Many diets out there claim to help you lose or maintain weight and live a healthier lifestyle. But the Mediterranean diet is a little different in that its focus isn’t on your weight but instead on improving your health, specifically your heart health. It is considered one of the healthiest ways of eating, is easy to follow, and is pretty flexible.
What You Eat on a Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet is straightforward and doesn’t focus as much on taking foods away but on adding some healthy options to your meals. This diet focuses a lot on lean protein, vegetables, beans and nuts, healthy fats, and whole grains.
Some foods you will probably eat on a Mediterranean diet include:
- Olive oil
- Fruits and veggies
- Nuts and seeds
- Brown rice and quinoa
- Beans and legumes
The Health Benefits
Why do the Mediterranean diet? There are some different benefits for your health, aside from it being a simple diet without any restrictions.
It is a heart-healthy diet. If you are concerned about your cardiovascular health, have heart problems, or have high blood pressure, you can choose this diet.
It is simple to follow. Overall, the Mediterranean diet is a simple diet to follow. You focus on vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds, healthy fats and oils, poultry and fish, and that makes up most of your diet. Many of the foods you already love are probably included.
You get the essential nutrients. If you have ever been on a diet, you know that one of the drawbacks is dealing with vitamin deficiency. Maybe you did low-carb and didn’t get enough electrolytes, or were a vegetarian, and your protein was always too low. It is much easier to do with the Mediterranean diet if you struggle balancing nutrients.
How Strict are the Rules?
While it is not quite as restrictive as other diets, there are some foods that most people on Mediterranean diets will either avoid or reduce quite a bit. While this depends on your own needs, some rules that many people follow on this diet include:
- Reducing dairy, grains, and sugar. These aren’t restrictions, but you do want to cut back on grains and dairy.
- Cutting out most added sugar. Enjoy your fruit and natural sugars, but try to reduce foods with added sugar.
- Reducing red meat. While chicken and fish are enjoyed on the Mediterranean diet, red meat doesn’t make up many of your meals.