The Mediterranean Diet

An unhealthy heart, cancer-causing inflammation, and even depression can be avoided by acclimating to a Mediterranean diet. It incorporates the basics of healthy eating plus a splash of flavorful olive oil and, if you choose, a glass of red wine, among other components characterizing the traditional cooking style of the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.

Most healthy diets include fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains and limit unhealthy fats like butter and margarine. The subtle variations of portion size make a big difference whether your goal is to lose weight or simply get and stay healthy.

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes:

    • Eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts.

   • Replacing butter (and margarine) with healthy fats like olive and canola oil.

   • Using herbs and spices instead of salt.

  • Limiting red meat to no more than five times a month.

   • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week.

   • Enjoying meals with family and friends.

   • Getting plenty of exercise.

The residents of Greece, for example, eat very little red meat and average nine servings A DAY of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. Grains in the Mediterranean contain very few unhealthy trans fats and bread is an important part of the diet there. Throughout the Mediterranean region, bread is eaten plain or dipped in olive oil, not butter or margarine, which contain saturated fats.

Another part of the healthy Mediterranean diet is nuts, which are high in fat, but most of the fat is not saturated. Obviously, you should avoid candied, honey roasted or heavily salted nuts. I am associated with a wellness company that offers nearly 500 products many of which are whole grain, gluten, sugar and saturated fat-free. I have benefited greatly from all of these choices while avoiding hunger and cravings and staying healthy and weight responsible.

I have included some great (and very tasty) recipes for Mediterranean dishes to get you get you started and give you some direction. I know you will enjoy them.

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