The Mediterranean Diet is being haled as THE diet for optimal health. It is said to promote heart health, weight loss and good blood sugar control. It seems to make a lot of sense.
It is a good balanced diet that includes all of the major food groups, with the emphasis being placed on the best foods in each group.
Basic Principles of the Mediterranean Diet
- Use olive oil as the main added fat.
- Eat vegetables with every meal.
- Eat 2 legume-based (eg beans, lentils, chickpeas) meals per week.
- Eat at least 2 fish meals per week. Include plenty of dark oily fish such as fresh tuna, salmon and mackerel. Also include tinned sardines and pilchards.
- Eat only small portions of beef, lamb, pork or chicken, no more than 2 to 3 times per week.
- Eat fresh fruit everyday and dried fruit and nuts as snacks or desserts.
- Eat yoghurt everyday (200g) and cheese in moderation (30 to 40g).
- Include whole grain breads and cereals with meals (up to 4 portions per day).
- Consume wine in moderation (one standard drink (100ml) per day), always with meals, don’t get drunk. Try to have a couple of alcohol-free days per week.
- Have sweets and sweet drinks for special occasions only.
Wendy Lord RD(SA)