Mediterranean Diet For Beginners: Things You Need To Know Before Starting 

The Mediterranean Diet is a diet that follows the traditional habits of people in countries around the Mediterranean Sea. The Mediterranean diet does not have strict rules. However, the expert recommends you to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and olive oil to follow the program. Fish is the primary protein source compared to meat, and you can take dairy products within reasonable limits. Consuming eggs several times a week are not prohibited, but avoid eating red meat and processed foods. If you are new to trying a particular diet method to lose weight or maintain your health, this diet is perfect for you.

The Mediterranean diet has many health benefits too. Besides losing weight, this diet can also lower cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, reduce Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, prevent diabetes and cancer, and reduce depression.

How to Start a Mediterranean Diet:

Here are some tips for getting started on the Mediterranean diet and riping its benefits.

1. Change the oil in cooking

If you are used to cooking with vegetable oil or coconut oil, switch to olive oil. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids that can increase HDL cholesterol, which nutritionists classify as a good cholesterol type. HDL cholesterol transports LDL particles, or bad cholesterol, out of the arteries. You can substitute the butter for olive oil in pasta or other vegetable stir fry. Also, choose olive oil instead of mayonnaise.

2. Increase your fish consumption

The primary source of protein in the Mediterranean diet is fish. Choose fish that are rich in omega 3, such as salmon, sardines, or mackerel. At least, you have to eat fish once a week to get the benefits of this Mediterranean diet. You can cook it by roasting or making a soup.

3. Increase consumption of vegetables

Vegetables are vital when you are taking an active diet program. Apart from containing many nutrients that are good for the body, vegetables are also rich in fiber, making you feel fuller for longer. To increase vegetables’ consumption, you can replace your daily snacks with chopped peppers, carrots, or even a handful of spinach mixture into a smoothie. This way, you can eat more vegetables a day. Try to eat 7-10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

4. Switch carbohydrate sources to whole grains and grains

Replace white rice or pasta with whole grains like quinoa, barley, and oatmeal. FYI, Even popcorn is a whole grain. Eating whole grains has various benefits, from lowering cholesterol to stabilizing blood sugar to weight loss. Whole grains are also high in B vitamins and fiber.

5. Switch snacks to nuts

Switch your snacks to nuts, whether it’s almonds, cashews, or pistachios. One study in the Nutrition Journal found that if people replaced their regular snack foods (cookies, chips, or crackers) with almonds, their diet contents would be lower in calories, sugar, and sodium. Plus, legumes contain more fiber and minerals, such as potassium, than processed snacks.

6. Enjoy fruit as a dessert

If you have a sweet craving, fruit can be the right solution. Fruits are a good source of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants for the body. You can also take fruit as an alternative snack replacing pastries, ice cream, and other sweet foods.

7. Be wise to consume dairy products

If you frequently add cheese to your cooking, maybe you should think again about it when you are on a Mediterranean diet. If you must add cheese, choose a cheese with a strong flavor, such as feta or parmesan, in small quantities. Also, avoid yogurt that contains sugar and a particular taste you like; or better, consumer yogurt without any additional sweetener.

Enjoy your food slowly to get optimal results from this Mediterranean diet method, get more control over your feelings of hunger, and streak more success from overeating.

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