Time to hit the reset button; it is a new year, and we can, with confidence, set and achieve realistic goals for 2023!
And please, do not carry over any previous year's regrets or guilt—especially the "should-have-would-have-could have, if...I" thoughts.
We can better our health by making simple changes to our diet, adding whole foods that will benefit our health, and taking away foods that will not help.
It is no secret and no surprise that the Mediterranean Diet has won again for the 6th time in a row as the best eating lifestyle diet. As the name suggests, the diet's origins are rooted in the traditional cuisines of cultures that border the Mediterranean Sea.
Scientists took notice of countries of the Mediterranean region where heart disease and stroke were not as common as in other countries. They discovered that a plant-based diet, such as whole grains, plant oils, vegetables, legumes, fruits, seeds, nuts, fish, and a little dairy, helps reduce your risk of chronic health conditions. Essentially, it's a whole foods diet that does not include red meat, sugars, processed foods, refined oils or saturated fats. Adopting this diet promotes many health benefits, as it lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes and lowers inflammation in the body, to name a few.
It is one of the healthiest and family-friendly eating lifestyles at the dinner table.
Build your meals around vegetables and add the dense leafy greens for extra fibre that is great for digestion and has anti-inflammatory benefits. Side it with fish or seafood loaded with high fatty acids or chicken, which will boast good bone and heart health.
Here is a recommended Mediterranean diet food list, and there is no shortage of fruits and vegetables as there are so many to choose from;
Produce: shallots, tomatoes, garlic, carrots, cauliflower, green beans, bok choy, collard greens, eggplant, beets, celery, mushrooms, kale, spinach, arugula, spinach, cucumbers, potatoes, Swiss chard, Brussel sprouts, green and red peppers, zucchini, kale, sweet potatoes, blueberries, apples, oranges, strawberries, cantaloupe, grapes, figs, dates, avocado, lemons, bananas, pears, raspberries, peaches, and plums.
Legumes, Nuts & Seeds: beans, lentils, chick peas, cashews, pistachios, walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, sesame seeds, almonds, pumpkins seeds, macadamia nuts and hazelnuts.
Whole Grains: brown rice, quinoa, orzo, couscous, farro, bulgur, millet, oats, pita bread and pasta.
Protein, Fish & Healthy Fats: olive oil (big emphasis), nut oils, salmon, sardines, yellowtail, sea bass, flounder, clams, octopus, squid, tuna, oysters, mussels, chicken, and turkey.
Dairy & Cheese (in moderation): feta cheese, greek yogurt, eggs, Parmigiano-Reggiano, haloumi, pecorino, & goat cheese.
The Mediterranean Diet has been around for years, and there are a gazillion delicious recipes from award-winning cookbooks and food blogs to inspire your next meal for you and your family. Start with your veggies as a main and build around the dish. Always discuss better eating habits and the best-suited diet for your current health status and lifestyle with your doctor.