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Menopause
Women’s Health
Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet has become such a popular dieting option for women as they age. But what exactly IS this diet? Have a read of how we break this diet down for you, step by step.

This is a very popular diet shown to have numerous health benefits whilst consisting of filling and easy to prepare foods!

What is the Mediterranean diet?

There is no set meal plan to follow for the Mediterranean diet. It originated from observing the healthy living patterns of people who live on the border of the Mediterranean sea.

The diet mainly consists of vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts & seeds, beans, grains fish, dairy products and unsaturated fats. All these foods contribute to establishing a balanced and healthy diet and are shown to have many health benefits further down the line.

What does the Mediterranean Diet look like on a daily basis?

  1. Try and incorporate at least 5 portions of fruits and vegetables a day - This may sound like a lot - but it is easier than you think to meet this amount! Servings can be in the form of fresh, canned, dried, or frozen fruits and vegetables, however, if you're opting for canned or dried, try and ensure that there is no or minimal added sugars or alternative sweeteners.
  2. Base your meals around foods that are high in starch - Preferably whole grains, these keep you fuller for longer and are not stripped of nutrients for palatability - this includes potatoes, rice, bread and pasta.
  3. Opt for unsaturated oils and spreads, and eat these in moderate amounts - This includes your olive oils and your coconut oils rather than commercial oils such as vegetable oil and palm oil. Try using olive oil as a salad dressing for your evening meals or quick lunches!
  4. Chose your main protein sources from beans, pulses, eggs and fatty fish - Try and ensure that you are eating 2 portions of fatty fish a week - They contain essential fats (omega-3 and omega-6) that are very important towards health.
  5. Ensure you are incorporating dairy a few times a week - If you opt for alternative milks, then try and choose those that have a low sugar content or no added sweeteners.
  6. Snack on nuts and seeds - These are excellent and filling snacks that go a long way for long-term health. They also do not have added sugars, so will not cause any uncharacteristic blood-sugar spikes through out the day.

You do not have to ensure that you satisfy a balance between all of these foods every day! But, try and get into a habit of incorporating these foods enough on a weekly basis. Experiment with different recipes and consider meal prepping if you find yourself on the go often. Diet is one of the best ways to be in control of your own body.

References
  1. nhs.uk. 2017. What Is A Mediterranean Diet?. [online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/what-is-a-mediterranean-diet/ [Accessed December 2020].

  2. www.heart.org. 2020. What Is The Mediterranean Diet?. [online] Available at: https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/mediterranean-diet [Accessed December 2020].