The Mediterranean Diet For Beginners

Diet, for most people this can be seen as an imposing word.  But today we’re going to shed light on a “diet” that is seen more as a lifestyle, the Mediterranean diet.  This particular plan is rooted in incorporating nutritious foods and eating clean.  Calorie counting and restricting yourself from certain foods is not as prevalent in this diet, allowing you to have more room to enjoy food.  The basis of the Mediterranean diet is founded on the traditional foods eaten by countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, such as Greece, Italy, Lebanon, and France to name a few.  In this region it has been found that these groups of people had exceptional health and were at a lower risk for chronic health conditions.  


Health Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet:

  • Promotes heart health, this diet has been found to lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Can help lower blood pressure and slow down the buildup of plaque in the arteries. 
  • Helps to lower blood sugar levels and protect against type 2 diabetes.
  • Improve brain function, memory, and help to lower the risk of dementia, cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s disease. 

Foods to purchase and base your diet plan on:

  • Vegetables: tomatoes, broccoli, kale, spinach, onions, cauliflower, carrots, brussel sprouts, cucumbers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips
  • Fruits: apples, bananas, oranges, pears, strawberries, grapes, dates, figs, melons, peaches
  • Nuts, Seeds, and Nut Butters: almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almond butter, peanut butter
  • Legumes: beans, peas, lentils, pulses, peanuts, chickpeas
  • Whole Grains: oats, brown rice, rye, barley, corn, buckwheat, whole wheat bread
  • Fish and Seafood: salmon, sardines, trout, tuna, mackerel, shrimp, oysters, clams, crab, mussels
  • Poultry: chicken, duck, turkey
  • Eggs: chicken, quail, and duck eggs
  • Dairy: cheese, yogurt, milk
  • Herbs and Spices: garlic, basil, mint, rosemary, sage, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper
  • Healthy Fats: extra virgin olive oil, olives, avocados, and avocado oil

Foods to limit/eat in moderation:

  • Added Sugar Drinks/Foods: soda, candies, ice cream, sugar, syrup, and baked goods
  • Refined Grains: white bread, pasta, tortillas, chips, crackers
  • Trans Fats: margarine, fried foods, and other processed foods
  • Refined Oils: soybean oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil, grapeseed oil
  • Processed Meats: processed sausages, hot dogs, deli meats
  • Highly Processed Foods: fast food and some premade microwave meals