If you’re diabetic, following a Mediterranean diet can be beneficial for you.
The Mediterranean Diet has been around for awhile and is known for its nutritional soundness. It’s a diet that’s been successfully followed for weight loss as well as for improving overall health. By adhering to this diet, you can improve your heart health, long term cognitive function and even prevent or reverse Type 2 diabetes.
This diet first came to mainstream attention after it was noticed that people who lived close to the Mediterranean Sea didn’t seem to struggle with the same health issues that other people did. Once the eating habits of the people who lived near the Mediterranean Sea were studied, it was discovered that those people had certain eating habits that contributed to them having better health.
One of the key advantages of the Mediterranean Diet over other healthy diets is that it offers a lot of leeway when it comes to choices of what to eat. This make it a lot easier to adhere and stick to the diet long term.
Note: No diet replaces the importance of blood glucose monitoring. Especially when implementing new changes in your life, it is important to keep track of your blood glucose levels. Please consult your doctor on advise for routine blood glucose monitoring.
7 Key Elements of the Mediterranean Diet
1) Eating primarily plant-based food
The Mediterranean diet consists of big servings of fruits and vegetables. These people can eat up to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day!
They also eat seeds, legumes and nuts which are great sources of protein and fibre. Nuts and seeds also contain antioxidants and healthy fats.
If you like sesame seeds, be sure to try tahini (blended sesame seeds) as a spread or dip!
2) Avoid butter and food with high fat content
Try olive oil or canola oil instead. You can use them either for cooking or as bread dips. You can also easily find flavoured olive oil at supermarkets.
3) Using herbs and spices instead of salt or sugar to flavour food
The flavours Mediterranean people use in their meals helped give the foods a more appealing taste than many diets.
4) Eating fish as much as you can (at least twice a week)
Healthy choices are fresh salmon (high in Omega-3 fatty acids), tuna, trout, herring or mackerel. Healthy ways of preparing fish include grilled, baked or broiled. Avoid fried fish.
Eat less red meat (no more than a few times a month). If you do, keep the meat portions small and lean.
5) Drink red wine (optional)
If it is ok with your doctor, try one occasional glass during dinner. Moderation is key.
But if you don't drink, skip this step all together. It is not that important.
6) Getting plenty of exercise
Exercise, at least 20 minutes a day, is strongly recommended on this diet.
While you can start out with something as simple as walking, strength training is recommended.
7) Enjoying meals with family and friends
Enjoying food together with your loved ones is a core element of this diet. This helps to reduce stress and increases pleasurable experiences.
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