Did you know May is National Mediterranean Diet Month? The Mediterranean Diet is not really a “diet” at all, but a way of living and eating that can promote a long and healthy life. To celebrate, I partnered with Oldways and the Mediterranean Foods Alliance, to write this post and also to provide a give-away of their cookbook, The Oldways Table. Read on to learn more about the Mediterranean diet and enter to win the cookbook!
What is the Mediterranean diet?
The Mediterranean diet is based on the eating habits of those living around the Mediterranean Sea. The Mediterranean diet emphasizes fresh, plant-based foods, including whole grains, fruit, vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts, and olive oil. It also includes moderate amounts of fish and wine, but foods like red meat and sweets are saved for special occasions. The Mediterranean lifestyle also includes reasonable portion sizes and daily physical activity. Here is a depiction of the Mediterranean Food Pyramid:
What are the benefits of the Mediterranean diet?
Research has shown that people who follow the Mediterranean diet tend to have a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other chronic diseases. Those following the Mediterranean diet have a relatively low intake of saturated fats and added sugars, and a relatively high consumption of healthy unsaturated fat, fiber, and other essential nutrients.
Tips to go Mediterranean
The best way to “go Mediterranean” is to view the Mediterranean diet as more of a lifestyle change rather than a “diet.”
- Begin by incorporating fish into your meals at least twice a week.
- Aim to try a few vegetarian meals rather than having the main focus of a meal be meat, such as steak.
- Reduce the amount of processed foods you eat, and replace refined grains (like white bread and white rice) with whole grains (like whole wheat bread and brown rice).
- Include fruits, vegetables, and minimally processed whole grains at most meals.
- Write a comment to this post and link to a Mediterranean-style recipe on the web.
- Share this post with others via a social networking site, like Twitter, Facebook, or your own blog.
I will randomly select a winner by June 1st, 2011, and will put you in contact with Oldways to receive your book.