The Mediterranean Diet: Benefits, Review, and Culture

If you’ve ever spent hours on Pinterest looking for healthy food recipes, you’ve most likely heard of the Mediterranean Diet. Advertised as one of the more easygoing, yet lavish dietary patterns out there, it’s no wonder the Mediterranean Diet has boomed with interest and popularity. Not only that, but the plethora of Mediterranean recipes are absolutely mouthwatering and fun to make!

What is the Mediterranean Diet? 

Pulling a reputation for being one of the most fulfilling and enriching diet provisions, The Mediterranean Diet is healthy and delicious. The Mediterranean Diet is probably something that you’ve heard of before, but may not be super familiar with.  Many believe that this diet can positively impact heart health, brain function, weight loss or maintenance, and more. The Mediterranean Diet is not one that promotes dietary restrictions in order to lose weight, which is part of the reason it’s so popular.

Think of it like a lifestyle and not a “diet”. Due to the fact that the Mediterranean Diet is packed full of such satisfying and balanced elements, it can be practiced for both weight loss and maintenance. 

It’s important to note that in order to be successful on this diet, you still need to achieve regular physical exercise, and portion control.

What Foods are Included in the Mediterranean Diet?

Where do we start? There are so many tasty and rich foods that are included in the Mediterranean Diet, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll love it. The Mediterranean Diet is non-restricting, but does moderate certain food groups more than others. For example, loyal Mediterranean connoisseurs eat fish or plant-based protein twice or three times a week, while they limit poultry such as lean chicken or pork to once a week. Also, a glass of red wine is encouraged on the Mediterranean Diet, so feel free to drink up!

Here is a more conclusive list of Mediterranean Diet foods:

Vegetables (eat on the daily): Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, kale, spinach, collard greens, onions, peppers, eggplant – no veggies are off limits! 

Fruits (eat on the daily): Pick any fruit you desire, but some great examples are bananas, peaches, berries of all kinds, papayas, and citrus fruits

Fish (eat on the daily): Salmon, tuna, mackerel, haddock, tilapia – eat all the fish! 

Legumes (eat on the daily): This funny word is used to describe meatless proteins such as black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, lentils, green peas, and chickpeas

Grains (eat daily in moderation): Oats, whole grain bread, buckwheat, bulgur, barley, and millet are all exceptional grain choices

Dairy (eat in moderation throughout the week): grass-fed butter, non-processed cheese, and organic milk

Poultry (eat in moderation throughout the week): organic and natural chicken, eggs, and pork

Healthy snacks (eat on the daily): nuts, fruit, Greek yogurt, pumpkin seeds, cottage cheese, chia pudding, whole grain crackers, hummus 

Don’t forget to load on the extra virgin olive oil! This condiment is a staple item in the Mediterranean Diet. It’s commonly used for cooking, salad topping, and bread dipping

Foods that should be limited and rarely eaten are red meats, processed foods, added sugars, sweeteners, refined grains, and refined oils. 

Origins and Culture

The discovery of the Mediterranean Diet began after researchers noticed that people who resided in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea had shockingly exceptional health. Regions such as Greece, Italy, Spain, and France are all fundamental to the Mediterranean Diet, and are also fantastic places to travel and experience authentic, delectable cuisine. 

Mediterranean Diet Tips

If you’re ready to give the Mediterranean Diet a try but are frequently on the go, there are tons of helpful resources to help you stay loyal to the journey. Whether you’re traveling, working long hours, or just simply don’t have the time in your day to grocery shop and meal prepare, Diet-to-Go  and Green Chef deliver wholesome, clean, and tasty foods right to your door. By customizing your dietary preferences, both of these programs offer items from the Mediterranean Diet, and save you tons of time when it comes to meal preparation.   

If you’re one of those people who have trouble sticking to a routine, don’t fret! Since there are so many foods to choose from, the meal concoction possibilities are endless. Pair together your favorite breakfast, lunch, and dinner items along with snacks for each day and plan them out in a food or wellness journal. Wellness journals are great because they don’t only help you stay on track, but they give you something to look forward to each day. Food journals also provide you with the opportunity to reflect on your dietary choices, and integrate into your workout routine. Here are a few fun and trendy food and wellness journals to get you started: 

Tweed Tune In Wellness journal 

Kunitsa Co. Food and Wellness Journal 

 Life & Apples Wellness Planner

If you’re new to the diet, easy ways to get started are simply adding an extra veggie to each meal, and replacing your steak night with a seafood or plant based dish. After a few days on the Mediterranean Diet, monitor your physical and mental health to see if you feel any changes in factors such as mood, energy, or stress. 

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