A Mediterranean diet is generally acknowledged to be one of the healthiest diets anyone can follow – and it’s a relatively easy one to switch to as you won’t be cutting out any food, you don’t need to have any in-depth knowledge of nutrition and you’ll get to try out lots of delicious new ingredients all at the same time.
All you really need to remember as an excellent rule of thumb is to eat less red meat and fewer sweets, introducing more wholegrains, legumes, fruit, nuts, vegetables, extra virgin olive oil and seafood into your diet instead. That’s it!
You can still eat dairy, poultry and eggs, but try to keep these to a moderate amount and try to follow more plant-based meal plans each week if you can.
Olive oil will form the main source of added fat in this kind of diet, providing you with monounsaturated fat, which has been proven to lower cholesterol. Nuts and seeds also contain strong levels of monounsaturated fat, so make sure you stock up on these as well.
To help get you started, aim for between seven and ten servings a day of fruit and veg. This sounds like a lot but you’ll soon get into the swing of it – and don’t forget that 150ml of pure unsweetened fruit juice counts as one of your five a day, as well.
Don’t give up bread, cereal and pasta – simply switch to wholegrain versions and look into the likes of bulgur wheat as an alternative to pasta and rice. And get to know your herbs and spices well, as you’ll be using these a lot to bring delicious flavours to your food.