In India, olden days diet plan was very well designed for farmers and other workers who sweat their blood, and then have an hearty meal to compensate. So Indian cuisine is all about rice, wheat and a little bit of other cereals. But modern Indians are more into sophisticated jobs, we don't sweat much or use physical strength at work. So we need to have a healthy and a lightweight diet. And on top of that we are trying to follow US diet to match with their work culture... burgers and cheese all the time!! I'm not complaining about US diet, but we tend to take only the negatives.. we don't eat fresh salads like them. So when I did a bit of research on the net... countries with healthy diets have a lower obesity rate and longer life expectancy (Shocking to see 68.8% of American adults are overweight or obese).
What most of the healthy country diets had in common are the low-fat products like fish, lean protein, vegetables, fruits and beans. They included very small amounts of red meat, as they are the reasons for many modern health issues. Mediterranean Diet is considered to be the best of all and healthy amongst the others!! So let's see what is it that makes it the best...
Sticking to a Mediterranean diet may not just be good for your heart, it may be good for your brain as well, according to a new study.
Mediterranean Diet Pyramid:
This diet pyramid was introduced in 1933 at a Harvard conference. Thereafter it is universally recognized as the “gold standard” eating pattern that promotes lifelong good health.
- First thing you need to know is that every meal is important to keep your metabolism rate stable. Generally it is 5 meals per day - Breakfast, Snacks, Lunch, Snacks, Dinner. If you skip any of them, your craving for sweets and salty food will increase.
- Second thing is the 3 hours golden rule - There should be a gap of 3 hours between every meal. After one meal, you are not supposed to eat anything for the next 3 hours, except for some calorie free fluids like water, black coffee or tea.
- Replace butter and margarine with healthy oil like olive oil.
- Shift from red meat to skinless chicken or turkey, fish, beans, nuts and other plants. If you prefer red meat, reduce your consumption to 350-400 gms per month.
- Eat fish twice a week... Salmon or tuna are the best choices (Not fried of course) and 4-7 eggs per week.
- Have 3 to 8 servings of colorful veggies to get enough antioxidants and vitamins.
- Look out for whole grain foods and add them in your diet, like oats, whole wheat, barley, etc. Buy whole-wheat pastas and bread, not the refined flour again please!! Or at least try mixing half and half.
- Include dry fruits and nuts in your inbetween snack meal - handful of almonds, walnuts or sunflower seeds. Avoid processed foods like chips, cookies, etc.
- Low fat cheese or yogurt with fresh fruits are other healthy snack options.
- Use herbs and spices to spice up your dishes and salads.
- Include fresh fruits as snacks or desserts. Try different exotic fruits available and expand your fruits horizon... Have a bowl of fruits on your table so that you pick up them instead of processed snacks.
- If you have the habit of drinking alcohol, switch over to the good one - Red wine. Moderate your consumption to not more than a glass or two per day. Women should not have more than one glass.
- Regular exercise and fitness activity is a must.
Now that we know what to include in our diet, let's look into some of the classic Mediterranean recipes to make it interesting and easy for you:
Click on the image to see the recipe