The Mediterranean Approach
If your struggling on ways to direct a new healthy lifestyle, look towards one of the most approachable healthy diet guidelines, the mediterranean diet.
The mediterranean diet is a way of eating that’s based on the traditional foods of Greece, Spain, Italy and other countries that border the Mediterranean Sea. Plant-based foods, such as whole grains, vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices, are the foundation of the diet. The Mediterranean diet is a lifestyle revolving around simple ways of living, traditional food farming and a slow paced, natural way of being. t
Researchers have studied and noted that these people were exceptionally healthier compared to Americans and British people. Research has consistently shown that the Mediterranean diet is effective in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and overall mortality. The studies have discovered that the europeans have shown lower rates of many lifestyle diseases and lower rates of stress and mental illnesses. This plant rich diet has shown to prevent heart attacks, strokes, type 2 diabetes and premature death. The Mediterranean diet contributes to maintaining a healthy weight and help longevity, it also has been shown to be as effective as other popular diets like the low carb diet for weight loss. This diet is balanced and supports a diverse, resilient and rich microbiome.
How To Get Involved
There is no one right way to follow the Mediterranean diet, this allows the diet to be completely accessible and inclusive for all. As there are many countries around the Mediterranean sea, many people in different areas eat different foods depending on the local crops. Eating locally and seasonally unlocks a mindful approach to our food and living of local land allows us to access to a deeper connection with our food. Even through this is described as a ‘Diet’ it is more of a way of living. If looks past conventional mass farming and stays local, seasonal and freshly made.
The Mediterranean Philosophy
Many people also relate the results of the diet, not just from the food but the food philosophy and mindfulness around the table. The process and the preparation time is usually one that has intention, care and attention. The Mediterranean lifestyle also involves regular physical activity, sharing meals with other people and enjoying life. Families Can spend long leisurely hours preparing, eating slowly and enjoying their food. They value the importance of slow meals and are fully present with one another.
What Foods To Include
The actual food is The diet is high in healthy plant foods and relatively low in animal foods, yet these are no off limit. The diet excludes all:
- Added sugar
- Refined grains
- Trans fats
- Refined oils
- Processed meat
- Highly processed foods
- Anything labeled “low-fat” or “diet” or which looks like it was made in a factory.
The food is REAL.
Some key types of foods to include are:
- Healthy Oils and Fats: The Mediterranean diet generally calls for extra-virgin olive oil as a top. As well as olives, avocados and avocado oil.
- Whole Grains: The kernel contains the bran, endosperm, and germ. The germ and bran are rich in fibre, minerals, vitamins, and phyto-chemicals. Some include; Whole oats, brown rice, rye, barley, corn, buckwheat, whole wheat, whole-grain bread and pasta.
- Local and seasonal Fruit and Vegetables: Grown organically and without GMO’s or pesticides.
- Nuts and seeds: Nutrient packed options include almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds.
- Legumes and pulses: Rethink your protein sources from foods like Beans, peas, lentils, pulses, with a heavy focus on chickpeas.
- Limited intake of meat and fish: Always local, sustainable and freshly sourced.
As the diet suggests, it is an incredibly balanced and approachable way to eating. If as a collective we can increase our fruit and vegetables, partake in moderate activity and live a life full of connection and community, we are on the fast track to better health and a fuller life. So take the mediterranean approach to reaching your wellbeing goals.
Categorised in: Nutrition
This post was written by Amelia Crossley