Studies have shown that people in certain countries around the Mediterranean Sea (like Italy and Greece) have very little heart disease compared to Americans. The researchers believe that the reason for their low heart disease rates is a healthy diet.
I absolutely love the Mediterranean diet! It’s truly a delicious and healthy way to eat and offers many health benefits.
The diet has been associated with a reduced incidence of cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. In fact, if you’re looking for a heart-healthy eating plan and leaner body, the Mediterranean diet might be right for you.
Here are ways to get started:
- Say yes to fresh Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables daily. Shop weekly and purchase what’s in season. Remember vegetables taste great raw too, so eat up. Color is the key so make sure your grocery basket is packed with bright and vibrant selections!
- Big gains in whole-grain Consuming foods rich in fiber, such as whole grains, reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and may reduce constipation. High-fiber foods help provide a feeling of fullness with fewer calories. Switch to whole-grain bread and cereal, and try whole-grain rice and pasta too.
- Eat nuts I love raw nuts and seeds! Keep them on hand as a great power snack. Some of my favorites are almonds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, and cashews. Because nuts are high in calories, they should not be eaten in large amounts; portion control is the key.
- Spice it up Replace the salt shaker with herbs and spices to season your meals. Wake up the flavor with sage, basil, rosemary, cumin and, garlic to name a few. Venture out and try different recipes that call for herbs and spices you’ve never tried.
- Go fish Incorporate fish once or twice a week. Grilled fish tastes great and requires little clean-up. Some healthy choices that are rich sources of Omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, tuna and lake trout.
- Olive oil rocks The Mediterranean diet features olive oil as the primary source of fat. It provides monounsaturated fat, a type of fat that can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels when used in place of saturated or trans fats. Try adding a splash of flavorful olive oil as a healthy replacement for butter or margarine.
I hope this information has been beneficial to you, and I encourage you to include these healthy choices on your weekly shopping list.
Kimberly Whitfield is the owner of Kimberly Inspiring Beauty in Strength. Visit her on the web at kwinspires.com for a list of her classes.