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31 Mar Five-Step guide to the Mediterranean Diet

It is proven that the Mediterranean diet has impressive health benefits we all need. A transition to a healthier diet is easier than you think. Here are six steps to get you started.

1. Exchange unhealthy fats for healthy ones

It isn’t so much the quantity but the quality of fat within a diet that is important. Most vegetable oils and margarines on the market are highly processed. They may contain linoleic acid, a fat that causes inflammation. Swap these products for healthful fat sources from the Mediterranean diet, which include avocados, nuts, olive oil and fatty fish.

2. Replace red meat with plant foods

Our typical meal features meat prominently and relegates vegetables to side dishes. You can transition to the Mediterranean diet by making vegetables, grains, beans and fruit the centerpiece of a meal. The plan also contains moderate amounts of poultry, in addition to fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon and tuna.

3. Choose wholesome dairy

The Mediterranean diet includes moderate amounts of dairy products, but make wise selections. Eat natural cheese rather than processed cheese. Choose plain varieties of yogurt instead of those that contain fruit, added sugar and other unwholesome ingredients.

4. Switch refined grains for whole grains

White bread, white pasta and white rice are essentially devoid of nutrition. They are highly processed and have been stripped of fiber, protein, minerals and the B vitamins that make grains so healthful. Instead of these foods, eat 100-percent whole grain bread and pastas along with brown rice and buckwheat.

5. Fruit over dessert

Most desserts are loaded with sugar and unhealthful fat, dietary components linked to various health maladies. In place of such dishes, eat fresh fruit, which is plentiful in fiber, enzymes and a host of phytonutrients that promote wellness.

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