The Mediterranean diet is largely regarded as the healthiest in the world and it includes staple dishes from European countries such as Greece, France, Italy and Spain. Enjoying a Mediterranean diet can have a range of definitions, but it largely involves emulating the eating habits of countries that border the Mediterranean Sea.
These countries are renowned for having healthy eating habits and they tend to emphasize meals based on beans and lentils as a main source of protein and mostly stick with plants and wholegrains.
A typical Mediterranean diet is quite rich and oily and includes high volumes of Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids help keep you in the best physical condition possible and they can only be obtained through diet or supplements.
There is a lot of emphasis placed on freshly gathered ingredients within this diet, it does not include any preservatives. The Mediterranean diet is sustainable and has a positive effect on the environment, so it’s viewed as beneficial now more than ever.
There are some misconceptions surrounding the Mediterranean diet, for instance, while red wine does have health benefits it should only be consumed in moderation. One glass a day for women and two for men is the recommended daily intake, exceeding this can be bad for your heart.
Pasta and bread should also not be consumed in bulk, in this diet pasta is usually treated a side dish. More emphasis is made on salad, vegetables, fish or a small portion of organic grass-fed meat and maybe one slice of bread as a main in a dish.
While the Mediterranean diet is primarily based on food, lifestyle also plays a very large role. Meal time is treated as an event, something to be shared and savoured. Dinner is not consumed in front of the television or eaten in any kind of rush; meals are leisurely paced and eaten in this relaxed manner with other people. This lifestyle element might be as beneficial for your health as the food itself.
Combine Mediterranean eating habits with lots of physical exercise and you have the basis for a very healthy lifestyle overall. This diet is heavily focussed on the sharing and consumption of food so try and view each main meal as an opportunity to connect with family and friends.