The 5 Best Parts of the Mediterranean Diet

e0c28f26bd0eda37008b0c2fed09bf836a4b6e05_fotolia_62315104_subscription_monthly_mThe Mediterranean diet has been popular for many years. It’s easy to shop for at the grocery store, and contains nutrients that have been known to enhance longevity, according to peer-reviewed, scientific studies. It’s been raved about, and endorsed by several prominent health experts.

One of the most important elements of the Mediterranean diet is broccoli. With only 30 calories per cup, broccoli provides hunger-curbing fiber and polyphenols – antioxidants that detoxify cell-damaging chemicals in your body – without any guilt. Broccoli is cheap to buy, and easy to cook. You can steam it, microwave it, oven bake it, and sautee it.

Olive oil is arguably our favorite part of the Mediterranean diet. Doctors suggest using olive oil instead of but for a very important reason. When comparing calories and total fat, you might not see the reasoning behind this suggestion, but the choice becomes clear when comparing saturated fat. Olive oil contains just 14 grams of saturated fat – the bad kind of fat – while butter contains 51 grams. Besides enhancing the flavor of your food, research also shows that introducing extra-virgin olive oil to your diet reduces incidents of major cardiovascular events among patients with a history of heart disease.

Quinoa is definitely a hot food trend, but it’s also a staple of the Mediterranean diet. Quinoa contains a good dose of protein to help build muscle. Including whole grains of any type in your diet will aid in weight loss. Consider adding barley, brown rice, or quinoa to your diet to fill up faster on fewer calories.

Blueberries are yummy, but they’re also often referred to as a superfood. Studies show they aid in everything from lowering cholesterol to fighting cancer. Don’t like blueberries? Berries of all kinds including strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries contain phytonutrients and antioxidants. Fresh fruit can be costly for those on grocery budget. Fortunately, experts say frozen fruit works just fine.

Salmon is a great source of lean protein, and is a big part of the Mediterranean diet. When following this diet, doctors suggest eating fish at least two times per week. Salmon provides omega-3 fatty acids, discovered by researchers to lower the risk for heart disease. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and reduce the rate of plaque buildup in blood vessels. Salmon is also incredibly delicious, and easy to incorporate into many recipes. Whether you barbeque it, sautee it, or add it on top of a salad, you’ll enjoy adding salmon to your diet.

Switching your diet can often have positive results beyond just weight loss. Always consult with your doctor before starting any diet. At Dayton Dandes Medical Center our in-center nutritionists work with you to achieve your health goals. Contact us to schedule your appointment today.

You Might Also Like
What are Natural Flavors
Win the Fight Against Cellulite
Best Foods to Eat After a Workout

References
Sass, Cynthia. Jan 14, 2015. “5 ways to eat healthier this year and lose weight in the process.” CNN.com
Fitday.com: “Olive Oil Myths and Facts
Seliger, Susan. Feb 16, 2007. “Superfoods Everyone Needs.” WebMD.com

The articles on this website are not to be construed as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.