We can’t all look like Greek Gods and Goddesses, but what if you could eat and drink like one without piling on the pounds? We’ve taken a closer look and found that the Mediterranean diet is no myth…
Fat isn’t forbidden
Fat? On a diet! Yes. These are the types of fats found in olives, nuts and oils, and are plentiful in the Mediterranean diet. Unlike the saturated and trans fats that are crammed into processed food, these ‘healthy’ fats are suggested to fight many diseases, such as diabetes. They add a delicious flavour and are so easy to find.
Fresh and flavoursome
No frozen foods here. The Mediterranean diet is made fresh, so includes only seasonal ingredients and foods. There is an emphasis on fish, though other high protein meats make frequent appearances. Use of more exotic veg and Greek additions, like black olives and feta cheese, adds to the rich flavour. But what really tops this is the numerous herbs and spices the Mediterranean is renowned for…from cinnamon to garlic, coriander to bay leaves, there is never a dull mouthful!
You can have bread
No, not the kind you’re thinking of…but still bread! Whole grain pittas are a near certainty with the Mediterranean diet. Whether it be bread, pasta or other carbs, whole grains are the way forward, without cutting them out completely, as they are higher in minerals and proteins. They don’t give you that sugary crash and are a great accompaniment to starters, like hummus or good old olives (thank God for the Greeks)!
Your heart will love you
If the added antioxidants and nutrients in this mouth-watering diet plan weren’t enough, it’s incredibly good for your heart. The abundance of fruit and veg keep those arteries clear, giving you the fibre you need, whilst olives and nuts help to lower the ‘bad’ cholesterol, whilst improving your ‘good’ cholesterol.
We’ve talked a lot about Greek and Spanish foods, but there is so much more in the Mediterranean diet, there’s: French, Italian, Moroccan, Turkish, Cyprian, even Portuguese and more! There’s a heavy focus on white meat and fresh fruit and veg, and such a large variety to choose from. Many dishes even mix up the cuisines! Try swapping out other carbs for couscous or add fish to some eastern spices.
You can have wine!
Jackpot. Common in many Mediterranean cuisines, wines of all variety features as accompaniments to these fresh, tasty meals. Often drunk leisurely in the Mediterranean, some studies suggest that wine has more properties than just as a social lubricant: one glass a day is considered by many to be good for your heart. Who would’ve thought! Red is often the choice over white and is also high in antioxidants. But don’t go overboard!