Starting a diet, especially if you have no experience with it whatsoever, can be an uncomfortable and stressful thing; there’s just so much new territory you are supposed to explore as you get ready to recycle your old eating habits, replacing it with a healthy, nutritious menu.
And when it comes to the best healthiest diet with a great sense of freedom and fewer restrictions, look no further than the Mediterranean diet which puts an emphasis on enjoying whole foods as well as daily physical activity.
In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of how to begin the Mediterranean diet as we explore food choices and health benefits it has to offer.
What is the Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet refers to eating habits following the traditional methods of eating in many countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea like Italy, Spain and France. But due to its popularity and effectiveness, it is followed in other parts of the world as well.
This diet doesn’t involve a strict eating plan. Instead, it follows flexible eating patterns, allowing you to freely consume all kinds of nutritious food. The menu consists of a variety of healthy foods such as:
Fruits and Vegetables
Make sure that these two make the main part of your every meal as the diet plan emphasizes 7 or 10 servings of vegetables and fruits per day, but even 3 or 5 servings is enough for significantly reducing the risk of illnesses like cardiovascular disease. So ensure that you add some amount of fruits and vegetables to your meals for reaping the maximum benefits.
Whilst being on this diet, ensure choosing the foods which consist of one or two whole-food ingredients such as bulgur or oats. Whole foods are fruits, vegetables, nuts, olive oil, fish, legumes and whole grains.
Exchange Red Meat With Fish
In this diet, fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and herring serve as the main sources of protein due to containing very high doses of fatty acids of omega-3, reducing inflammation as well improving cholesterol levels.
White fish and shellfish also provide you with healthy lean protein sources, but aren’t equally high in omega-3s.
But, on rare occasions, you can still enjoy red and processed meats as well as consuming turkey, chicken, eggs, cheese and yogurt weekly or even daily in moderate portions.
Replace Olive With Butter
Olive oil serves as the main source of fat in this diet due to its emphasis on enjoying more monounsaturated and fats-poly fats.
Trans and saturated fats raise LDL or “bad” cholesterol. So by swapping butter for olive oil you will lower your cholesterol as well as improve your overall heart health.
How to Begin the Mediterranean Diet – Final Thoughts
Following the Mediterranean diet is simple and easy as it offers more freedom and less restrictions regarding your food menu. Moreover, you’ll be able to feel and notice the effects the diet has on your life even after a few days or weeks as you feel much more energised, joyful and enthusiastic both inside and outside.
In other words, start integrating the Mediterranean diet in your daily life as it will enrich your life with more vigour and joy whilst gifting you with an amazing mental and physical well-being.
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