- Jenny Maloney RD
Mediterranean Diet- Best Diet of 2019
Updated: Jan 20, 2019
There are a lot of diets out there and many of them deliver short-term results. A diet needs to be realistic to follow, taste good, not too much work, and not too extreme. The Mediterranean diet fits all these and more. This diet has been linked to helping prevent heart disease, cancer, diabetes, depression, stroke, inflammation, and Alzheimer’s; it also has shown to help with long-term weight loss. The American Dietetic Association is keen on this mostly plant based diet. Here are some the main foods you can eat and why they are good for you.
Olive oil- This is a monounsaturated fatty acid that has many health qualities when eaten in moderation. It is great to cook with (don’t cook for too long because the smoke point is on the lower end), and make salad dressings and sauces with,
Beans- lentils, chickpeas, fava beans, green beans, peas, and butter beans. All beans are a great source of fiber, iron, potassium, protein, and antioxidants.
Fish and shellfish- It is recommended 2 times a week. Fish is a great source of good fats, like Omega 3 fatty acids, low in calories, and a great source of protein.
Veggies- The Mediterranean diet revolves around a variety of colorful vegetables which are high in nutrients and low in calories and fat.
You can eat carbohydrates! Aim for whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, and potatoes are a great option as well. Grains are needed for B vitamins among other nutrients; just watch your portions.
Dairy- This diet involves yogurt (aim for plain and low fat or full fat) and a variety of cheeses like feta and goat which are all great sources of Calcium and Vitamin D.
Fruit- Aim for about 2 servings of colorful fruit per day. Dried fruit, like dates and raisins with no added sugar are a great way to add sweetness to your nutrition plan.
Wine- If you drink wine, go for red which is high in antioxidants. You can get antioxidants from a variety of foods as well. The key is to keep your wine to a moderate amount, which is 1 glass for women and 2 glasses for men.
Seeds and nuts- Try walnuts, almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, all nuts and seeds have different nutrients that are great for our health. They are also satiating due to it’s good fats and protein content.
Herbs and spices- This diet uses a huge variety of spices and herbs that make the food flavorful and delicious. Some key ones are garlic, turmeric, and ginger which have antioxidants and reduce the need for extra salt.
Eggs- Eggs are a great source of protein, iron, Vitamin D and B12. Eggs actually help raise the good cholesterol (HDL) so eat the whole egg but just try to limit to no more than 4-6 whole eggs a week.
Meat in moderation- Go for lean grass fed meat, which are good sources of protein and omega 3 fatty acids, and try to limit to once a week or less.