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Mediterranean Diet

It's almost summer, so let's visit the Mediterranean and see how the people there eat and stay healthy!

The Mediterranean diet is based on the traditional foods that people used to eat in countries like Italy and Greece back in 1960.

Researchers noted that these people were exceptionally healthy compared to Americans and had a low risk of many lifestyle diseases.

Numerous studies have now shown that the Mediterranean diet can cause weight loss and help prevent heart attacks, strokes, type 2 diabetes and premature death.

There is no one right way to follow the Mediterranean diet, as there are many countries around the Mediterranean sea and people in different areas may have eaten different foods.

The Basics

Eat: Vegetables, fruits,nuts, seeds, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, breads, herbs, spices, fish, seafood and extra virgin olive oil.

Eat in moderation: Poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt.

Eat only rarely: Red meat.

Don't eat: Sugar-sweetened beverages, added sugars, processed meat, refined grains, refined oils and other highly processed foods.

Foods to Eat

Vegetables: Tomatoes, broccoli, kale, spinach, onions, cauliflower, carrots, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, etc.

Fruits: Apples, bananas, oranges, pears, strawberries, grapes,dates, figs, melons, peaches, etc.

Nuts and seeds: Almonds,walnuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.

Legumes: Beans, peas, lentils, pulses, peanuts, chickpeas, etc.

Tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, yams, etc.

Whole grains: Whole oats, brown rice, rye, barley, corn, buckwheat, whole wheat, whole-grain bread and pasta.

Fish and seafood: salmon, sardines, trout, tuna, mackerel, shrimp, oysters, clams, crab, mussels, etc.

Poultry: Chicken, duck, turkey, etc.

Eggs: Chicken, quail and duck eggs.

Dairy: Cheese, yogurt, Greek yogurt, etc.

Herbs and spices: Garlic, basil, mint, rosemary, sage, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper, etc.

Healthy Fats: Extra virgin olive oil, olives, avocados and avocado oil.

Drinks: Water, 1 glass of vine (if you are allowed) unsweetened tea or coffee.

Here is how your menu should look like:

Day 1

Breakfast: Greek yogurt with strawberries and oats.

Lunch: Whole grain sandwich with vegetables

.Dinner: A tuna salad, dressed in olive oil. A piece of fruit for dessert.

Day 2

Breakfast: Oatmeal with raisins.

Lunch: Leftover tuna salad from the night before.

Dinner: Salad with tomatoes, olives and feta cheese.

Day 3

Breakfast: Omelet with veggies, tomatoes and onions. A piece of fruit.

Lunch: Whole-grain sandwich, with cheese and fresh vegetables.

Dinner: Mediterranean lasagna.

Day 4

Breakfast: Yogurt with sliced fruits and nuts.

Lunch: Leftover lasagna from the night before.

Dinner: Broiled salmon, served with brown rice and vegetables.

Day 5

Breakfast: Eggs and vegetables, fried in olive oil.

Lunch: Greek yogurt with strawberries, oats and nuts.

Dinner: Grilled lamb, with salad and baked potato.

Day 6

Breakfast: Oatmeal with raisins, nuts and an apple.

Lunch: Whole-grain sandwich with vegetables.

Dinner: Mediterranean pizza made with whole wheat, topped with cheese, vegetables and olives.

Day 7

Breakfast: Omelet with veggies and olives.

Lunch: Leftover pizza from the night before.

Dinner: Grilled chicken with vegetables and a potato. Fruit for dessert.

Though there is not one defined Mediterranean diet, this way of eating is generally rich in healthy plant foods and relatively lower in animal foods, with a focus on fish and seafood.

You can find a whole world of information about the Mediterranean diet on the internet, and many great books have been written about it.

Try googling "Mediterranean recipes" and you will find a ton of great tips for delicious meals.

At the end of the day, the Mediterranean diet is incredibly healthy and satisfying. You won't be disappointed.

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