Imagine for a moment: Sunlit coasts, olive groves dancing in the breeze, and vibrant marketplaces buzzing with life. These picturesque settings of the Mediterranean region are not just home to rich cultures and breathtaking landscapes, but also to one of the world's most celebrated diets over many generations.
But how did this all come into being? Let's see.
Origins and History
Our story begins in the cradle of Western civilization: ancient Greece. Early Greeks thrived on a diet comprising primarily of barley, fruits, vegetables, and olives. The word “diet” itself is derived from the ancient Greek word “diaita,” which translates to "a way of life." This is our first clue that the Mediterranean diet is more than just food on a plate—it’s a lifestyle.
As time progressed, the mighty Romans, inspired by their Greek predecessors, adopted and expanded this dietary lifestyle. They introduced a variety of whole grains, legumes, and fish into the mix. Vineyards flourished, offering not only delightful wines but also emphasizing the importance of moderation.
Trade and The Middle Ages:
Fast forward to the Middle Ages, the Mediterranean became a bustling hub for trade. Exotic spices from the East, like saffron and nutmeg, found their way to Mediterranean kitchens, enriching flavors and diversifying dishes.
20th Century – Science Weighs In:
It wasn’t until the 20th century, however, that the world began to recognize the true magic behind the Mediterranean diet. Scientists observed that people in regions like Greece and Southern Italy exhibited lower rates of chronic diseases and had longer life expectancies compared to other parts of the world. Could their diet be the elixir?
Further studies confirmed their hypothesis. A diet rich in olive oil, nuts, fresh produce, fish, and whole grains, paired with physical activity and communal meals, was associated with numerous health benefits, ranging from heart health to brain wellness.
Modern times see the Mediterranean diet as more than a regional eating habit—it's a global phenomenon. Celebrated for its delicious flavors and immense health benefits, it serves as a testament to the notion that what’s good for the palate can be great for the heart.
Core Philosophy Of The Mediterranean Diet
The core philosophy of the Mediterranean diet revolves around more than merely the composition of the meals; it embodies an entire way of living that emphasizes balance, wellness, and enjoyment.
Rooted deeply in the rich soils and sun-kissed coasts of the Mediterranean basin, this diet captures the culinary traditions of diverse cultures that have thrived along these shores for millennia.
Central to this dietary philosophy is the idea of consuming natural, whole foods that are minimally processed. Olive oil, a staple and symbol of this diet, exemplifies the focus on natural fats, acting both as a cooking base and a flavorful addition to dishes.
Rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, it's seen not just as a mere ingredient, but as a reflection of the region’s spirit - organic, flavorful, and beneficial.
Equally central to the Mediterranean diet is the prominence of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. This emphasis on plant-based foods ensures a high intake of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Rather than relying heavily on red meat, which is consumed in moderation, the diet champions fish and poultry as primary protein sources. This shift not only reduces saturated fat intake but also introduces more omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to a myriad of health benefits, most notably improved heart health.
Dairy, particularly in the form of yogurt and cheese, has its place in the Mediterranean menu but is to be consumed in moderation. Fresh herbs and spices, meanwhile, replace salt as primary flavor enhancers, introducing a world of flavors while supporting cardiovascular health.
However, what truly sets the Mediterranean diet apart is its broader lifestyle implications. Meals are not rushed affairs but are leisurely enjoyed, often in the company of family and friends. This communal aspect reinforces the idea that food is not just sustenance but an integral part of social bonding and community living.
The diet is also tightly interwoven with other key lifestyle elements: regular physical activity and moderate consumption of wine, primarily red, which has been associated with numerous health benefits when consumed responsibly.
The combination of these elements reflects an overarching philosophy of balance — between indulgence and moderation, between activity and relaxation, and between the joys of the palate and the needs of the body.
The Mediterranean diet is more than a set of dietary guidelines. It's a holistic approach to living that values the quality of life, the richness of tradition, and the importance of every meal as both a healthful choice and a joyous celebration.
What Are The Potential Health Benefits Of Switching To The Mediterranean Diet?
Improved Heart Health
The connection between the Mediterranean diet and heart health is one that has been extensively studied, and the results consistently highlight its numerous benefits.
In fact, its relationship with heart health is so profound that we can attribute the change in perception as it relates to all fats being bad for you to the findings of the Mediterranean Diet study.
Originating from the dietary patterns of countries along the Mediterranean Sea, including Greece, Italy, and Spain, this diet emphasizes the consumption of whole, nutrient-rich foods, and its cardioprotective qualities make it a gold standard in nutritional recommendations.
At the heart (pun intended) of the Mediterranean diet is its emphasis on unsaturated fats, primarily from olive oil and nuts. Unlike the saturated fats found in red meat and processed foods, unsaturated fats have been associated with reduced levels of harmful LDL cholesterol, and increased levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol.
These cholesterol-modulating effects are pivotal in preventing the build-up of plaques in arteries, a primary cause of atherosclerosis and subsequent heart disease.
The diet is also replete with whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, which are rich sources of dietary fiber, antioxidants, and essential minerals. Dietary fiber has a plethora of heart-healthy effects, including improving blood cholesterol levels, regulating blood sugar, and aiding in weight management.
Weight control is crucial in preventing heart-related conditions like hypertension and reducing the strain on the cardiovascular system. Antioxidants, on the other hand, combat oxidative stress in the body—a process that can damage arterial walls and escalate heart disease risk. By scavenging harmful free radicals, these compounds further promote vascular health.
Equally essential to the diet’s heart-protective repertoire is its abundant use of omega-3 fatty acids, largely derived from fish. Omega-3s have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body, lower blood pressure, and decrease triglycerides—all factors that are vital in ensuring optimal heart function and warding off cardiovascular ailments.
Beyond its specific components, the Mediterranean diet also advocates for a limited intake of red meat, replacing it with poultry or fish, and minimal use of processed foods and sugars. These measures collectively ensure that one isn't ingesting excessive amounts of salt, harmful fats, or unnecessary additives—all of which have been linked to heart disease in various research studies.
In reality, adapting to the lifestyle could be one of the best things you do for your heart this year, especially if you are known to possess several risk factors that increase your chances of developing cardiovascular illness.
At the crossroads of taste and health, the Mediterranean diet emerges as a leading advocate for effective weight management. While many diets often come with a package of restrictions that can be hard to follow, the Mediterranean diet's approach is both holistic and sustainable, making it an attractive option for those seeking lasting weight management solutions.
One of the cornerstones of this diet is its emphasis on whole foods. Think fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. These foods are naturally high in dietary fiber, which plays a pivotal role in weight control.
Fiber-rich foods not only contribute to a feeling of fullness, reducing overall food intake, but they also stabilize blood sugar levels. This means fewer energy dips and reduced cravings for sugary or high-calorie snacks. When our blood sugar levels remain steady, we're less likely to reach for quick fixes that can sabotage weight management efforts.
Next up, fats. Instead of shunning them, the Mediterranean diet embraces healthy fats, predominantly from olive oil and nuts. Contrary to the misconception that fats are detrimental to weight, these monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats have been linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases and can assist in maintaining a healthy weight.
When consumed in moderation, these fats can replace saturated fats, leading to fewer unhealthy calorie intakes and better overall nutrition.
The inclusion of lean proteins, primarily from fish, legumes, and poultry, is also a major boon and further aids in weight management. Protein is known to promote satiety, reduce hunger, and preserve muscle mass, especially when combined with physical activity.
In the context of the Mediterranean diet, proteins are consumed in balanced proportions, ensuring that the body gets just what it needs without much wastage. However, if you are an athlete, your protein needs will be much higher than the average population and you need to consume accordingly.
But beyond the individual components of the diet, the Mediterranean lifestyle emphasizes mindful eating. It encourages savoring each bite, enjoying meals in communal settings, and truly relishing the act of eating. This mindful approach naturally regulates portion sizes, reduces the likelihood of overeating, and fosters a deeper connection with food sources.
Mindful eating is also believed to give your brain the time to process satiety signals which might be inhibited or inefficient when you race to complete your meal.
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Supports Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
The Mediterranean diet's effectiveness in blood sugar management, especially concerning type 2 diabetes prevention and control, has garnered significant attention in the medical community. It is helpful largely thanks to its nutritional choices, which are ideal for glucose management.
It is well known that the Mediterranean diet places a strong emphasis on the consumption of whole grains and dietary fiber. Unlike refined grains, which can lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar, whole grains have a lower glycemic index, meaning they release glucose more slowly and steadily into the bloodstream.
This results in fewer blood sugar highs and lows, offering a more consistent energy source and reducing the risk of insulin resistance. Foods like barley, quinoa, oats, and whole grain bread and pasta are staples in this diet, providing sustained energy without the sharp blood sugar spikes associated with their refined counterparts.
The diet's main source of fat is olive oil, a monounsaturated fat known for its potential benefits in improving insulin sensitivity as well. Research suggests that monounsaturated fats not only help reduce harmful LDL cholesterol levels but also support better blood sugar control.
By replacing saturated fats and trans fats, commonly found in processed foods, with healthier alternatives like olive oil, nuts, and seeds, you can foster an environment in the body that is less conducive to the development of insulin resistance, a primary factor in type 2 diabetes.
The regular consumption of fish, a cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet, is beneficial too. Fatty fish like mackerel, sardines, and salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body.
Chronic inflammation is closely linked with insulin resistance, so by consuming omega-3-rich foods, individuals can potentially improve their insulin sensitivity and, in turn, their blood sugar management.
Lastly, the diet's focus on fresh fruits and vegetables provides an array of antioxidants and phytonutrients that support overall health. These compounds help combat oxidative stress, which is believed to play a role in the onset of type 2 diabetes.
By regularly consuming a diverse range of colorful fruits and vegetables, you are equipping yourself with the tools needed to fend off oxidative damage and maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Finding it hard to get quality sleep? Your diet could be the cause. The correlation between the Mediterranean diet and improved sleep quality is interesting, to say the least.
A significant feature of this diet is its emphasis on foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish (like salmon, mackerel, and sardines), walnuts, and flaxseeds. Omega-3s play a critical role in brain health, particularly in the production and function of neurotransmitters, which are essential for regulating sleep.
Adequate omega-3 intake is associated with an increase in the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for sleep regulation. By promoting a balanced release of melatonin, the body's internal clock, or circadian rhythm, can function optimally, leading to more consistent and restorative sleep patterns.
Another crucial component of the Mediterranean diet is its focus on whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables, which are excellent sources of complex carbohydrates. These foods can enhance the availability of tryptophan in the bloodstream.
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that serves as a precursor to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that subsequently converts into melatonin. By providing the body with a steady supply of tryptophan-rich foods, the Mediterranean diet may support a smoother, biochemically supported transition into sleep.
The diet's emphasis on consuming a variety of nuts, seeds, and leafy greens also helps ensure an intake of magnesium, a mineral often dubbed as “nature's tranquilizer.” Magnesium plays a multifaceted role in enhancing sleep quality.
It aids in muscle relaxation and has been linked to the regulation of neurotransmitters that promote sleep. Magnesium also binds to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors, the same neuro-receptors that sleep drugs like Ambien act on.
When these receptors are activated, the nervous system is calmed, which can assist in preparing the body for a restful night's sleep.
The Mediterranean diet's limited intake of processed foods and high sugar content may indirectly support better sleep. Foods high in refined sugars can cause fluctuations in blood sugar levels, which can lead to wakefulness during the night. On the other hand, adhering to a Mediterranean diet promotes stable blood sugar levels, reducing the chances of sleep disturbances.
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A Reduced Risk Of Certain Cancers
The Mediterranean diet has been meticulously studied for its potential in lowering the risk of certain cancers. At the core of its anti-cancer prowess lies a blend of natural, nutrient-rich foods, dominated by fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and olive oil, which collectively harbor a myriad of bioactive compounds with anti-carcinogenic properties.
Olive oil is especially rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants such as oleic acid and polyphenols. These compounds have been shown to reduce inflammation—a significant contributor to many cancer types—and inhibit the growth of cells in certain cancer lines, especially those of the breast and colon cancers. The high fiber content from whole grains and legumes aids in digestive health, potentially reducing the risk of colorectal cancer by promoting regular bowel movements and reducing the time that harmful agents stay in contact with the colon lining.
Compounds such as flavonoids, carotenoids, and vitamin C, from the multitude of plant-based foods act as potent antioxidants that neutralize free radicals in the body. Free radicals can damage cells and lead to mutations that contribute to the development of cancer. For instance, lycopene, abundantly found in tomatoes, has been linked to reduced risk of prostate cancer.
The Mediterranean diet also champions the consumption of fish, particularly fatty varieties like mackerel, sardines, and salmon, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s have been linked to a reduced risk of certain cancers, including breast and prostate cancer, due to their ability to modulate inflammation and impede tumor growth.
The Mediterranean lifestyle is also well known to promote limited intake of processed meats and red meats, both of which have been associated with higher risks of certain cancers when consumed in large quantities.
Instead, protein sources often come from lean poultry, fish, legumes, and nuts, which have not shown the same risk associations.
The regular but moderate consumption of wine, especially red wine, brings in a rich supply of resveratrol, a compound studied for its potential in slowing the growth of cancer cells and inhibiting the formation of tumors in the lymph, liver, stomach, and breast cells.
Individually, each of the components of the Mediterranean diet have shown potential in cancer risk reduction, but the synergistic interaction of all these elements within the diet is believed to provide the most significant benefits.
Better Mood and a Lower Risk of Depression
The relationship between the Mediterranean diet and its mood-enhancing benefits has piqued the interest of researchers and nutritionists for years. Many of the foods consumed in the diet have compounds that play crucial roles in brain health, potentially influencing mood and reducing the risk of depression.
The emphasis on omega-3 fatty acids, primarily derived from fatty fish like sardines, mackerel, and salmon, are essential for the proper functioning of neuronal membranes.
A deficiency in these fatty acids has been linked to mood imbalances and higher risks of depression. The anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3s further contribute to their mood-regulating benefits, as chronic inflammation has been associated with mood disorders, including depression.
Beyond fatty acids, the diet is abundant in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains—all sources rich in dietary fiber and antioxidants. Dietary fiber can positively impact the gut microbiota, promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria.
An emerging area of research suggests a strong gut-brain connection, where a balanced gut microbiome can enhance the production of serotonin, often termed the "feel-good" neurotransmitter.
The antioxidants found in the diet also help counter oxidative stress, which, if left unchecked, can lead to neural inflammation and, consequently, mood disorders.
The nuts and seeds also serve an important role; as storehouses of magnesium, an essential mineral that plays a pivotal role in neurotransmitter synthesis and function. Low magnesium levels have been correlated with depressive symptoms, so ensuring adequate intake could act as a mood stabilizer.
Polyphenols, another prominent group of compounds, especially found in olive oil, fruits, and red wine (in moderation), also play a role in promoting better moods. These compounds have anti-inflammatory properties and are shown to have neuroprotective effects, safeguarding the brain from degenerative processes that might influence mood and cognition.
Supports Brain Health and Lowers Risk of Neurodegenerative Diseases
There’s more benefit for the brain yet! In addition to fostering a better mood, the lifestyle can help mitigate the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Central to this protective quality is the consumption of foods abundant in antioxidants, healthy fats, and other anti-inflammatory compounds.
The role of antioxidants in brain health cannot be understated. They help combat oxidative stress, a biological process that can harm cells in the brain and is implicated in the genesis of many neurological disorders.
For instance, the vibrant hues of vegetables and fruits prevalent in the Mediterranean diet are rich in phytonutrients known to be potent antioxidants. By quelling the damage caused by free radicals, these antioxidants potentially delay the onset of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
The omega-3s are also critical for their support. Omega-3s are integral to the structural integrity of neuronal membranes, ensuring optimal function and communication between brain cells. There's compelling evidence to suggest that a regular intake of omega-3s is linked to a reduced risk of cognitive decline and may even bolster memory and cognitive function.
They also have anti-inflammatory properties, which counteract neuroinflammation, another contributor to neurodegenerative diseases.
Then there’s olive oil, which is notably rich in monounsaturated fats and compounds like oleocanthal. Oleocanthal possesses properties that can break down the amyloid-beta plaques, one of the hallmark features of Alzheimer’s disease. By disrupting the accumulation of these plaques, the progression of Alzheimer's may be potentially stymied.
Beyond individual components, the nature of the overall diet also plays a role. A lower intake of processed foods and refined sugars, characteristics of the Mediterranean diet, reduces the risk of developing insulin resistance and diabetes, conditions which are now recognized as significant risk factors for cognitive decline and dementia.
Essential Foods to Prioritize in the Mediterranean Diet
It can be tempting to eat anything that comes your way, but to truly adhere to the lifestyle it is essential that you stick to the assigned foods. To help you navigate this celebrated diet, here’s an essential food list to guide your choices:
1. Fruits and Vegetables:
The backbone of the Mediterranean diet, fruits and vegetables are consumed in abundance. Prioritize colorful and seasonal produce.
Fruits: Apples, apricots, berries, citrus fruits (like oranges and lemons), figs, grapes, melons, and pomegranates.
Vegetables: Artichokes, arugula, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, eggplant, kale, onions, peppers, spinach, tomatoes, and zucchini.
2. Whole Grains:
Opt for whole grains instead of their refined counterparts. These grains are a primary source of energy in the Mediterranean diet.
Examples: Barley, bulgur, couscous, farro, millet, oats, quinoa, rice, and whole grain bread and pasta.
Rich in protein and fiber, legumes are a staple, often used as a meat substitute.
Examples: Beans (like fava, black, and white beans), chickpeas, lentils, and peas.
4. Nuts and Seeds:
These offer healthy fats, protein, and a satisfying crunch. However, due to their high-calorie content, moderation is key.
Examples: Almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds.
5. Olive Oil:
The primary fat source, olive oil is favored for its taste and health benefits. Extra-virgin olive oil is particularly valued for its rich flavor and antioxidant properties.
6. Fish and Seafood:
Prioritized over red meat, fish and seafood are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Examples: Anchovies, sardines, tuna, mackerel, salmon, shellfish, and trout.
Chicken and turkey are the preferred meats, consumed in moderate amounts and often grilled or roasted.
Eggs are versatile and can be incorporated in various dishes, from breakfast omelettes to baked goods.
Opt for low or non-fat dairy products. Cheese and yogurt are common, but always in moderation.
Examples: Feta, ricotta, mozzarella, Greek yogurt, and Parmesan.
Traditionally consumed with meals, wine, especially red wine, is enjoyed in moderation for its potential health benefits. It's typically limited to one glass for women and up to two for men daily. Remember, it's not an essential part of the diet and can be omitted.
11. Herbs and Spices:
Instead of salt, Mediterranean cuisine leans on herbs and spices for flavor.
Examples: Basil, cilantro, dill, garlic, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme, and spices like cumin, nutmeg, and paprika.
Sugary desserts are limited. Natural sweeteners, such as honey, are preferred. Fruits often serve as the main dessert.
Foods to Limit in the Mediterranean Diet
1. Processed Meats:
Stay clear of foods like bacon, hot dogs, and certain deli meats. These often contain high amounts of sodium and preservatives.
2. Refined Grains:
The Mediterranean diet emphasizes whole grains. Avoid products made with refined white flour, such as white bread, regular pasta, and many baked goods.
3. Added Sugars and Sweets:
Foods and beverages with added sugars, like sodas, sugary snacks, most candies, and many desserts, are not a regular part of the traditional diet.
These artificial fats can be found in some margarines and processed foods. Check labels for "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated" oils.
5. Refined Oils:
Instead of processed oils like soybean or canola oil, focus on extra-virgin olive oil, which is a staple of the Mediterranean diet.
6. Processed Packaged Foods:
Many pre-packaged snacks, instant noodles, and microwave meals don't fit into the Mediterranean diet due to their high salt, sugar, and artificial ingredient content.
7. High-Fat Dairy:
The Mediterranean diet typically opts for low-fat or moderate-fat dairy. Avoid regular cream, butter, and non-traditional cheeses high in saturated fats.
8. Fast Food:
Most items from quick-service restaurants, especially fried foods, are a no-go due to their high calorie, salt, and unhealthy fat content.
9. Added Salt:
While some salt is inevitable, try to minimize the amount. Instead, flavor your food with herbs and spices.
10. Commercially-Baked Pastries:
Muffins, doughnuts, and many pastries are often loaded with sugar and unhealthy fats.
11. Artificial Sweeteners and Creamers:
Many of these products, often found in coffee shops, contain a slew of non-natural ingredients.
12. Frozen Desserts:
Ice creams and certain frozen yogurts, especially those with added sugars and artificial flavors, are best minimized.
13. Certain Alcoholic Beverages:
While moderate wine consumption can be a part of the Mediterranean diet, sugary cocktails, and drinks with additives should be consumed in moderation, if at all.
14. Processed Vegan Foods:
Even if it’s labeled "vegan," it doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Some vegan cheeses, mock meats, and snacks are highly processed and don't fit the natural, whole-food focus of the Mediterranean diet.
How to Make the Shift to a Mediterranean Diet
Transitioning to a Mediterranean diet is a lifelong choice. Thus, the emphasis here is not on deprivation but on embracing a variety of nutrient-rich foods that not only satisfy the palate but also nourish the body. Here are some essential tips to help guide your transition:
Prioritize Plant-Based Foods
Start by filling half your plate with vegetables at every meal. Opt for a colorful array, as each hue offers different health-promoting phytonutrients. Incorporate fruits, and legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, and beans regularly.
Choose Healthy Fats:
Replace saturated fats like butter and margarine with unsaturated fats, the star of which is olive oil. Use extra virgin olive oil for salads, cooking, and even as a dip for bread. Also, include nuts like almonds, walnuts, and pistachios as they're a tasty source of essential fats and protein.
Fish Over Red Meat:
Increase your fish intake, aiming for at least two servings per week. Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and trout are especially rich in omega-3 fatty acids. On the flip side, limit red meat to occasional consumption and in modest portions.
Opt for Whole Grains:
Swap out refined grains for whole ones. Instead of white rice or white bread, opt for whole grain versions like brown rice or whole wheat bread. Other options include barley, millet, and oats.
Limit Added Sugars:
The Mediterranean diet leans towards natural sugars found in fruits and limits added sugars. So, reduce the consumption of sugary beverages, candies, and pastries. When you crave something sweet, go for fruits or try Mediterranean desserts that use natural sweeteners like honey.
Savor Dairy in Moderation:
While dairy isn’t entirely off the table, it needs to be consumed in moderation. Greek or plain yogurt and small amounts of cheese like feta and Parmesan can be enjoyed, but it's best to limit high-fat dairy products.
Incorporate More Herbs and Spices:
One of the diet’s hallmarks is its rich flavor derived from herbs and spices. Season your dishes with basil, rosemary, oregano, garlic, or saffron instead of relying heavily on salt for flavor.
Stay Hydrated with Water and Wine:
Just to be clear, water should be your primary drink. If you consume alcohol and it's appropriate for your health status, consider having a glass of red wine occasionally, preferably with meals.
Practice Mindful Eating:
Beyond just the food, the Mediterranean culture emphasizes the importance of how you eat. Enjoy meals slowly, savor each bite, and consider making mealtimes a communal activity with family and friends- not just a race to send food down the hatch.
Physical activity is an integral part of the Mediterranean lifestyle. While diet is vital, ensure you’re pairing your nutritional efforts with regular physical activity, whether that means walking, gardening, swimming, lifting weights, or any other form of exercise you enjoy.
Sounds like a pretty goal deal, right? Better health, tasty food, and a living life the way it was meant to be lived. The Mediterranean diet has it all going on. If it sounds like a commitment you're willing to make, give it a go- you’ll like the results.