The Mediterranean diet is consistently ranked as one of the healthiest diets in the world. It emphasizes eating fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, olive oil, and fish and other seafood.
While also allowing for moderate amounts of eggs, dairy, poultry, and red wine. Here are some useful tips and tricks for making Mediterranean-style meals at home:
Focus On Seasonal Produce
The Mediterranean regions have a bounty of fresh, seasonal produce available. When making the diet at home, shop for in-season fruits and veggies that will have the best flavor and price.
Items like tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, leafy greens, grapes, figs, and more. Check what’s in season in your area and plan meals around those items.
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Use Olive Oil As Your Primary Fat
Olive oil is central to Mediterranean cuisine, with its high content of healthy monounsaturated fats.
Use extra virgin olive oil for dressings, marinades, and drizzling over completed dishes. You can also cook with it on lower heat. Measure out the oil to control portions.
Incorporate Lots Of Herbs And Spices
Generous use of aromatic herbs and spices is characteristic of Mediterranean cooking. Things like oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, garlic, cumin, paprika, and cinnamon.
Let them infuse oils and vinegar for marinades and vinaigrettes. Rub them on meats and vegetables before cooking. Sprinkle them liberally onto dishes.
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Go Easy On Red Meat And Butter
The Mediterranean diet limits the consumption of red meat and butter. Substitute them with fatty fish, skinless poultry, olive oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds high in healthy fats.
Limit red meat to a few times a month. Use olive oil instead of butter in cooking.
Eat Seafood Twice A Week
Eating fish and other types of seafood twice weekly provides important omega-3 fatty acids. Excellent fish choices include salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies.
These omega-3s promote heart health and proper brain function. Bake, grill, or pan-fry for easy seafood meals.
Have Fruit Or Yogurt For Dessert
Fresh fruit is the quintessential Mediterranean dessert. Figs, grapes, melon, oranges, and more. For something creamier, try Greek yogurt topped with nuts and a drizzle of honey. These make satisfying desserts that aren’t too heavy or high in sugar.
Drink Moderate Amounts Of Red Wine
Red wine is regularly consumed in the Mediterranean region, usually with meals. Feel free to have 4-5 ounces a few times per week with dinner.
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Red wine contains antioxidants that may offer some health benefits when modest amounts are enjoyed. Just be sure to drink responsibly.
By incorporating more plant foods, heart-healthy fats, fish, yogurt, and red wine into your routine, you’ll move closer to the superb Mediterranean diet. Allow the delicious regional flavors to inspire you to create nourishing meals. Your mind and body will thank you!