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Tips to start a Mediterranean Diet

Tips to start a Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet is based on: Plant-based meals, with only small amounts of beef and chicken. More servings of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and legumes, olive oil as the main source of fat used to prepare foods.

This cultural heritage transmits healthy eating habits that you should know when starting out on the Mediterranean diet.

Famous in countries all over the planet, the Mediterranean diet has been ranked first among the healthiest in the world. If you are determined to change your eating habits.

Benefits of the Mediterranean diet

1. Reduction in cardiovascular risk.

  • A study concluded that women who follow the Mediterranean diet would have a 25% reduction in cardiovascular risk over the next 12 years. These eating habits are associated with a lower level of “bad” cholesterol (LDL).

2. Greater longevity.

  • These eating habits have been associated with greater longevity.

3. It could help prevent cognitive decline.

  • The results of a 2015 study indicate that the elderly population that follows the Mediterranean diet shows an improvement in their cognitive functions. Other research determined that good eating habits could slow some brain changes in the early development of Alzheimer's.

4. It could protect against cancer.

  • The researchers found evidence that high adherence to this diet could reduce the incidence of cancer, specifically colorectal cancer. In addition, they observed a slight decrease in the incidence of breast cancer.

How to get started on the Mediterranean diet?

The first step to get started on the Mediterranean diet is to know its pillars, that is, those foods that make it up and make it one of the healthiest options in the world.

1. Olive oil as preferred fat

  • Rich in vitamin E, monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants, it is the oil par excellence of the Mediterranean diet. If you plan to start the Mediterranean diet, abandon butter and consume olive oil.

2. Daily consumption of foods of plant origin

  • Vegetables, fruits, legumes and nuts are consumed daily and regularly due to their great contribution of minerals, vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. In fact, according to the food pyramid of the Mediterranean diet, each main meal should include: 1-2 fruits, more than 2 servings of vegetables, natural or cooked. Preferably, at least one raw serving per day.

3. Daily intake of cereals

  • One or two servings of cereals per meal are recommended, preferably whole grains, in the form of rice, pasta, bread, or other varieties. The carbohydrates obtained through these foods provide the energy necessary to face the day.

4. Choose fresh and seasonal foods

  • Buying and consuming local and seasonal foods allows us to take advantage of their nutrients, flavor and aroma. Choose lightly processed and seasonal foods. It is a healthy and environmentally friendly measure.

5. Moderate consumption of red meat

  • Due to the problems that the consumption of animal fats can trigger on health, a moderate consumption of red and processed meats is recommended. The saturated fats in these meats should be reduced according to the Mediterranean diet.

6. Daily consumption of dairy products

  • Yogurts and cheeses are a daily part of the Mediterranean diet, since they are a source of essential minerals, such as calcium and phosphorus, vitamins and proteins of high biological value.

7. Fish twice a week and eggs, three or four

  • When starting out on the Mediterranean diet, it is important that you reduce your intake of red meat and instead eat fish, for its contribution of Omega-3 fatty acids, and eggs, sources of quality protein.

8. Pastries and sweets, very low consumption

  • It is not a question of completely eliminating pastries from your diet, but rather remembering that their consumption should be extremely moderate. In fact, less than two servings per week are recommended.

9. Water as a drink of choice

  • Water is a fundamental pillar of the Mediterranean diet and should be your drink of choice. Wine is also part of this diet, always being consumed in moderation and in an unusual way.

10. Physical exercise

  • Good nutrition is not the only thing you should ensure to enjoy good health. Don't forget to do regular daily physical exercise to enjoy the benefits of a healthy diet.

As you can see, starting the Mediterranean diet involves making a series of habit changes. If you have doubts about this, consult with your trusted doctor. He will guide you through the process and can help you create a menu based on your energy and nutritional needs.

Remember that prevention is better than cure
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