean diet can be high in fat. Most of these fats are “healthy,” however you should still practice moderation. Also, the Mediterranean diet does not promote weight loss. Although many people lose weight initially as a result of cutting out sugar, red meat and processed foods, the diet is not specifically for weight loss which may not align with some people’s fitness goals.
The Final Consensus
Overall, the Mediterranean diet is a healthy, satisfying, and accessible diet. It can improve your heart health, overall health and well-being, and manage your blood sugar. While you should eat very little dairy, processed foods, and meat on this diet, for the most part it is flexible. Most people can integrate this diet into their lives with little trouble, which makes it a sustainable and convenient diet. Give it a try to see what all the hype is about!
– Mediterranean Diet 101: A Meal Plan and Beginner’s Guide
– The Mediterranean Diet
– What’s to Know About the Mediterranean Diet?