Are you interested in adopting healthier eating habits that still include plenty of satisfying, flavorful foods? The Mediterranean diet may be right for you!
May is International Mediterranean Diet Month. This plan is based on the traditional foods of Italy, Greece, and surrounding countries. People in these regions are incredibly healthy and have a low risk for many different diseases. That’s why doctors so often promote the Mediterranean diet as a way to lose weight and reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Here’s what you need to know about sticking to a Mediterranean diet this month and beyond.
What to Eat on a Mediterranean Diet
This diet is high in healthy fats, plant-based products, and seafood while remaining moderately low in animal and dairy products. The Mediterranean diet also advises against eating added sugar and processed food. Here are the top things to eat on the Mediterranean diet:
• Fruits and vegetables: Apples, bananas, berries, melons, pears, peaches, dates, broccoli, cauliflower, salad greens, zucchini, tomatoes, cucumber, etc.
• Tuberous vegetables: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, carrots, turnips, etc.
• Whole grains: Brown rice, barley, corn, oats, buckwheat, rye, whole-grain bread, and pasta, etc.
• Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
• Legumes: Beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas, peanuts, etc.
• Healthy fats: Olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, etc.
• Fish: Salmon, tuna, shrimp, crab, oysters, mussels, etc.
• Meat and dairy (in moderation): Chicken, turkey, eggs, milk, cheese, Greek yogurt, etc.
What to Avoid on a Mediterranean Diet
When possible, opt for whole, single-ingredient foods. When buying packaged products, read labels carefully to help you avoid these unhealthy ingredients:
• Added sugar: Soda, juice, candy, ice cream, baked goods, etc.
• Refined grains: White bread, white rice, refined pasta, etc.
• Trans fats: Found in margarine and other processed foods
• Refined oils: Canola oil, soybean oil, etc.
• Processed meat: Hot dogs, sausages, pepperoni, salami, lunch meat, etc.
Example Mediterranean Diet Menu
Here are some ways to combine healthy Mediterranean foods into meals:
o Greek yogurt, oatmeal, and strawberries
o Veggie omelet and apple slices
o Whole-wheat English muffin, cottage cheese, and blueberries
o Whole-wheat toast, tuna salad, and carrot sticks
o Salad with tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese
o Whole-wheat linguini with shrimp, olive oil, and peas
o Broiled salmon, brown rice, and broccoli
o Grilled lamb, salad, and baked potato
o Chicken breast, Brussels sprouts, and yams
Have you put together a shopping list for Mediterranean Diet Month? Head to NetCost Market to find everything you need! For over 20 years, we have been helping our customers save time and money by offering a world of food all in one place. We love being a local supermarket with a global reach, now with 12 locations in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.