Mediterranean Diet: Help Your Clients Eat Better
Do your clients want to eat a healthier diet, but don’t know where to start? Perhaps a Mediterranean diet would be a great place to begin.
The Mediterranean diet has long been hailed as one of the healthiest in the world. With plenty of fruits and vegetables, fibre, whole grains and legumes, this diet is nutrient dense, delivering many good-for-you health benefits. If your clients want to eat more healthily, be sure to share these tips for adopting a Mediterranean diet.
1. Make vegetables and fruits the main staple of your diet.
No matter your beliefs about nutrition, we can all agree that eating more fruits and vegetables is good for you. A diet higher in vegetables and fruit can help you improve your health by lowering the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.
To get all the vitamins, minerals, and fibre you need, be sure to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Including them in every meal is a great way to ensure you get enough servings. You could have a piece of fruit with your breakfast, veggie sticks for your snacks, and make sure to have a big salad with lunch and dinner.
If you’re trying to get your children to eat more vegetables and fruits along with you, don’t forget to leave some veggie sticks within easy reach. Having children help with meal planning and meal tasks can also ease the transition to healthier eating.
2. Include fish at least twice a week.
Whether you make simple tuna sandwiches or go for an elaborate baked fish dinner, including fish in your diet has many health benefits. Most fish contain plenty of Omega-3 fatty acids, which most Americans don’t get enough of in their diets. Increasing this essential nutrient in your diet can improve your mood, reduce inflammation, and may even reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.
3. Snack on nuts and seeds to save on time and improve your health!
The Mediterranean diet also includes nuts. Snacking on nuts is not only super easy (just grab a handful and go), it’s also awesome for your health. A mere handful of most nuts and seeds pack an awesome protein punch. If that weren't enough, eating more nuts has been shown to be potentially protective against heart disease.
It’s easy to include nuts in your diet: simply leave them within arm’s reach for a quick snack, sprinkle them on your salads, or make yourself a delicious treat that satisfies your sweet tooth while also giving you some great nutrition.
4. Eat less red meat.
While you can certainly eat red meat on the Mediterranean diet, you’ll need to eat less of it. A diet that includes only small amounts of red meat has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. But fear not, if you love steak, there’s no need to completely give it up.
Make sure to choose leaner cuts of meat, and to choose proper serving sizes, too. You can use your hand as a guide for appropriate servings sizes!
Love red meat too much to reduce your consumption? Start small by doing Meatless Mondays. Although a meatless meal may sound daunting for someone who’s used to having meat at every dinner, switching to less meat doesn’t have to be hard. Experiment with new recipes, get advice from plant-based friends, or use meal planning software to guide you in finding meals to include in your new Mediterranean diet lifestyle.
5. Drink more water (and a little red wine).
When you’re thirsty, drink water. It quenches your thirst without adding calories. Get your vitamins and minerals (and fibre!) from your fruits and veggies, and make sugary juices or other drinks “sometimes foods.”
If you love wine, there’s good and bad news about the Mediterranean diet. The good news? You’re encouraged to enjoy a glass of wine. The bad news? That’s all you get: one glass. Over-drinking is never good, but one glass of red wine per day may help boost your memory, and provides you with antioxidants, among other health benefits. But remember: it’s one standard size glass a day.
6. Enjoy some olive oil
The Mediterranean diet also includes the use of olive oil. Olive oil (especially the extra virgin variety) contains monounsaturated fatty acids, which may help lower HDL cholesterol (the “bad” type). So use some in your salad dressings or drizzle it over top of baked fish and other finished dishes. Make sure to save it for raw or finished dishes instead of cooking with it, though. Cooking with olive oil actually destroys many of the heart-healthy benefits it provides when used raw.
Are you ready to help your clients switch to a healthy Mediterranean diet? After sharing the tips in this blog post, be sure to share a Registered Dietitian-approved meal plan to help them stick to their new healthy lifestyle! Sign up for your free trial today to start sharing this and other excellent meal plans with your clients.