Food for Fitness Tip #8: ADOPT A MEDITERRANEAN DIET
The scorching summer we had in the UK this year means we all lived a bit more Mediterranean for a few months. Long hot days, outdoors living, parties, BBQ’s and get togethers. Summer fruits were plentiful, my basil plant bloomed for months and even shop bought tomatoes tasted great!
It’s time to take alfresco eating a step further and adopt a Mediterranean Diet for life by following my Food for Fitness Tip #8: Adopt a Mediterranean Diet for life!
Following a Mediterranean Diet can lead to living a healthier, longer life from, amongst other benefits, reducing the risk of Alzeimers, heart disease and cancer.
So how do you go Mediterranean?
First, if your diet is currently based around ready meals and take-aways, and you hardly ever eat fresh fruit and veg, cooking in olive oil or eating a weekly portion of fish won't work.
And if your view of a Mediterranean Diet is piling your plate with pasta and pizza, loading up on lamb chops or whopping glasses of red wine then we’ve some work to do!
To get the benefits of this type of diet you need to switch up your approach to food, eat a little less meat and eat more fish, include healthy fats and eat more fruit, veg and wholegrains.
What’s in a Mediterranean Diet?
The Mediterranean Diet is based around fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seafood, olive oil, and dairy, with the occasional glass of red wine, all eaten in balance.
How do I eat Mediterranean?
Make sure your diet includes plenty of fruit and vegetables. You can make a salad for a starter, have a vegetable soup for lunch, snack on fruit (instead of pudding and cake!) and add extra veggies to stews and other dishes.
Eat plenty of starchy foods, such as bread and pasta, and choose whole grains instead of refined breads, rice, and pasta.
Eat fish or seafood a few times a week. Fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which improve the health of blood vessels and eating shellfish similar benefits for brain and heart health.
Eat less meat by swapping red meat for fish at a few times week or cooking a vegetarian meal once a week.
Limit your consumption of high-fat dairy by switching to skimmed milk.
Swap butter for ‘good fats’ such as extra-virgin olive oil. Nuts, sunflower seeds, olives, and avocados are also great sources healthy fats.
Have the occasional glass of red wine. Light intake of alcohol has been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.
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