What are the Key Components of Mediterranean Diet?

If you are on Mediterranean diet you need to follow these guidelines-

  • Consume greater amounts of plant based foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, breads, pasta, beans, nuts and seeds. Eat 7 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables as they are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
  • Eat almonds, cashews, pistachios and walnuts as they contain high amounts of unsaturated fat. But they are high in calories as well, so do not eat more than a handful of nuts. Avoid eating candied or honey-roasted and heavily salted nuts.
  • Replace processed grains with whole grains as they contain very few unhealthy trans fats.
  • Eat fish and poultry in moderation, twice a week. Mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Eat grilled fish preferably rather than fried fish.
  • Avoid red meats. The diet should be low (none to four times a week) in eggs and red meat.
  • Use olive oil for cooking. Mediterranean diet stresses the use of olive oil since it is rich in monounsaturated fats, which are known to counteract the effect of animal fats and not raise cholesterol level in blood, ultimately protecting the heart.
  • Consume wine, preferably red wine, two to three times a week along with the meals. Drink no more than 5 ounces (148 milliliters) of wine daily for women and men over 65 years, and no more than 10 ounces (296 milliliters) of wine daily for men below 65 years.
  • Use herbs and spices, rather than salt to flavor the food.
  • Eat low fat dairy products. Limit the consumption of whole milk, cheese and ice cream. Opt for skim milk, fat-free yogurt and low-fat cheese.
  • Never eat the bread with butter or margarines which is high in saturated fat. Bread should be eaten plain or by dipping it in olive oil.
  • Do healthy snacking. Baby carrots, apples and bananas are satisfying snacks.
  • Exercise regularly. Regular physical activity at a level which promotes a healthy weight, fitness and well-being should be done daily.
  • Have family dinners. The diet also focuses on the importance of enjoying meals with family and friends.

Most Popular on Medindia