12 reasons to follow the Mediterranean diet
These are the 12 reasons to follow the Mediterranean diet. As many of you will know, this diet is known to be typical in Mediterranean countries such as Spain, Portugal or Italy and it is rich in healthy food such as olive oil
1. Surprise! You don’t need to count calories
If you follow this diet as a lifestyle, you won’t need to count calories. Moreover, you will change bad unhealthy habits for those good for your health. Bet on using olive oil instead of butter. Try eating, for example, fish and white or poultry meat and not so much red meat. Enjoy the fresh fruit and remove sugary and elaborate desserts from your diet.
Eat delicious vegetables and legumes too. Nuts are a good option, but don’t abuse them; with a handful a day will be enough. Add whole wheat bread and wine to your diet, although in moderate quantities.
2. Enjoy fresh food
Set aside frozen food and try to avoid fast food or take away food. The key is to eat healthy seasonal foods that can be found more simply and, in addition, you can enjoy all its flavor. Make, for example, a rich salad of spinach, cucumbers and tomato. Add lifelong ingredients such as black olives, cheese, carrots, tomatoes, olive oil, etc. You can also make traditional recipes from some areas such as gazpacho. We leave you this post about recipes that are made with foods from a Mediterranean diet to give you some ideas.
3. Eat bread without regrets
Yes, as you hear it, bread is not prohibited in this diet. However, we recommend you buy 100% whole wheat bread. It has more protein and minerals and is usually healthier than white bread. Try the whole wheat bread accompanied by healthy food such as olive oil, hummus or Spanish cold meat.
4. Fat is not prohibited
All you have to do is consume the fat considered «healthy fat». You will find it in healthy food such as nuts, olives or olive oil. These fats add flavor and help fight diseases such as diabetes or cancer. Of course, avoid the saturated fats of ultra-processed foods.
5. The menu is full of possibilities
The Mediterranean diet is not simply about cooking Greek or Italian recipes. You can make recipes from Spain, Turkey, Morocco and even other countries. Add new dishes combining basic and healthy food that you will find in any supermarket. Make sure they don’t carry red meat or high-fat dairy products. It is better to eat fresh fruit and vegetables, olive oil and whole grain products. Discover new recipes and dishes to add to your diet and meet new healthy foods.
6. Use spices in your meals
There is a wide variety of spices such as bay leaf, coriander, rosemary, garlic, pepper, or cinnamon. Spices add so much flavor to foods that you won’t need to add so much salt. In addition, almost all of them are very healthy. For example, coriander and rosemary have nutrients and antioxidants that will helps you to fight some diseases.
7. It is very easy to prepare
The meals and recipes of a Mediterranean diet are usually small and easy to prepare. If guests come home, you can put cold entrees, such as cheese, olives or nuts. Then, cook a typical Mediterranean diet dish with healthy ingredients such as legumes or vegetables.
8. You can drink wine
In many Mediterranean countries it is very common to have a glass of wine while having a quiet dinner with friends. Some studies even say that it is good for the heart to have a glass of wine a day. Although it is true that red wine is healthier than white.
9. You will not go hungry
You will have the opportunity to eat very rich dishes such as roasted potatoes, hummus or sautéed beans. One strategy that you can follow is to eat slowly so that you’ll feel satisfied faster. You can eat nuts, olives or take some low-fat cheese to snack between meals. Feta and halloumi cheeses are lower in fat than for example cheddar, but they are still very rich and delicious.
10. You can also lose weight
You may think that we are lying to you if we tell you that you can lose weight by eating nuts, cheese and olives. However, following a Mediterranean diet you will feel full and satisfied before than if you eat ultra-processed food. Of course, doing sport is also a very important part of a healthy lifestyle.
11. Your heart will thank you
Almost all foods in this diet are good for the heart. Olive oil and nuts help reduce bad cholesterol. Fruits, vegetables and beans will help your arteries to be clean. Moreover, fish will help you lower triglycerides and blood pressure. Even a glass of wine a day is good for your heart!
12. Your brain will be active for longer
All these foods are also going to be good for your brain. You will not eat foods high in processed fats that can cause inflammation. Additionally, antioxidant-rich foods make this diet a very good option to take care of your brain.
After reading the 12 reasons to follow the Mediterranean diet, you are closer to starting a healthy lifestyle. Likewise, you can enjoy all the foods and properties that this diet will bring you.