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Health Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet

By In Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet Is Good For You!

We have all heard of the Mediterranean Diet; it’s an eating plan that incorporates the delicious foods of the countries that comprise a specific region of the world.  And, it has grown in popularity in recent years, for good reason.  In 2019, CNN shared that “for the first time, the Mediterranean Diet has won the gold as 2019‘s best overall diet in the rankings announced… by US News and World Report.”

Foods to Eat on the Mediterranean diet

Perhaps the greatest appeal of this eating plan is the broad variety of delicious foods it includes. It’s really not a “diet” in the traditional sense; it is more of a lifestyle. Consider the components of the Mediterranean Diet.  

Produce

A variety of fresh fruits and vegetables serve as the foundation for this diet; eat them on a daily basis!  If we were building a “food pyramid”, they would be the base. Popular vegetable choices encompass all the colors of the rainbow. Consider adding these to your shopping list: red and orange peppers, carrots, tomatoes, squash, spinach, kale, cucumbers, eggplant, onions and cauliflower.  Of course your choices are not limited to these, almost every fresh veggie is a good choice!

Fruit is also an important component of this diet.  At the store, pick up apples, apricots, clementines, dates, and pomegranates.  There are so many from which to choose. You can eat these raw or even cook with them to add wonderful flavor to your meals.

Whole Grains

Many grains from the Mediterranean region are popular when following this eating plan. Add selections like barley, farro, couscous, and polenta to your diet. While some of these choices may be unfamiliar, they add delicious flavors and textures to your meals.

Beans, Nuts and Seeds

Individuals in the Mediterranean consume a considerable amount of beans, nuts and seeds. These are heart healthy, filled with protein and are incredibly satisfying.  Make sure your shopping list includes almonds, chickpeas, lentils, pistachios, sesame, tahini and walnuts, among others! 

Proteins

Animal proteins should be consumed in limited quantities, with a focus on fish and poultry.  Going back to the food pyramid, on a Mediterranean eating plan, animal-based proteins would occupy the top spot – and serve as the smallest component of the diet. Popular seafood choices include fatty fish such as tuna, salmon and sardines. Limited red meat is also allowed; use it as a special treat as opposed to a regular meal.

The foods above comprise the primary “food groups” of the Mediterranean Diet. Note that dairy products, including low-fat greek or plain yogurt and small amounts of cheese are also permitted. Food preparation also plays a key role. This plan focuses on  relatively clean eating; food is often steamed, grilled or sauteed in olive oil (popular in the region). Buy a high-quality bottle and use it to compliment the natural flavors of the food you cook. Also consider experimenting with a broad range of spices.

Foods to Avoid on the Mediterranean Diet

As in any “diet”, there are foods which you should avoid. It should be no surprise that processed foods top the list. Both white bread and pasta (and those made from refined wheat) should be avoided.  Also, try to stay away from processed meats, trans fats and foods with added sugars. 

Health Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet

The components of the Mediterranean Diet make it incredibly good for your health.  First, it is a heart healthy diet. It is high in omega-3s and healthy fats and is high in antioxidants from the emphasis on fruits and vegetables.

This lifestyle plan also protects against Type 2 Diabetes and a host of other illnesses including the risk of dementia, Alzheimers, and Parkinson’s, just to name a few.

Because this diet also emphasizes an active lifestyle, those who follow it may lose weight. As such, they live a healthier life. 

Dining Out

Meals in the Mediterranean are often a “group” event. People there dine leisurely, in groups; they enjoy delicious food and each other’s company. If you are looking to experience a meal as if you were dining in the Mediterranean, consider visiting ethos Greek Bistro. Owned by George Pappas, who was born and raised on the Greek Isle of Crete, ethos Greek Bistro is well-known for its menu of fresh and delicious food. 

With restaurants in the Promenade Plaza in Coconut Creek and Wilton Manors, ethos Greek Bistro is well-known for serving traditional Greek and Mediterranean food in a beautiful atmosphere. ethos Greek Bistro, uses only the freshest of ingredients. The menu is comprised of dishes made from the staple ingredients of the Mediterranean Diet. Appetizers include our famous Greek Salad with cucumbers, red onion, feta cheese and fresh oregano and delicious hummus made from chickpeas and fresh herbs, in house! Our main courses include a broad range of fresh fish and we even offer delicious lamb chops with rosemary for that special treat meal.

On a separate note, if you are looking to host a healthy Mediterranean meal in your house we offer both catering services and take out. You can enjoy our food, with friends and family, in the comfort of your home.

If eating healthy and delicious food is important to you, consider joining us for lunch or dinner – we promise you an amazing experience. At ethos Greek Bistro, we are proud of both our food and atmosphere. Visit the Mediterranean in our Broward County locations!

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