Imagine if eating filling, delicious meals and drinking wine with loved ones helped you attain a healthy body weight and a lower risk of many chronic diseases. No starving yourself, no counting calories or watching carbs – just a true symbiotic relationship with food.
Backed with powerful evidence, the Mediterranean Diet shows that you can do just that. The diet’s principles are based around a variety of nutrient-dense food, moderate amounts of wine, and enjoying them both with family and friends. It is one of the most heavily researched diets in history with astoundingly strong and consistent results.
POWERFUL SCIENCE-BASED RESEARCH ENDORSES MEDITERRANEAN DIET
The Mediterranean Diet was named the best overall diet in 2019, as well as winning the subcategories, Best for Diabetes and Best for Heart Health.
The overwhelming favorable evidence for the Mediterranean Diet combined with how easy is it to stick to it, explains why it was ranked No. 1 in 2019, and has been a top contender for years.
Many of today’s diet trends are NOT backed by research, or if they are – it tends to be lean in the superficial direction. They’re often backed by celebrities, false claims, and people trying to make some cash.
The Mediterranean Diet on the other hand, is backed by tons of well-conducted, reputable research. A few impressive findings from that research:
- It is more effective than a low-fat diet at helping people lose weight.
- It reduces the risk, helps manage, and can even cure diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, heart disease, and cancer.
- It results in stronger bones, a healthier heart, a healthier gut, and a longer life.
- It may reduce the risk of obesity, asthma, allergies and ADHD in kids.
- It protects against dementia, memory loss, and depression.
As a registered dietitian, I’ve written countless articles and talked to clients endlessly about the wide spectrum of dietary paths. Keto, low-fat, macro counting, Whole30, paleo, intermittent fasting, you name it. Truly the only one that I can unequivocally back is the Mediterranean Diet. It is simple, logical, and proven.
WHAT’S IN AND WHAT’S OUT ON THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET?
The Mediterranean Diet relies heavily on plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds and lots of olive oil. Fish, poultry, eggs, dairy and moderate amounts of red wine are all on the “good list”, too.
Red meat, butter, and processed foods are the only ingredients that should be limited. The diet does not specify portions or amount of food – you eat as much as you need depending on your body composition and activity level.
It’s important to note, in addition to the nutrient-dense foods, the success of the Mediterranean Diet also relies on the lifestyle component. You should try to eat meals with family and friends and be mindful about exercise.
This should all sound much easier (and more fun!) to sustain than relying on calorie restriction or macro counting.
READY TO GIVE IT A GO? TIPS FOR TRANSITIONING TO A MEDITERRANEAN DIET:
- Shift your mindset. Start building meals around plant-based ingredients rather than meat. Fruits and vegetables are beautiful, let them be the stars!
- Go Meatless one day a week. The popular day is Monday, but any day works. All of your meals on that particular day should be centered around plant-based foods.
- Reinvent your favorites. In many of your favorite heavier/comfort food dishes, the meat can easily be swapped for a healthier protein. If you love beef tacos, try blackened fish tacos. If you love spaghetti & meat sauce, try a lentil & mushroom based sauce – you may barely notice the difference!
- Opt for whole grains. Switch to brown rice, quinoa, and whole-grain bread, cereal and pasta. Try new grains like farro (or omit entirely if grains aren’t your jam).
- Use healthy fats. Use olive oil as a replacement for butter as much as possible, ie: rather than using butter on bread, try dipping it in an herb flavored olive oil.
- Find a friend. Embarking on any sort of dietary shift is difficult to do alone. A friend will help you stay accountable, and you can swap meal ideas and tips.
- Let Territory help. We now offer incredible Mediterranean Diet meal options every week.
THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET: THE TERRITORY WAY
Territory’s Mediterranean Diet meals are designed around the foods and nutrition levels that are consistent with eating a Mediterranean Diet. In our meals, you’ll find lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains (the gluten-free kind), legumes, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. There will also be some poultry, fish and eggs. Red meat is excluded, and our whole menu is free of dairy and processed foods. Oh, and the wine? It’s BYOB.
In the Mediterranean Diet, no more than 10% of total calories come from saturated fat, which means all of our Mediterranean Diet meals have less than 7g saturated fat. The Mediterranean Diet tends to be lower in sodium due to eating less processed foods. So, the Mediterranean Diet meals on our menu have less than 750mg of sodium (the American Heart Association’s recommendation of 2300mg or less of sodium per day).
Do you already follow the Mediterranean Diet? Or have questions about starting? Would love to hear from you in the comments below!