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What you need to know about the Mediterranean Diet

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight and eat healthier.  What does that lead to?  Fad diets that are restrictive, extreme and in some cases dangerous!  The Huffington Post recently posted an article about the Best and Worst Diets for 2014.   Topping the list at Number 3, The Mediterranean Diet.  This way of living has become more and more popular, with various medical journals, media outlets and celebrities touting the benefits of life on the Mediterranean Sea.

The tera’swhey team has decided to take a closer look at this raved about lifestyle – why is it so healthy to live the Mediterranean way?

The Diet

The Mediterranean Diet, is less of a traditional “eat this, not that” diet, and more of a lifestyle – inspired by the eating habits of those in the Mediterranean.   There is no calorie counting, no extreme workouts, or pricey meal plans.  The Mediterranean Diet is simply a healthy way to change your eating habits one step at a time.  With an emphasis on fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats, this diet encourages you to make simple changes for long-term benefits.

The Benefits

So many!  According to a recent study by The New England Journal of Medicine, they found that those placed on a Mediterranean diet were 30% less likely than those prescribed a low-fat diet to suffer a heart attack, stroke or death due to cardiovascular disease.   Another article says the Mediterranean diet may even lower Alzheimer’s risk, improve cognitive functioning and lower the rate of cognitive decline.  Still not convinced?  This article sites a study that shows that individuals who were at risk for heart disease, and followed a Mediterranean diet, were less likely to develop type-2 diabetes compared to those following a low-fat diet.

The results are in – the Mediterranean diet is the way to go if you are seeking health, wellness and vibrancy for life.  You don’t need to travel to the Mediterranean coast to reap the benefits; we’ve put together a step-by-step guide on how you can live the Mediterranean way.

Step One: Eat your vegetables!

Try incorporating fruits & vegetables to every meal.  The more colorful, the better.  Citrus fruits, dark leafy greens, grapes, eggplant, herbs and spices are staples of a Mediterranean diet.  Change it up; try one new fruit or vegetable a week.  Not a fan of vegetables? Sneak them into your diet by adding spinach into your morning smoothie.

Step Two: Cut out red meat

The Mediterranean diet is all about replacing red meat, with lean proteins like fish, eggs and chicken.  By limiting your consumption of red meat, you are reducing your risk of heart disease and many other chronic illnesses.

Step Three: Replace the fat

The Mediterranean diet does not eliminate fat; rather it aims to incorporate healthy fats.  Healthy fats are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and can be found in foods like extra virgin olive oil, avocados, low-fat dairy products and more.  Aim to reduce your consumption of saturated fats that contribute to high cholesterol, and include healthy fats in moderation.  For an easy transition, try substituting butter in your cooking for olive oil – a small change with huge rewards.

The Mediterranean diet is all about incorporating simple changes to your daily routine – easy, but with huge benefits for long-term health and wellness.  Have you tried the Mediterranean diet?  Leave your comments below; we want to hear from you!

 


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