Hello friends, many of you know I have been having some health issues lately, thank you all for your prayers and emails. I have had a few lovely writers offer to guest post while I recover. If you’d like to be my guest please let me know, I will be honored to have one of my bloggy friends as a guest (smile). Today it is my pleasure to have Kate Teng as my special guest. She has offered to share How To Adopt A Mediterranean Diet.
Kate is a stay-at-home working mom who lives by the beach. Pre-covid, you would often find her traveling or adventuring wherever and whenever she can. Since then, she spends most of her time at home, enjoying good food and wine with her wonderful family.
In the 1970s, the Mediterranean diet came to the public’s attention, but its popularity wouldn’t come to the fore until the 1990s. This healthy lifestyle is often recommended for weight loss and maintenance based on the health of Mediterranean nations. While other “diets” come and go, the Mediterranean way of life remains a popular choice for a range of reasons.
If you were to apply the Mediterranean diet to the typical food pyramid, you would find fruit, vegetables, legumes, and fish on the bottom. That bottom layer is free for all, you can eat as many of those things as you like! In the next level, you’ll find olive oil and whole grains, in the level above that: dairy, poultry, lean meats, and wine.
At the very top is red meat and added sugar. The beauty of living the Mediterranean diet is that nothing is off-limits, everything is okay in moderation. The reason it persists today is that it isn’t just a diet, it’s a lifestyle.
WHAT IS THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET?
Research consistently shows that the Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease, fights inflammation, and balances blood sugar. It’s broken down with 50% of the diet being made up of carbohydrates such as whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits, and 30% being made up of healthy oils from fish, nuts, and seeds. The final 15% is all protein coming from eggs, fish, dairy, legumes, nuts and poultry.
It’s fairly easy to put these proportions into place and once you start paying attention to the balance of your diet, it will become second nature.
The beauty of the Mediterranean diet is its powerful flavors. Think Greek, Spanish, and Italian cooking — Lots of oregano, coriander, garlic, basil, rosemary, and thyme.
A great way to involve the entire family in this healthy lifestyle is by putting together a stunning grazing table that celebrates all of the best parts of a Mediterranean diet. You can put together a stunning Caprese or fresh tomato salad, roasted garlic prawns with slices of whole grain bread, grilled fish drizzled with olive oil, hummus, peppers, figs, and other fruits that the whole family can enjoy.
The Mediterranean diet consists of food that is already enjoyable. You just need to make a habit of sticking to these healthier options.
Why should you adopt the Mediterranean diet?
- WEIGHT LOSS
The key to losing weight with the Mediterranean diet is that the fats you eat are healthy fats. Healthy fats help you keep your blood sugar level and in doing so, you’re less likely to be overcome by cravings for sweet, sugary foods during snack time.
One study found that following a Mediterranean diet helped followers lose more weight than low-fat diets and they were able to maintain that weight loss. To put it into perspective, think about how you feel after having toast and jam for breakfast versus eating a portion of scrambled eggs. The latter will leave you feeling fuller for longer and the former will have you hungry again within an hour.
2. PHYSICAL HEALTH
Did you know that the Mediterranean diet can boost heart health because it fights every factor that puts you at high risk for heart disease? It reduces blood pressure, triglycerides, and cholesterol levels.
With the increase in intake of fruit and vegetables, you fight plaque build-up in your arteries. The anti-inflammatory property of Omega-3 fatty acids is great for your heart and your brain. A JAMA study found that you can reduce the risk of dementia by 40% by following a Mediterranean diet. It’s also been known to be a great diet for those with diabetes because it helps control blood sugar levels, and is a safe and beneficial diet even for pregnant women.
3. THE PLAN
One of the great parts of the Mediterranean diet is you’re allowed to eat snacks. Veggies and hummus make an excellent snack. If you grab some oranges and nuts (such as walnuts or pistachios), or an ounce of cheese along with some olives and cherry tomatoes, you’re set.
- For breakfast: You can have oatmeal with fruit and nuts. Or Greek yogurt with honey and berries.
- For lunch: You can enjoy a baked sweet potato with a fresh side salad. Or, grilled chicken and cauliflower rice. You can even have a massive salad! Start with two cups of chopped romaine lettuce and build from there with tomatoes, cucumbers, chickpeas, feta cheese, and a light vinaigrette.
- For dinners: Have some grilled salmon with vegetables or whole wheat pasta with lots of veggies.
None of those sounds like diet food, right? It isn’t! It’s just delicious food you can enjoy and a lifestyle you can sustain.
Katherine, thank you for having me as your guest.