Here we are you discover how to follow a Mediterranean diet but before anythings else if you want to know what it is, go read our article What is the Mediterranean diet ?
There are the keys of a good Mediterranean diet:
- Maximise your intake of vegetables, peas and beans (legumes), fruits and wholegrain cereals.
- Limit your red meat intake – fish and poultry are healthy substitutes.
- Where possible, use mono-unsaturated olive oil or rapeseed oil in place of animal fat such as butter or lard.
- Limit your intake of highly processed ‘fast foods’ and ‘ready meals’, where you cannot tell saturated fat and salt intake.
- Eat no more than moderate amounts of dairy products, and preferably low-fat ones.
- Do not add salt to your food at the table – there is already plenty there.
- Snack on fruit, dried fruit and unsalted nuts rather than cakes, crisps and biscuits.
- Drink (red) wine during meals, but no more than two small glasses per day
- Water is the best ‘non-alcoholic beverage’ (as opposed to sugary drinks), although health benefits have also been claimed for various teas and coffee
A guide to portions or servings described in the pyramid is as follows:
- Vegetables: a cup of raw leafy vegetables or half a cup of other vegetables.
- Potatoes: 100 g.
- Legumes: one cup (100 g) of cooked dry beans.
- Nuts: 30 g. Eat as a snack or sprinkle on food for added taste.
- Fruit: one apple, banana, one orange, 200 g of melon or watermelon, 30 g of grapes.
- Meat: 60 g of cooked lean meat or fish.
- Grains: half a cup (50-60 g) of cooked pasta or rice; one slice of bread (25 g).
- Dairy:one cup of milk or yoghurt; 30 g of cheese.
- Eggs: one egg.
- Wine: 125 ml glass of average strength red wine.
Enjoy the Mediterranean lifestyle at home
It has become clear that there are very good scientific reasons why certain peoples of the Eastern Mediterranean lived longer, healthier lives than those in the West in the mid 20th century.
We can all benefit from this information. The Mediterranean Diet is a healthy template that fits with the WHO and UK recommendation to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables per day.
But, the Mediterranean Diet also maximises the intake of essential nutrients and health-promoting ingredients, whilst minimising quantities of ingredients associated with health risks. So that, overall, those who adopt the Mediterranean Diet are likely to have a much lower risk of developing life-threatening and chronic disease than those who don’t.
Switching to a Mediterranean diet, taking moderate exercise and stopping smoking, are all choices that offer a greater chance of being able to enjoy an active long life