Breaking Down the Mediterranean Diet
Last updated: March 2022
Low-Carb, Intermittent Fasting, and Mediterranean. These diet terms are often referenced but not necessarily discussed thoroughly. When you are living with type 2 diabetes, you probably get frequent questions about your diet and although it does not need a name, it can be helpful to know if there are any out there that have guidelines that could work for you. Here are a few of the key points you need to know about the Mediterranean diet. This can help you decide whether or not some, or all of these guidelines could be part of your healthy, type 2 diabetes diet!
What’s so great about the Mediterranean diet?
Maybe the first question we should answer is “what’s the big deal?” The reason the Mediterranean diet is so popular is because of its extensive health benefits. “People who live in countries along the Mediterranean Sea have longer life expectancies.”1 Study after study has been done pointing to the fact that this diet is “the world’s healthiest diet.”1
Are you tired of hearing this? Produce includes all fresh fruits and vegetables and each one has its own set of health benefits. Some cost-efficient foods that can make it easier to reach this goal are carrots, tomatoes, spinach, cucumbers, melons, and apples. Set a goal of eating at least one fruit or vegetable with each meal and snack. This will easily help you reach your daily needs and you will likely notice a change in your energy and satiety level.
One of the biggest differences in the typical American diet vs. the Mediterranean diet is the protein choices. While the American diet is loaded with red meat, the Mediterranean diet focuses more on plant-based protein, fatty fish, and chicken breast. Try topping your salad with a hard-boiled egg, opt for chickpeas in your stir fry, or grill up some delicious salmon instead of a steak. These are all great ways to decrease your saturated fat, which can lead to a healthier heart, one of the greatest boasts of the Mediterranean diet.
After years of hearing that a low-fat diet was the only way to eat, the newest data encourages choosing foods with healthy fats. Some examples are avocadoes, nuts, and olive oil. A few ways to implement these into your diet are to use avocado in place of mayonnaise, make your own dressing from olive oil and spices, and grab a handful of nuts for a snack!
Now that you have more information, if you are interested in moving towards a more Mediterranean style of eating, be sure to discuss your plans with your physician. It may also be helpful to keep a food diary and blood glucose log to see how these new food changes affect your diabetes.
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