Eat the Mediterranean Way

Posted May 24, 2017

Studies link the Mediterranean Diet to a reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, obesity and dementia, so it makes sense to enjoy more Mediterranean-inspired meals every day. And you don’t need to travel to Greece, Italy or other Mediterranean countries to reap the benefits of these eating habits. Just head to your nearest grocery store and stock up on some staples.

The Mediterranean Diet emphasizes healthy, nutrient-dense whole foods. Core items for your grocery cart are vegetables, fruit, whole grains, beans, nuts and healthy fats such as olive oil. And instead of salty condiments and sauces, add flavor with a variety of herbs and spices. Start with cumin, cinnamon, basil, oregano and mint.

Many Mediterranean meals are plant-based and filled with protein-rich nuts, seeds, beans, tofu and eggs rather than meat. Delicious dishes such as chickpea stew, lentil and vegetable soup and fluffy omelets are meal mainstays.

Fish and seafood are part of the diet and are recommended for meals at least twice per week. Poultry is included, but red meat is recommended only occasionally.

Interestingly, the Mediterranean Diet isn’t just about what you eat; it also focuses on whom you eat with. It encourages you to enjoy meals with friends and family, and to slow down and enjoy your food rather than eating on the go. Tenets of the diet also remind you to consume moderate portion sizes and stay physically active.

May is Mediterranean Diet Month, the perfect time to start your Mediterranean journey for a lifetime of better health. — Cara Rosenbloom, RD