As the name suggests, the Mediterranean is based on the traditional way of eating in the countries that surround the Mediterranean Sea. While the diet might have originated from afar, all you need to do is pay a visit to your local supermarket to adopt it. It is full of delicious ﬂavors and all kinds of foods to be enjoyed in moderation. It is healthier than most diets out there, remarkably easy to maintain, and aﬀordable!
Mediterranean Diet Pyramid
The pyramid you see above was created in 1993 by the WHO and Harvard School of Public Health. It is called the Harvard or Mediterranean Diet Pyramid. The pyramid was presented to the people as a healthier alternative to the USDA’s original one.
An In-Depth Look at the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid
Here are some tips that can make it easier for you to base your diet on the pyramid:
- The pyramid shows that most of your foods should have plant as sources. That means you should prefer to have less meat as compared to fruits, vegetables, breads, grains, seeds, and nuts. However, that doesn’t mean meat should be avoided completely. It is recommended that you consume low to moderate amounts of fish and poultry twice a week. Moreover, as long as you keep the consumption under 340-450 g or 12-16 ounces per month, you can also eat red meat a few times per month. It is better to switch to lean meat wherever a switch won’t affect the flavor.
- Focus on enjoying food that is locally grown, fresh, and reaches you with the least amount of processing. Organically grown produce is a good idea since it is more likely to be rich in micronutrients and antioxidants and free from harmful chemicals.
- Replace other sources of fats, such as oils, butter, and margarine with olive oil.
- Restrict your total fat consumption so it is responsible for production of less than 25-35 percent of energy. Be more vigilant when it comes to saturated fat, consuming no more calories than those that produce 7-8 percent of energy. You can do this by eating foods rich in saturated fats just a few times every week.
- Dairy is completely allowed. In fact, you are advised to switch to low fat versions of cheese and yogurt, so that you can consume low-moderate amounts on a daily basis.
- When it comes to eggs, limit your intake from zero to four eggs per week.
- Sweeteners, such as honey, and sweets with considerable amounts of sugar should be limited to a few times a week. Instead, enjoy fresh fruit for dessert daily.
- Make exercise a regular part of your daily life.
- It is okay to consume wine as long as you do it in moderation. The best way to do is to limit drinking at mealtime. However, you can also avoid wine completely, if you can go without it.
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