A Mediterranean diet is eating a mixture of foods from countries, which border the Mediterranean Sea such as Greece, Italy and Spain. Cuisines vary from country to country and vary in each region, but they are based on similar food groups. In general, the Mediterranean way means eating more fresh fruit, vegetable, olive oil, wholegrains and fish while limiting the amount of meat and dairy.What makes a Mediterranean diet healthy?
The amount of fresh fruits and vegetables incorporated into the diet is similar to the ‘5 A Day’ rule of thumb. By having a varied, nutritious diet you can help improve your health.Avoid Butter
Olive or conalola oil are healthy substitutes for butter or margarine. You can lightly drizzle olive or conalola oil over vegetables, after cooking pasta or just a touch to garlic and green onions for flavouring. Olive oil and balsamic vinegar is also a great alternative to use as a dip instead of spreading butter.Go nuts
Seeds and nuts are high in fibre, protein and healthy fats, great for a quick snack when feeling peckish between meals. Keep a small portion of almonds, cashews, pistachios or walnuts on hand.Embrace vegetables and fresh fruit
A variety of plant-based foods should make up the majority of your meals to make up your 5 A Day portions. Try to ensure they are minimally processed and as fresh as possible. Include vegetables and fruits in every meal, as well as snacks between meals along with switching to whole-grain bread, cereal, and whole grain pasta products. Be sure to keep small pieces of fruit or veg, such as carrots, apples or bananas, with you. These are handy healthy snacks, which keep hunger at bay.Choose low in fat and high protein
Protein can be found in lean meats, beans and pulses, eggs and some non-dairy products higher in fat such as 3.25% or 2% semi skimmed milk, cheese and ice. Skimmed milk, fat-free yogurt and low-fat cheese are good alternatives.Reduce consumption of red and processed meat
Learn to limit red meat to no more than a few times a month or substitute your red meat intake with fish and poultry. When you decide to have red meat in your meal ensure it is lean and keep portions small (about the size of a deck of cards). Avoid sausage, bacon and other high-fat processed meat.Source