To obtain all its benefits it is important that we follow a balanced and varied diet in which there is no lack of fruit, vegetables, fish and lean meat. We have all heard about the incredible benefits of the Mediterranean diet. It combats obesity and provides great benefits for our cardiovascular health, all aspects for which it has been considered one of the best and most complete diets. Sometimes our pace of life, faster and with less time to devote not only to the kitchen but also to ourselves, causes us to feed ourselves incorrectly and with an excess of fats and industrial chemical components, very harmful to our health. The Mediterranean diet also implies a particular lifestyle, a varied and balanced contribution of natural and traditional products, coming from this area bathed by the Mediterranean Sea.
They are basic fruits, vegetables, legumes, cereals, olive oil as a source of fat, fish, and in more moderate amounts, eggs and poultry.
What Foods Constitute the Mediterranean Diet?
The foods that make up the Mediterranean diet are very varied. This variation is precisely one of its greatest benefits, since it includes a large number of fruits and vegetables, fish, nuts and even medicinal herbs that are exquisitely combined in each of its dishes.
We make a small reference to them.
- Bread and pasta, as the main source of carbohydrates.
- Fruits, especially citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons. But also apples, melons, watermelons, figs, grapes
- Vegetables such as peppers, carrots, onions, lettuce, spinach, Brussels sprouts, eggplant, pumpkins, potatoes, tomatoes … And garlic is also important, present in almost all meals.
- Nuts, such as nuts and legumes, contribute a large amount of fiber and antioxidants to this diet.
- The olive oil as the main source of fat.
- The wine, in small quantities in the main meals.
- The fish, such as sardines, tuna and salmon.
- Spices like thyme, rosemary, oregano …
- Usual use of honey.
- Lean meats and in small quantities. Especially those belonging to poultry.
Why is it a Healthy Diet?
Several nutritional studies carried out both in Greece and in other countries of the Mediterranean coast, concluded already in the 60s that the
“Mediterranean diet is one of the most complete, balanced and healthy that exist”.
The dimensions to which it is always usually concluded are the following:
- Lower obesity
- Longer life expectancy
- Lower rate of cardiovascular and degenerative diseases.
- Low blood cholesterol level
Characteristics of the Mediterranean Diet
- The fat present in your meals comes basically from olive oil; they are therefore suitable and beneficial fats.
- A balanced contribution between polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-6 and omega-3)
- It is also a diet rich in natural antioxidants: oranges, lemons, vegetables…
- It is very rich in fiber
- As soon as animal fat is consumed, the contribution is very low compared to other countries.
Basic Tips on the Mediterranean Diet
- Varies the food on your plate to the maximum, but always in small quantities. For example: make salads with various vegetables, add tomatoes, onions, olives, cheese, oregano, oil, pieces of raw peppers … and then accompany the second dish with a fish rice, for example.
- Always respect your meal schedules and do not skip any. The normal thing is 5 meals a day: breakfast, lunch and dinner. At noon you can eat some fruit, as well as a small snack in the afternoon. Remember that large quantities are never consumed.
- Choose always lean meats like chicken or turkey. Remove the fat before cooking.
- A week is consumed at least four pieces of fish: either salmon, tuna, sardines…
- In all meals, a salad is included as an entree. Always seasoned with olive oil.
- At least three pieces of fruit are taken daily. Start your mornings with lemon or orange juice.
- The vegetables, rice and pasta are taken at least four times a week.
- Every day a good portion of cereals is included, as well as nuts like nuts.
- Avoid including too much salt in meals. But yes, use seasonings from aromatic herbs, thyme, rosemary, oregano…
- To the day we will consume at least liter and a half of water.
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