Are you looking for a healthy eating plan for the new year? Many diets and fads come and go, but a few eating plans remain among the best choices consistently. One of these healthy ways of living that continues to impress doctors and nutritionists is the Mediterranean diet. Why should you consider this new way of eating? And how can you incorporate it easily into your life?
Here's the lowdown on the healthy way to embrace the sea life.
Why Choose Mediterranean?
The so-called Mediterranean diet is based on the eating habits of countries and towns that border the Mediterranean Sea. These include coastal areas of Greece, Italy, Spain, France, and some of Northern Africa.
The Mediterranean diet generally consists of mostly plant-based foods, with an emphasis on seafood and fish, healthy fats, whole grains, and legumes. It even encourages a little red wine to soothe the soul and make your meal enjoyable.
The health benefits of this type of eating plan include a reduction in unhealthy sugars and fats which contribute to obesity, risk of stroke and heart disease, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Of course, many diets claim to reduce the intake of unhealthy foods, so what's different about the Mediterranean plan?
The answer lies in a person's ability to continue with this lifestyle and live a healthier life for the long term. Because of the diversity and enjoyment factor in Mediterranean foods, this diet is easier to stick with.
How Can You Get Started?
The components of a Mediterranean eating style are easy enough to find and incorporate that you can begin as soon as today. Start by switching to these healthy ingredients:
The Mediterranean world is famous for its use of olive oil. The fats in this cooking oil tend to boost the good cholesterol called HDL, which can then clear out bad cholesterol. Use this oil in a variety of ways, from cooking to drizzling to serving as a salad dressing.
Being a coastal diet, the Mediterranean way of eating includes plenty of fish and seafood. Seafood is naturally leaner and better for you than most red meats, so you can still enjoy meats without all the worry. Choose seafood that you enjoy, including easy-to-find and inexpensive fish like catfish, shrimp, tuna, tilapia, and salmon.
Because this diet is plant-based, Mediterranean foods tend to feature a lot of vegetables. Beef up the vegetables in all your dishes by using ones that you personally find appealing.
Go nuts with the nuts! Providing both protein and healthy fats, nuts are common in coastal European and Northern African diets. Use nuts as snacks. Sprinkle them on fish and into salads. Use nut-based spreads (like tahini sauce) on tasty bread or as a dip.
Replace some of the less-healthy ingredients in your life with healthier options that taste great. Spices are one of the joyous parts of Mediterranean cooking, so learn to use your spices well. Season meats with spices you like instead of creamy sauces or crusts.
Fruit and Wine
Love dessert? Try replacing sugary treats with a glass of red wine or some fresh fruit. Sweet and good for you, these options are perfect for enjoying an evening after a hard day's work.
Clearly, anyone can start moving toward a Mediterranean diet without buying special food packets, throwing out what they love, or starving themselves. A world of taste, spice, and texture is available in this style of eating that will make it seem less like a diet and more like a reward.
If you're ready to get started, begin by replacing one meal a week with a Mediterranean recipe. Each week, you can incorporate more and more meals until you've become fully convinced of the beauty of enjoying healthy, great-tasting food along with famous Mediterranean wines.
At Vince's Shellfish Company, we can help anyone who wants to live a healthier and tastier life. Check out our inventory of seafood - both local and exotic - to begin your journey to a better you.