Mediterranean Diets and A Healthy Start to Spring

IMG_7352A Healthy Start to Spring –

The Mediterranean Diet If you are looking to try something new for the summer and improve overall health and fitness, consider the Mediterranean diet. Often considered the world’s healthiest diet, the Mediterranean diet is about an abundance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and olive oil. Protein sources come from fish, poultry and nuts. You can even consume red wine in moderation while following this style of eating! Benefits include weight loss, a better moderation of blood sugar levels and even reducing risk factors such as heart attack and Alzheimer’s disease.

Here are some tips to get you started on the Mediterranean diet.

Replace Butter and Margarine:

Use olive oil in replacement of butter and margarine. Think about a high quality extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar in replacement for butter on bread or for salad dressing. Other plant based oils include canola oil and avocado oil that can be substituted when cooking.

Protein Sources:

Replace red meat as much as possible with boneless skinless chicken, turkey, fish, beans and nuts. Fish and nuts are a high source of omega-3 oils and lower in saturated fats compared to red meats. Remember to eat everything in moderation, and still indulge in a quality cut of red meat when possible.

Veggies and more Veggies:

With the Mediterranean diet, you can never eat too many vegetables. Think about 1/2 cup to 2 cups per vegetable serving size depending on the vegetable. Keep your favourite varieties in the fridge and pack raw vegetables in your lunch to snack on throughout the day. Add vegetables to salads and omelettes and try roasting or grilling vegetables for dinner.

Eat Whole Grains:

The Mediterranean diet is a great lifestyle because of the variety of foods you can eat – including grains. Choose grains that have not been refined including quinoa, barley and steel cut oats. When choosing bread or pasta, look for whole grain as opposed to white or whole wheat.

Satisfy your Sweet Tooth:

Enjoy fruit for dessert rather than processed sugar treats. Not only is fruit a good source of fibre and vitamin C, but it also contains natural sugars. Experiment on exotic fruits to add variety and remember to always have fresh and washed fruit at home to snack on.

Have a Glass of Wine:

As with everything, moderation is key, and the Mediterranean diet allows for a glass of wine or a drink a day. Red wine has shown to have many health benefits including raising good cholesterol and providing a source of antioxidants.

With the change of seasons, considering the Mediterranean diet as a new way of eating to improve overall health. It is a great alternative to continue eating foods you enjoy in moderation, all while feeling better about personal health.

By Sarah Bamber