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shop. save. smile.: Mediterranean Diet

Super 1 Foods | Posted Friday, May 9, 2014 at 05:53AM

Mediterranean DietMay is International Mediterranean Diet Month. The Mediterranean diet is based on the traditional diet of countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, for example Spain, Italy, France, Morocco and Greece. The main focus of the diet is eating vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, healthy fats and seafood.

The Mediterranean diet can help lower the incidence of heart disease and cancer as well as help manage a healthy weight. The Mediterranean diet emphasizes the following:

Focus on veggies. Base your meals around vegetables, not meat. You can add vegetable to your pasta sauce, sliced onions and bell peppers to scrambled eggs, and spinach to omelets. 

Choose fruit for snacks and dessert. After your meal, have an apple, banana or orange for dessert and skip the chocolate cake. Pack fruit for your snack during the day. 

Choose lean protein. Choose protein sources like fish, poultry and beans, and limit your amount of red meat. Try to eat fish twice a week, and swap meat for fiber and protein-rich beans at least once a week. 

Choose healthy fats. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are often referred to as healthy fats. These fats can be found in olive oil, nuts, peanuts, avocados and fish. Try adding a nut butter to toast in the morning instead of butter. 

Eat a moderate about of dairy. Yogurt is a good source of protein and bone-protecting calcium. When picking yogurt, try Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is packed with protein. Replace sour cream in recipes with plain Greek yogurt. 

Choose whole grains. Whole grains are packed with fiber and other nutrients. Choose whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat couscous, air-popped popcorn and bulgur. Replace half of all purpose flour with wheat flour in muffin, bread and pancake recipes.

The Mediterranean diet is more than just a diet; it’s also a lifestyle.

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