If you have been planning to go healthy, this is the right time to switch to a Mediterranean diet, which incorporates good eating and improves your cooking style. Listed below are the benefits of the Mediterranean diet:
- Reduced risk of heart diseases
- Low level of oxidized density lipoprotein
- Reduced bad cholesterol levels
- Reduced mortality
- Reduced risk of cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease
If the idea of the Mediterranean diet gets too overwhelming, you can choose to start slow. It might be daunting at first, as wiping away your desires is not easy at first, but taking a step toward the following changes can help:
- Switch from cooking oil to olive oil
Switch to extra virgin olive oil from normal cooking oil like coconut, rice bran, or even sunflower. This improves good cholesterol and reduces the bad cholesterol from your blood. Olive oil is rich in fatty acids, and research says that if you have stir-fried vegetables with olive oil and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, your attention span also increases. Reduce the amount of butter in mashed potatoes and switch to extra virgin olive oil for added benefits.
- Fish the dish
Fish is a major inclusion in the Mediterranean diet as is rich in monosaturated fatty acids and is good for the heart and brain. Omega 3 fatty acids strengthen the heart. It is important to eat fish once a week at least as it provides good protein, and you can use foil paper to cook fish so that oil does not stay on the cooked fish.
- Include more veggies
Increase the greens in your regular diet, and take more veggies rather than fried items for snacks. If you want to munch on something crunchy, opt for zero-fat carrots. Baby spinach, kale, and chard are the greens you can mix with any fruit to get a smoothie. You can have this twice a day, and you will be satiated with healthy and less spicy food.
- Move to multigrain
Opt for the whole grain form of barley rather than the refined or boiled forms, and cook it for 20 minutes with the chaff. It’s a great dish to have along with vegetables. It is a whole grain that has fiber and will fill your tummy fast.
Oats is another whole grain that is perfect for breakfast, especially in winters. Whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, and whole wheat buns are all a substitutes as part of the Mediterranean diet.
If you are a rice lover, switch to red or brown rice. Cook it for 30 minutes and add soup or chicken broth to it. You can add sweet corn, baby mushrooms, spinach, and coriander to the rice as well.
- Nuts, the savior
This is the staple food for most health-conscious people. Almonds, pistachios, and walnuts are all go-to snacks that you can munch on when hungry. Fewer calories, less sugar, less sodium content, rich in fiber, minerals, and potassium, they are far better than an over-the-shelf snack that you might buy.
- Drink red wine
People from places like Spain, Italy, France, and Greece drink wine with their food to add taste to the meal. Dieticians have said that wine improves digestion. If you are a teetotaler, stick to lukewarm water.