Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Four Myths About the Mediterranean Diet #healthy2020 #eatbetter #eatforyourhealth

One of my healthy eating goals for 2020 is to incorporate more fresh fruit and vegetables -- augmented by healthy, lean protein. Turns out, these are also cornerstones of the Mediterranean way of eating. Today, The Weekend Gourmet's correspondent is sharing some common myths about the Mediterranean diet -- to show why it's a healthy lifestyle! This article may contain affiliate links.
It might be a bit late to start making New Year’s resolutions now...but there’s never a wrong time to start focusing more on your health. A large part of healthy living includes making diet and lifestyle changes that can improve your overall well being. If you’re looking for a way to improve how you eat -- but you don’t want to fall victim to quick-fix “fad diets” -- you might want to consider a Mediterranean-based approach to what you eat.

There are many benefits to eating a Mediterranean diet, but some people avoid doing so because they think it’s difficult to keep up with. There are other common myths and misconceptions associated with Mediterranean cuisine that can steer people away from giving this eating plan a try. Some of these myths -- and how to dispel them -- are discussed below. After reading, you can have confidence in this dietary change, which can help you look and feel your best. 

1. It Costs a Lot of Money
This is a common misconception with many diets that are heavily-focused on fresh fruits and vegetables. While organic produce and some of the lean fish the Mediterranean diet consists of can cost a bit more, it actually balances out quite quickly. The bulk of the Mediterranean diet is comprised of beans and lentils, which are typically very inexpensive. Whole grains and leafy greens also don’t cost much and can be added to create more substance to your meals. When you start to price things out, you’ll likely see that what you’re buying is much cheaper overall than pre-packaged or processed foods. 

2. It Promotes Drinking
On the Mediterranean diet, having one or two glasses of red wine each day is encouraged. There have been studies done on the cardiovascular benefits of red wine. However, you won’t find any mention of excessive drinking in true Mediterranean diet plans. That said...drinking more red wine doesn’t increase its health benefits. In fact, anything beyond two glasses daily can actually cause heart problems. So, while you can certainly enjoy a glass or two and toast to your health, don’t use this as an excuse to drink more! That’s not what the Mediterranean diet is intended for. 

3. There Are Limited Food Options
When most people think of Mediterranean cuisine, they think of fresh fish, vegetables, and wine. While those are definitely staples, you can create many interesting and flavorful dishes with a little bit of research and cooking knowledge. Recipe sites like The Mediterranean Dish have an endless supply of tasty, step-by-step recipes to help you create unforgettable meals. This will in turn make it easy to adopt healthy eating habits for the rest of your life without ever getting bored. 

4. It’s Only Food-Focused
This is, perhaps, the biggest myth surrounding the Mediterranean diet. In fact, it’s probably one of the least food-focused diets around. Yes, what you eat is important. However, adopting the Mediterranean lifestyle that surrounds food is what really sets it apart. Mediterranean people don’t “grab and go” when it comes to their food. They’re also not eating in front of their computer or watching television. Instead, they take time to enjoy their food at a leisurely pace while interacting with family and friends. Mealtimes are an experience, not just an excuse to eat. By doing this, you slow down while you eat -- and may even end up eating less because you’re satisfied faster. This way of life helps you to actually appreciate your meals. 

So, if you’ve been thinking about ways to get healthier this year -- and beyond-- look past the myths that surround the Mediterranean diet. Try it for yourself!

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