The month of May is National Mediterranean Diet Month! The Mediterranean Diet, made famous by Ancel Keys, is thought of as being one of the healthiest diets in the world. This diet follows the diet of many of the countries along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and has a host of delicious and vibrant flavors. But don’t worry, you can get everything you need right at your local supermarket!
The Mediterranean Diet is known for its light and flavorful dishes. Instead of heavy sauces, herbs and spices are often used to make dishes pop. The foods of the Mediterranean Diet are often focused around, whole, minimally processed foods and a host of natural flavors.
The Mediterranean Diet is a lifestyle in which physical activity is a strong emphasis. This makes May the perfect time to celebrate this month since the weather is getting warmer!
The Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean Diet is filled with wholesome food choices that can provide you all the nutrients you need for good health such as:
- Generous use of olive oil, which is rich in healthy fats like monounsaturated fats.
- Legumes, which provide a vegetarian protein source to give you options to switch up your meals.
- Fish such as salmon, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
- Fruits and vegetables, which are the centerpiece of every dish and provide you with all your essential vitamins and minerals.
What makes this diet different than the typical western diet, is the minimally processed foods and lack of red meat. Red meat is only consumed a few times a month, which makes this diet low in saturated fat and heart healthy.
In general, every dish is comprised of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes, olive oil and a host of herbs and spices. Fish is consumed several times a week, followed by poultry which is consumed several times a month. Many dishes contain delicious cheeses as well, particularly feta!
Scientific research has shown that those who follow the Mediterranean Diet have a lower risk of developing diabetes and heart disease and a lower risk of cognitive decline as they age. A lot of this can be attributed to the emphasis placed on fruits, vegetables and foods from natural food sources.
Embrace Mediterranean Diet Month and the warmer weather by going out and visiting a local farmers market and taking a walk with your family after dinner to enjoy the beautiful weather!
Your Turn to Take Action: Make one Mediterranean style dish for dinner this week. Let me know what you make in the comments below!