The Mediterranean diet is again on my mind. The latest guidelines (Diabetes UK 2018 and ADA Standards of Care 2018) have shown that it can lower average blood glucose readings (HbA1c) by up to 0.47%, as well as the incidence of cardiovascular events.
So, in a nutshell, what does the Med Diet look like on our plate?
- four tables of raw (uncooked) extra virgin olive oil per day
- three servings of fish (including oily fish such as sardines, salmon and mackerel) per week
- 1 lb of fresh vegetables per day (choose a rainbow of colours, e.g. peppers, carrots, courgette, onions, cauliflower, broccoli, aubergine)
- a handful of nuts every day (preferably the raw and unsalted ones and go for walnuts, almonds, pecans and Brazil)
- legumes, e.g. lentils and beans (haricot, butter beans, cannellini, pinto, chickpeas) in their raw and unprocessed form
- small amounts of red meat and dairy products
- minimal amounts of processed food, especially meats and refined sugar foods
- low to moderate consumption of red wine- as part of a meal. Please remember to stay within 14 units of alcohol or less per week, as per UK government guidelines.
If you are trying to lose weight please be careful about the consumption of olive oil, nuts and oily fish, as these, despite their amazing health benefits due to the good fats, are very calorific and must be eaten mindfully. People in Mediterranean countries tend to cook mostly fresh food every day and rarely resort to packaged and processed foods (e.g. pizza, nuggets, pies etc). This helps to increase the nutritional value of food and contribute positively to our gut bacteria. It also helps to reduce the ingestion of harmful additives used during the manufacturing process, which can cause chronic inflammation. With a little thought and inspiration, preparing fresh food from scratch on a daily basis is easier (and can be more economical) than you think and it’s a long-term investment into better health.