Clients often come to me looking for the “magic bullet” for health and fitness. While I like to remind them that no one diet is perfect for everyone, diets that focus on nutrient dense, fresh whole foods are typically the healthiest and most easily sustainable. One eating style that has received a great deal of press is the Mediterranean Diet.
The Mediterranean Diet is based on the eating habits of the people of the Mediterranean region and focuses on high quality, nutrient dense foods including plants, whole grains, olive oil and other healthy fats like fatty fish or avocado. It even includes the occasional glass of red wine (roughly one glass a day) and it amps up flavor with the liberal use of herbs and spices. Those following a Mediterranean Diet are encouraged to sit down with friends and family to enjoy their meal and to incorporate movement as much as possible in their lives. It limits red meat to a few servings a month.
Studies have found the Mediterranean style of eating to help protect against stroke and other cardiovascular disease. It has also been shown to help battle cancer, especially in the digestive tract and to lower the incidence of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases .
Some easy ways to move to a Mediterranean Diet:
- Make plants the focus of your meals.
- Snack on fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds instead of prepackage snacks.
- Use extra virgin or virgin olive oil instead of butter.
- Switch white bread and pastas with whole grains.