Mediterranean Lifestyle

Rated one of the Best Overall Eating Plans

The Mediterranean Diet Lifestyle is noted to be a sensible, fruit focused plan with quality amounts of vegetables, healthy fats and great flavor.

As far as diets go, I think the word “diet” is less than appealing. Do you really want to be on a “diet”. The general public often views the word “diet” in a negative way, associating it with eating behaviors that focus on restrictive, less, limiting, and avoidance.

Diets usually give specific demands and limit the opportunity in my opinion to make quality lifestyle choices. Making lifestyle changes with your dietary needs in mind is much more sustainable and doable instead of “dieting” that leaves you eating less, wanting more, and frustrated. One lifestyle change you could start with right now is incorporating Mediterranean eating patterns for you and the family. When you increase these foods daily – whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, herbs, spices, nuts and peanuts, and healthy fats such as those found in olive oil – your overall health may improve. Two great things about this plan is specific food groups are not removed and there is a wide variety of options to help with diverse tastes.

Research suggests that incorporating this plan is helpful in reducing weight, depression, heart disease, some cancers and improving memory. The incidence of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases can be decreased as well.

mediterraneanpyramid

 

The Mediterranean Plan: 

  • Eating plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts
  • Replacing butter with healthy fats, such as olive oil
  • Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
  • Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month
  • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
  • Drinking red wine in moderation (optional)

Dietitian Tips on Eating the Mediterranean Way 

  1. Fruits and Veggies: Make half your plate fruits and veggies at each meal.
  2. Whole Grains: Choose whole grain tortillas, rice, pasta.
  3. Go Lean with Protein: Choose seafood, fish, poultry and plant sources.
  4. Keep Red Meat for ‘rare’ occasions.
  5. Healthy Fats: Extra virgin olive oil, nuts, seeds, olives & avocados.
  6. Dairy: Choose Greek yogurt and low fat cheese.
  7. Alcohol: Women should limit drinks to one per day and men no more than two drinks per day.
  8. Choose fresh fruit for dessert, instead of cookies, cakes and ice cream.
  9. Be active. Aim for 60 minutes of exercise or active work daily.
  10. Set Weekly Goals: Choose 2 or 3 items on this list to help change your lifestyle.

TTU Campus Tips: 

Salad bars: Try hummus, feta or mozzarella cheese; plant protein from beans, chick peas, nuts and seeds.

Dining locations: Choose a non-fried fish or shrimp. Pick whole grain breads brown rice, whole wheat or spinach wraps. Grab-n-Go fresh fruits cups are available for dessert at our locations, including our kiosks. Don’t forget the Greek yogurt. Try a stuffed avocado at Sam’s Place West today!

Also, remember to exercise daily! 

Websites to Check Out: 

Mediterranean Recipes 

Mayo Clinic and Mediterranean Diet

8 Ways to Follow a Mediterranean Diet 

Plant Protein Sources

Hospitality Dietitian | Mindy Diller, MS, RDN, LD |  mindy.diller@ttu.edu 

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