A Mediterranean diet has been found to be exceptionally healthy. It is low in fat, uses mostly healthy fats, high in fruit and vegetable intake, nuts, beans and legumes, fish and other lean meats. It’s heart healthy and a new study shows that women at least who take part in a Mediterranean diet have far fewer chronic illnesses and debilitating brain disorders such as Parkinson’s. These women lived much longer too. More studies are to be done, this time including men as well. If you are not used to eating this way, cheer up. It’s easy to incorporate a more Mediterranean style into your diet. Italian and Greek cooking are famous worldwide for their amazing presentation and sumptuous flavors. First ditch the butter and start cooking in olive oil. It is a natural anti-inflammatory, fighting all kinds of diseases. It’s also heart healthy, something butter can’t claim. In glazes, sauces and marinades olive oil can easily replace butter. In baking, try a one-for-one substitution. Mix it with herbs and vinegar for a vinaigrette dressing to use as a marinade or on salads.
Another great idea is to replace meat with fish. Why not substitute a fish dinner for a meat one two times per week? Fish is very healthy. It’s great for your brain. And it contains omega-3 fatty acids which are tremendous for your heart. Tuna, salmon, cod and many others are delicious and can be prepared in a variety of ways. Try to select fresh caught fish over farm raised as these contain far more omega-3s. For lunch, instead of adding chicken to a sandwich, why not place it atop a nice salad instead? Meat on a salad provides some great protein, a lovely flavor, and adding fresh vegetables does wonders for your health. When snacking, add seeds, nuts, vegetables such as carrots or red pepper slices, cucumber sticks or the like. Fruit and vegetables are far healthier than the unhealthy snacks many of us gravitate towards. Put some peanut butter or hummus on those carrot sticks. Just incorporating a few Mediterranean style options in your diet will trim inches off your waistline, make you healthier, and look and feel better. Try some of these options and see how you feel.