By Kristi Winkels, RDN, LD
When it comes to healthy eating, people living near the Mediterranean Sea are onto something. In fact, there’s a mountain of research showing benefits of the Mediterranean Diet including decreased risk of heart disease, stroke, certain cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, and other chronic diseases.
Here are 7 tips to make your diet more "Med" :
1) Eat lots of non-starchy vegetables. These are the stars of the show in the Med Diet! Fresh or frozen are best as canned can be high in sodium. Aim for 4 or more servings per day and choose a variety for the most health benefits.
2) Eat 3-4 servings of fruit per day. The Med Diet is low in added sugar because many foods are sweetened with fruit. Mix fresh, frozen, or dried fruit into foods to add a touch of sweetness and try having fruit as dessert more often.
3) Choose fiber rich whole grains like brown or wild rice, whole grain pasta, and whole grain breads. Keep portion sizes of grains smaller.
4) Rethink meat. Keep portion sizes smaller by limiting to ¼ of your plate and limit red meat to 2- 3 times per week. Eat more fish, especially omega-3 rich fishes like salmon, cod, halibut, and tuna
5) Eat more plant proteins like legumes and nuts. Add beans to soups, stews, and casseroles or make a bean dip to enjoy with fresh veggies. A handful of nuts is a quick and easy protein snack that has healthy fats to boot!
6) Include healthy fats in your meals especially olive oil, olives, nuts, seeds, and avocados.
7) Eat mindfully. Meals are a time to slow down and savor the food and the company. Taking time to enjoy the process of preparing and enjoying the meal is good nourishment for the body and the soul.
To learn more about the Mediterranean diet and how you can incorporate this healthy way of eating into your lifestyle, schedule an appointment with one of our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists.