6 Mediterranean diet tips from a Greek nutritionist
To emulate the traditional eating habits of the region from which the diet gets its name, eating the Mediterranean way entails restricting processed foods, red meats, and added sugars in favor of a diet primarily plant-based, made up of natural components, and centered around seasonal vegetables. According to Elena Paravantes, a registered dietitian nutritionist who grew up in Greece, following the Mediterranean diet should not make you "feel like you're on a diet."
Paravantes also stated that the traditional Mediterranean diet was sustainable since it was centered on items that could be purchased locally. To maintain this mindset, she emphasized that you should not eat items that harm the environment simply because they were historically eaten in the Mediterranean.
She advised people from the US Midwest not to consume imported artichokes. Still, if salmon is available and sustainably harvested nearby, they should indulge even if it wasn't historically available in the Mediterranean. Insider asked her for tips on how to make the Mediterranean diet easier to follow.
Consume dessert on occasion
According to Cervantes, desserts are an essential element of the Mediterranean diet. "This Diet is based on real people who used to indulge in sweet treats during the holidays when they could afford them," she stated. "White flour and sugar treats are fine on occasion."
To feel full, eat bread and cheese with veggie meals
Paravantes suggests that people follow a Mediterranean diet in which vegetables take center stage at meals, so if they are planning to eat vegetables, accompany them with some bread and cheese so that they will have a complete and fulfilling meal. The Mediterranean diet does not require you to restrict your diet; rather, it encourages you to make better choices.
If you consume alcohol, do so with meals
If you don't drink alcohol, don't start now, but if you do, consume it with meals, according to Paravantes. According to the Mayo Clinic, wine includes antioxidants, which have been related to heart health.
Even though the World Health Organisation states there is no safe level of alcohol consumption without adverse health effects, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention advises drinking moderately, with men and women advised to limit their intake to one and two drinks per day, respectively.
Consume savory breakfasts
Paravantes says a savory breakfast is more satisfying and does not produce a spike in blood sugar. It is critical to maintain steady blood sugar levels to avoid energy dumps. Paravantes suggests a slice of healthy grain bread with cheese or tahini, a piece of spinach pie, or toast with tomatoes and olive oil. Make use of the protein calculator to maintain a healthy protein intake.
Avoid highly processed meals
Cutting out processed foods is one of the most significant modifications people make when starting the Mediterranean diet. Paravantes says this can be difficult because you can only sometimes determine if anything is digested. Her suggestion for this? There's a good chance it has been ultra-processed if it doesn't look like its main ingredient.
Make incremental adjustments
It is impossible to modify your entire diet at once, according to Paravantes. Incorporate additional meals, primarily vegetable-based, into your weekly meal plan if you often consume meat. Make one day a week when you don't eat meat if you eat meat every day. You can also calculate it with an Allcalculator.net Health Calculator.