Starting a new diet? Go Mediterranean!

Posted 01/06/2015 | By HealthCorps

If you’ve made the decision to start the New Year with a new eating program, you should consider a diet that offers loads of health benefits.  According to recent research, eating Mediterranean-style can offer you a tasty, balanced diet with a health boost. In fact, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends the Mediterranean Diet as an eating plan that promotes health and prevents disease. Coming off of a “holiday binge,” and swapping out the high calorie treats filled with fats, sugar and sodium you’ve been eating for several weeks, for the kinds of foods this diet emphasizes, will likely result in less bloat and some weight loss too. Most important is the fact that this diet offers taste and a broad range of foods, which means you’ll be satisfied. Satisfaction means you are more likely to stick with the diet.

The bulk of the eating plan offers fruits, vegetables, (portions of) whole grains, olive oil, beans, nuts, legumes, seeds, herbs and spices.  It’s recommended that you eat fish and seafood a minimum of twice weekly.  Chicken, eggs, cheese and yogurt should be eaten with portion control, daily to weekly.  Meats and sweets are considered “treat foods’ and should be eaten far less often.  This is a diet your whole family can enjoy.

Here’s a sample menu plan:

Breakfast

Oatmeal with mixed berries and a sprinkle of nuts

A.M. Snack

Red grapes

Lunch

Large salad made up of a minimum of 6 different vegetables (spinach, tomato, carrots, cucumbers, mushrooms, and butternut squash), a small portion of mixed chickpeas and sunflower seeds, 2 ounces of grilled fish plus olive oil/balsamic vinegar dressing

Afternoon snack

3 ounces of Greek yogurt topped with cinnamon

Dinner

Small side salad, 3 to 4 ounces of grilled chicken, small side of beans and brown rice, grilled vegetables.

Optional – a serving of fruit

-Amy Hendel, PA/HealthCoach

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