You may have heard a lot about the Mediterranean diet and how it is supposedly good for you.
Exactly what is the Mediterranean diet?
There actually is no ‘Mediterranean’ diet – it’s just a general reference to the food people in Italy, Greece and other countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea eat. Despite the differences in actual specifics, they use the same proportions of food groups and calories, and all include olive oil as their main source of fat.
The Mediterranean diet consists of the following guidelines:
- Plant-based foods, such as whole grains, vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices, are the foundation of the diet.
- Whole grain breads and cereals, polenta, pasta (made with whole grain, not refined white flour)
- Sparing use of red meat, fish and poultry
- Olive Oil and other healthy fats derived from fish such as mackerel tuna and salmon. These fish oils contain polyunsaturated fats that help fight inflammation in the body.
Olive oil is a mono-unsaturated fat which means it is a “good” fat. Mono-unsaturated fats help lower cholesterol. They are healthy fats to include in your diet. Every diet should include a portion of fat because your body does need some fat.
Apart from healthy diet the Mediterranean lifestyle includes activity. The typical Mediterranean day includes plenty of walking and physical activity. We all know that exercise is vital in helping the body stay fit and also as keeps you mind alert.
To summarize, base your meals on healthy carbohydrates – leafy green vegetables, brightly colored vegetables, whole grains and meals. Use meat sparingly – no more than 3-6 ounces per day. Derive dietary fat from vegetable sources – or from fish oil. Exercise regularly.
What about wine and alcohol?
Wine is generally associated with the Mediterranean diet. You can include wine but be sparing with wine or alcohol or try to avoid it altogether.
Should You Switch to a Mediterranean diet?
Also be aware the Mediterranean diet isn’t a weight loss regimen.
Always follow your Doctor’s or Nutritionist’s advice when it comes to eating. It is not advisable to blindly follow a new fad or introduce a new style of eating without checking with them first.
Do your loved ones need help meal prep or grocery shopping? Our caregivers can shop and cook for them, and are trained to follow Dietician’s orders.
If you are considering hiring caregivers for your loved ones, please contact us at Approved Healthcare: 416-746-8840