Many of us have asked ourselves how come that Italians are generally lean and healthy when they consume pasta daily. Unfortunately, dishes like pasta or pizza are presented as almost a guilty pleasure if your goal is to lose weight. However, experts from a weight loss center in Chicago have told us what a big misinterpretation that is. The truth is, there’s nothing wrong with this type of food, and even the ingredients it’s made from are traditionally high quality and offer many health and weight-loss benefits. Even though Italians now have access to fast food, they still stick to their tradition. Studies have shown that people who live in the Mediterranean sea countries have some of the world’s best diets and witness significantly fewer diseases than, for example, Americans. So if you’re looking for a tasty and not so restrictive diet to reach your weight goal, here’s why you’ll probably love the Mediterranean-style diet.
- You should eat pasta and bread: Italian pasta is made from ground durum wheat, which makes it a complex carb dish, and will provide you with energy for a longer time. It won’t cause sudden sugar level drops in your blood system. Not only that, but residents of Cote d’Azur simply adore baguettes from whole grain wheat, which are packed with fiber and are tasty.
- Olive oil is a must-have: and it has many uses. You should use it for preparing food in general and use the extra virgin one for dressing your salads; it has a more robust flavor, but you can pair it up with some lemon juice or balsamic vinegar. Using olive oil regularly can significantly lower your chances of heart-related diseases.
- Embrace fresh, seasonal food: Trademarks of this part of the world when it comes to vegetables are tomatoes, olives, zucchinis, spinach, eggplants, cucumbers, etc. You can have them all year long and use them to make dishes and salads such as traditional Greek salad. Add some feta cheese too, and remember it will provide you with good fats.
- Include fish every week: and trade it for some of your red meat. There’s plenty of fish in the Mediterranean sea, and it is packed with omega-3 fats that will lower your triglycerides and blood pressure. Omega-3 is also great for healthy teeth, says Smile Solutions.
- Spice it up: and the options are endless. Many spices don’t only add flavor but also bring some health benefits. Start with basil, we all know and love it, and you can use fresh one to make your pesto sauce. Then think of bay leaves, coriander, mint, fresh parsley, oregano in the northern part of the Mediterranean, saffron, sumac, tarragon, turmeric in the southern regions.
- Include dairy: such as feta and halloumi, for a snack. Ricotta is also known for being lower in fat but packed with protein. And don’t forget about that silky mozzarella or a strong parmesan for an intense flavor. Greek yogurt can be the most amazing base for so many smoothies or salad dressings.
- When it comes to beverages: yes, treat yourself to a glass of red wine, but opt for a quality one. Including one drink a day can give you a dose of antioxidants and may even have an impact on longevity. You don’t have to be much of a sommelier, the food you’re about to eat on this diet goes so well with red wine.
You may have noticed we never mentioned any sweets, but that’s because you should turn to fresh fruits rather than a fancy cake. Still, you can make many treats using fresh fruit such as oranges, kiwis, lemons, or figs. The key in this diet is to be moderate to go a long way with it and make it sustainable.