Foods from Mediterranean countries, such as Spain, Greece and Italy, are known to have health benefits and add years to your life. They are mainly plant- and protein-based foods, like fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, eggs and yoghurt. Here’s how to incorporate these into your diet:
Start with a Mediterranean Breakfast
For breakfast, try a fruit or vegetable smoothie that is full of vitamins, and also one of your five-a-day. You can also try granola, muesli or porridge. Or you can make your own oat bakes with nuts, dried fruit and wholegrain oats.
Then a Light, Easy Lunch
Soup is a great choice, as it’s full of vegetables and vitamins. Try a bean soup with garlic and olive oil. If you are short of time, microwave a baked sweet potato filled with tuna and avocado. Alternatively, have a jacket potato with olive oil instead of butter as a low-calorie option.
You can swop these with Greek salads in the warmer weather, with mackerel or tuna for your protein fix. Keep red meats for special occasions.
End with a Healthy Supper
Grill some chicken or fish, or choose steak and add salad or vegetables. When you have more time, slow-cooked curries with added vegetables are a great choice.
How to Avoid Carbs
To decrease your carbohydrate intake, cut down on foods like pasta, white bread and potatoes, and replace these with foods such as wholemeal bread and brown rice. These will help you to conserve energy.
Choose noodles instead of spaghetti, and yams instead of regular potatoes. You can even bake your own wholemeal bread, and dip it in olive oil rather than butter.
Dolson. L, ‘Getting Started on a Low-Carb Diet,’ verywell.com, July 7th 2016.
Parissi. L, ‘Eat Well, Live Longer,’ Benhealth magazine, Summer 2015.