The Mediterranean diet was inspired by the cuisines of countries of this region, like Southern Italy and Greece, because studies continue to show that people from these regions have the best heart health worldwide. The mediterranean diet is largely plant-based, consisting of nuts, legumes, fruits and vegetables, olive oil, unrefined cereals, whole grains including pasta and loaves of bread, a moderate amount of wine, fish, eggs, lean meats, and dairy products like cheese and yogurt.
The diet also largely consists of local foods and vegetables with less trans fat and more nutritional value. As a result, people from this region have less mortality rates and very high life expectancy rates. Perks of the Mediterranean diet are as follows:
1. Don’t count calories
Many diet programs require you to monitor your calorie intake. However, you do not have to worry about that with the Mediterranean diet. This diet derives its calories naturally from fruits and vegetables, which are easier to burn. You switch to olive oil instead of butter, fish or poultry instead of red meat, and fresh fruits instead of sugary desserts, which lower the calorie count significantly. Since this diet consists of fresh vegetables, fill your plate with beans and nuts along with whole-grain bread and a little wine.
2. Garden-fresh vegetables
The Mediterranean diet comprises of fresh vegetables and fruits instead of frozen produce. You can instead choose vegetables like tomatoes, spinach, and cucumbers for your meals. For extra flavor and color, add fresh olives and feta cheese. You can also add delicious spices like rosemary, cinnamon, garlic, bay leaves, pepper, and coriander. Salads like these are flavorful and make you feel like you are in the Mediterranean itself.
3. Easy to assemble and prepare
Greek and Italian dishes have smaller portions and are served with nuts, olives, and cheese that are wholesome, healthy, and nutritious. You can add ingredients like whole grains, olive oil, beans, and delicious spices to make an easy and fast Mediterranean diet meal.
A glass of wine with your food is ideal for men and women daily. It is advised to have red wine more than white wine, as it is a healthier option.
4. Satiates you longer
Foods like roasted sweet potatoes and beans digest slowly and keep you full with no signs of hunger for long periods. If you tend to feel hungry in between meals, you can snack of nuts or fruits. Eating nuts along with vegetables and fruits satisfy you for longer. This helps you eat lesser than you otherwise would.
The foods included in the Mediterranean diet lower your triglycerides, bad cholesterol, and blood pressure, and keeps your arteries clean. It also keeps your brain sharp, as you are not eating any fat or processed foods.