The Mediterranean Diet for Beginners

Posted by in Food and Nutrition.

mediterranean diet

Have you heard the buzz about the Mediterranean diet, but were afraid to ask what it is? Here’s a quick-and-easy introduction to this heart-healthy way of eating that has also been shown to help ward off Alzheimer’s disease.

The typical American diet is loaded with sugar, fat, and salt. When these three get together, it makes for an extremely unhealthy combination that can lead to weight gain, cognitive decline, and a host of related health risks.

The Mediterranean diet, in contrast, is high in lean protein, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals. The best part is that the Mediterranean diet is more delicious than the American diet–it can just take some getting used to for some folks. But if you’re willing to try new things and train you body to prefer natural, nutrient-rich foods over processed food that is loaded with saturated fat, you will soon be living a happier, healthier life.

So the big question is:

What’s in the Mediterranean Diet?

Fruits and Vegetables

There’s no need to read the nutritional facts of fruits and vegetables. The Mediterranean diet is rich with recipes that include leafy greens, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and more. If it grows out of the ground, you can eat as much of it as you like. You won’t feel guilty–you’ll feel great!

Nuts

You can’t go wrong with nuts: Brazilian, cashews, almonds, walnuts… They are all amazing for you! Plus, they are excellent snacks that will fight off hunger in between meals and keep your mind sharp.

Olive Oil

Skip the butter and the vegetable oil. Just get yourself and big bottle of extra-virgin olive oil and drizzle it on the pan before cooking anything. You can dip your bread in olive oil and balsamic vinegar for an excellent appetizer before dinner, too.

Fish

What would the Mediterranean diet be without our friends from the sea? Fish of all types, including freshwater fish like salmon, are packed with healthy fatty acids that have been shown to boost brain function and support tissues in our heart, lungs, and other organs. White meat chicken that hasn’t been deep fried is also a good choice, but save the red meat for special occasions.

Wine

And what would a great dinner be without some wine? Choose red over white, and don’t overdo it: The Mayo Clinic recommends “no more than 5 ounces (148 milliliters) of wine daily for women of all ages and men older than age 65 and no more than 10 ounces (296 milliliters) of wine daily for younger men.” Cheers!

Using the above building-blocks, you can make a bevy of delicious dishes that will fill you up while infusing your body with nutrients. The Mediterranean diet has even been shown to reduce your Alzheimer’s risk by up to 90 percent. So what are you waiting for? Go Greek and start living today!

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