The evidence keeps building about the Mediterranean Diet and its health benefits. The Mediterranean Diet has been linked with reduced risk of diabetes, obesity, heart disease and stroke, cancer, and dementia. The newest study about the Mediterranean Diet shows that it can help keep our cells healthy and protect us against early death. It’s safe to say, the Mediterranean Diet ranks as one of the best ways to Eat Smart.
What Does the Mediterranean Diet Include?
You can read more about it here, but the basics of the Mediterranean Diet include:
- Emphasis on vegetables, which are eaten at every meal
- Smaller portions of lean meat (especially chicken and eggs) and less red meat
- Some diary, like yogurt and small portions of cheese
- Seafood eaten at least twice a week
- Weekly meatless meals that feature beans, whole grains and veggies
- Heart-healthy fats, especially olive oil, but also nuts and seeds, olives, and avocados
- Whole grains, like farro, bulgur, and rice, as well as whole-wheat pasta and bread
- Fruit as dessert and sweets only on special occasion
- Drink lots of water
- Optional A glass of wine with dinner
How Does the Mediterranean Diet Compare to MyPlate?
You should have recognized many of the Mediterranean Diet basics from what you already know about MyPlate. There’s an emphasis on whole grains, vegetables, seafood, fruit, and healthy fats. They both recommend lean protein choices and more plant-based protein options.
Make Your Plate More Mediterranean
- Choose whole grain versions of the bread, pasta, and rice you usually cook.
- Try a meatless meal this week, like these Italian Bean Patties.
- Eat more seafood (visit the link for recipes ideas!).
- Serve vegetables at every meal. Bonus points if you can add them to breakfast!
- Switch to olive or canola oil for cooking.
- Satisfy your sweet tooth with fruit instead of sugary treats.
- Switch to water to quench your thirst.
Do you have any other suggestions to help eat more like the Mediterranean diet? Share in the comments. Recipe ideas are always appreciated!