The New Year brings in the new health craze. Many people flock to the new diets that will hopefully assist them in achieving their health goals. There are many different types of diets with countless rules that are all great options when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. Paleo, Keto, and intermittent fasting are some of the more popular diets of the moment. There is however, one diet that is proven to be extremely heart healthy and is worth giving a try, The Mediterranean Diet.
When broken down the Mediterranean Diet hardly even seems like a diet. It does not call for extreme calorie cutting or only consuming foods at certain times. This diet is a lifestyle that can help improve your general health. It allows people to eat chicken, fatty seafood such as salmon, trout, tuna, and mackerel as well as an abundance of green vegetables, fruits, nut/legumes, and whole grains. The diet even allows for the occasional glass of red wine for heart health!
The Mediterranean diet itself is centered on one key ingredient, Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Olive Oil is known for its heart healthy benefits as well as its ability to assist in reducing cholesterol. Many of the foods that are eaten on this diet are great cooked, smothered, and sautéed in heart healthy EVOO.
Recent studies showed the country of Italy to be one of the healthiest in terms diet and nutrition. This is where the Mediterranean diet developed its roots. It is not a health trend that has been developed in a lab. It has been a way of life for Italians for centuries and has proven to be a reliable way of improving overall health. Following this lifestyle and putting in some moderate exercise will help people shed some pounds and shed some stress from their lives.
Perhaps the most important part of the Mediterranean diet is gathering the family around the dinner table. It requires family time and meals shared with loved ones. Should you decide to live the Mediterranean lifestyle there is list of foods that you should enjoy more of (and some less of) below. Go ahead and grab your bottle of Calivirgin EVOO, pop open a bottle of red wine, gather the family, and enjoy your diet.
Foods to eat more of:
Meat: Chicken, Duck, Turkey, Lamb, Eggs, Egg whites
Seafood: Shrimp, Salmon, Trout, Mackerel, Tuna, Albacore, Scallops, Clams, Mussels, Crab
Veggies: Asparagus, Bell Peppers, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Eggplant, Onion, Zucchini, Squash, Carrots, Lettuce, Artichokes, Kale, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Peas, Green Beans
Fruits: Apples, Avocados, Tomatoes, Peaches, Berries, Bananas, Oranges, Nectarines, Cherries, Grapes, Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Honeydew
Dairy: Low Fat Milk, Greek Yogurt, Cheese
Nuts/Legumes: All Beans, Almonds, Pistachios, Walnuts, Pecans, Peanuts (avoid salted)
Grains: Whole Grain bread, noodles and granola
Herbs and Spices: Fresh chopped garlic, basil, rosemary, thyme, mint, black pepper
Oils: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Coconut & Avocado Oil
Drink: Abundance of water, occasional glass of red wine
Foods to eat less of:
Less red meat and less pork (once a week at most)
Try to avoid seasoning with Salt. Use more fresh herbs (healthier and more flavor)
Avoid butter: Enjoy EVOO instead
Avoid Potatoes unless they are Sweet Potatoes or yams
Avoid deep frying foods. Bake, Sauté, and Grill instead
Avoid heavy salad dressings such as Ranch and Thousand Island (Olive Oil and Vinegar are a much healthier option)