Diet & Nutrition

So, what exactly is the Mediterranean diet? Here's everything you need to know

We break it all down for you.

By The Australian Women's Weekly
The Mediterranean diet, typically the diet enjoyed by those living in Europe, has long been hailed for its health benefits, colour and taste.
It's one of the best ways of eating for both our health and overall enjoyment, with advocates insisting it's the one diet where you never feel deprived.
The reason the Mediterranean diet is so beneficial is thought to be because it is well balanced and contains all the necessary vitamins and minerals.
We also know that a diet rich in whole plant foods provides plenty of antioxidants, phytonutrients and fibre.
Following a Mediterranean diet can also protect against heart disease, cancer and can also reduce your risk of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.
Impressive benefits for something that tastes so great!
But what exactly does this diet entail?
The Mediterranean diet is packed full of legumes and wholegrains. Getty
A Mediterranean style of eating is usually characterised by:
  • A high consumption of fruits and vegetables
  • Plenty of wholegrain cereals, legumes, nuts and seeds
  • Olive oil as a healthy fat source
  • Little red meat, dairy and processed foods.
Hints and tips
Why not adopt at least some of the ways of the Mediterranean diet to help you on your way to a healthier you!
  • Aim for two serves of fruit each day. Simply slice a banana on your breakfast cereal, enjoy strawberries in a smoothie or indulge in some fresh figs drizzled with honey for dessert.
  • Include seeds and nuts in meals to add extra crunch, flavour and nutrition. Sprinkle pinenuts or hazelnuts in salads and mix sunflower and sesame seeds through your morning cereal.
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  • Aim for five serves of vegetables each day. Try roasting some capsicum, onion, garlic, zucchini, cherry tomatoes and mix through pasta with a tomato-based sauce for a delicious mid week meal.
  • Drizzle roasted vegetables or a mixed salad with a small amount of olive oil and caramelised balsamic vinegar.
  • Increase your legume and grain intake by adding chickpeas to your salad. Reduce your mince consumption by substituting with brown lentils and kidney beans, and bulk up soups with barley or a soup mix.

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