By Sarah Hunt, AZFB Communications Intern
What do you know about the Mediterranean Diet? Before I discovered Fill Your Plate, I had never heard of it! When I heard Mediterranean, I instantly thought, Olive Garden. You know, those amazing white flour breadsticks and fettuccine alfredo pasta dish with loads of butter, cheese, and cream? I was thinking, boy this will be the best tasting diet ever!
Unfortunately, it does not actually include fettucine alfredo or white flour breadsticks. But in my opinion, the Med diet really is the best tasting diet! While it does include pasta and Italian foods, it also includes cuisines from other countries along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The main foods it includes are listed below.
“With the Med Diet, the basis of every meal is vegetables! A good rule of thumb is that vegetables should fill half of your plate. The Med Diet also includes whole grains (including whole grain breads), healthy fats, legumes, olive oil, nuts, fruits, lean protein, eggs, seafood, low fat dairy, and red wine! These are the things that you can eat every single day.
Did I lose some of you when you realized that bacon and steak weren’t on that list? Well guess what, this diet doesn’t exclude those things it just encourages you to not overindulge. That means you can still enjoy your favorite red meats a couple times a month!” – Everything You Need to Know About the Mediterranean Diet
As Evens states in this article, the Med diet isn’t actually a diet; it’s a lifestyle. People have eaten according to these guidelines for centuries. It’s proven to help with many health aspects.
“The research supporting the Med Diet is extensive. The Mayo Clinic says that research has shown that this diet reduces the LDL (the bad cholesterol) build up in arteries as well as reducing the risk of cardiovascular caused mortality. The Med Diet has also been linked to reduced risks of certain cancers, Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease. The Mediterranean Diet has also proven to have a positive impact on weight and BMI, meaning that it can help you lose weight,” Evens said.
So what are you waiting for? Educate yourself by reading up on the Med diet using the articles below, and we even have a grocery list for you at the end of this article to give your Med diet a successful start!
Med Diet Articles:
Med Lifestyle Grocery List:
- olive oil
- nuts and seeds (low sodium versions if available)
- Any vegetables you like that are in season
- Red wine (if you drink alcohol)
Fishes with “good fats” and Omega-3’s:
- albacore tuna
- lake trout
Lean proteins for daily consumption include:
Other meat that you can eat sparingly:
- Greek yogurt
- Alternate using dairy milk and almond/soy milk
- Brown Rice
- Whole grains pasta
- Dave’s Killer Bread (which is whole grain)
- Whole grains are grains that are eaten in their original whole state. This does not include white rice or breads made from white flour, as those are processed and refined (Evens). The most commonly consumed ones are oats and brown rice.
- If you’re looking for pasta, look at the nutrition facts on the box. Make sure any grains listed as ingredients specifically say, “whole grains”. It does not have to be made of wheat; it can be barley, buckwheat, bulgar, farro, millet, polenta, couscous, etc.
Find more recipes for the Mediterranean lifestyle by searching by ingredient on Fill Your Plate’s recipe database here!