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How to live longer: What to include in a Mediterranean diet - Tips

The specialised diet focuses on the traditional menu served in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea; this includes taking influence from France, Greece, Italy and Spain. What ingredients does it include?

For starters, there is a high content of vegetables - an excellent source of dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals. Typically low in fat and calories (as long as they're not roasted or fried in lots of oil), they can help a person maintain a healthy weight.

Whenever you’re cooking, or planning a meal, look at each individual ingredient and ask yourself if it’s natural or processed. If it’s a processed food, like butter, figure out a comparable, Mediterranean friendly swap – such as olive oil.

Look at the plate as you prepare it. Is it bland looking? Mediterranean meals are often vibrant, so the person eating it gets a wide array of produce, which delivers maximum health benefits.

Check to make sure you’re using whole grains in everything – including bread. You can enjoy bread and dip it into a flavored olive oil as a snack. This is delicious and filling, and helps you lose weight as long as you don’t overdo it.

Make sure you’re not avoiding fat. It’s easy, on a diet to lose weight, to get the mindset where you want to avoid anything that even remotely resembles something you’re trying to lose – but this type of healthy fat can assist you in shedding pounds.

You have a wide variety of foods you can enjoy on this diet plan, so enjoy them! Try tons of foods you’ve never sampled before – or even heard of before. Get a recipe for it, buy the ingredients and go for it.

Use the Greek habit of creating mezzes, which are little plates that almost create a sampling of appetizers or hors d'oeuvres. You can put things like your favorite nuts, green or black olives, and even cheeses.

Make sure that first and foremost, you’re relaxing and enjoying your new Mediterranean way of eating. The natural fats will help you feel full, faster, but you still have to slow down and savor each bite so that you don’t go overboard.

If you’re doing this for weight loss, you’ll likely be tracking your weight on a regular weigh-in basis. But it might be helpful to track other elements of your health such as your cholesterol and triglycerides, too.

You should notice a remarkable change in the numbers and the boost of confidence you’ll get, knowing you’re on the track to overall better health, will assist you in sticking to the program for a long period of time.

The best part is, since the fat is a staple of the Mediterranean diet, you probably won’t be craving sweets anymore. Your energy will level off, rather than spiking and crashing throughout the day because your blood sugar will stabilize.

The Mediterranean diet is also easy to amend while eating out at restaurants. Simply ask the kitchen to prepare your foods in the way that you want them, and avoid menu options such as breaded meats and dishes with heavy creams and sauces in them.