Always in shape without diets: experts name 5 secrets

Always in shape without diets: experts name 5 secrets

Forget about diets and restrictions, replace the prohibitions with healthy habits of the Mediterranean lifestyle, nutritionists and healthy eating experts recommend. Numerous studies have shown that this type of diet supports the cardiovascular system, helps fight diabetes, and effectively control weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure. Experts have identified several key aspects that are important to consider when switching to a diet close to the Mediterranean.

When details matter: what is the Mediterranean lifestyle?

In most countries of the sunny Mediterranean, eating is not only about eating tasty and healthy food, but also about socializing and even achieving goals. Freshly prepared, tasty food is secondary to the main event - spending time with friends and family.

According to experts, a sense of community is the main secret of the Mediterranean diet's popularity. Add in daily walks and a diet dominated by lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, and healthy protein, and you have what nutritionists call a lifelong diet.

"Despite being called the Mediterranean diet, it's not really a diet. It doesn't tell you what to eat and what not to eat. It's a way of life that encourages the consumption of foods that are most beneficial to health ," says dietitian Rahaf Al Bochi.

Studies have also shown that the Mediterranean method reduces the risk of diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, dementia, and depression. Food as part of a healthy lifestyle is the philosophy of the Mediterranean diet, which is easy to adopt. Products for this diet can be found in any supermarket and market:

  • cold-pressed vegetable oils;
  • whole grains, vegetables, fruits, herbs;
  • legumes, nuts, seeds;
  • lean white and red meat;
  • fish and seafood;
  • dairy products.

A new look at healthy eating: 5 key habits

  • Whole grain products: lightness and benefits

According to experts, one of the easiest steps to take when switching to the Mediterranean diet is to replace refined grains and white bread with whole grain products:

  • whole grain bread with bran or whole wheat flour instead of white bread;
  • buckwheat, whole grain bulgur, oats;
  • brown and brown rice instead of white;
  • pasta made from durum wheat;
  • quinoa, amaranth, pearl barley.

These are healthy sources of carbohydrates and vegetable proteins that are not harmful to the figure and are good for the gastrointestinal tract. Experiment with healthier alternatives to white flour when baking - oatmeal, buckwheat, flaxseed, rice, chickpea. Healthy eating experts recommend replacing 1/3 of white flour with whole wheat.

Nutritionists advise cooking simple dishes from whole grains with the addition of olive oil or any other cold-pressed oil: cereals, soups, salads with vegetables, pancakes.

  • Choose healthier and more nutritious protein

Fish, lean white and lean red meat are the main sources of animal protein in the Mediterranean diet. However, experts recommend eating completely plant-based meals at least 2 times a week, replacing animal protein with vegetable protein instead of animal foods.

A great option would be dishes made from legumes such as chickpeas, red and white beans, and lentils. Beans can be combined with vegetables, herbs, spices, and whole grains in various variations of vegetarian dishes. Vegetable protein is just as nutritious as animal protein, but is easier to digest and contains fewer calories.

  • Two servings of oily fish for a healthy heart

Two servings of oily fish per week, such as salmon, herring, sardines, tuna, or dorado, are a must for the Mediterranean diet. The high content of healthy omega-3 fatty acids in them reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends eating seafood with low levels of mercury and other pollutants, such as shrimp, salmon, pollock, and canned tuna. It is better to minimize the consumption of swordfish, shark, mackerel, and tilefish, as they contain a lot of mercury.

  • Healthy desserts instead of sweets and flour products

In the Mediterranean, sweets are most often served at weddings or on special holidays. "In the Mediterranean region, seasonal fruits are preferred over our typical pastries, cookies, or cakes," says nutritionist Al Bochi.

Dessert lovers don't have to eat raw fresh fruit all year round, although it contains the maximum amount of vitamins, minerals and fiber, experts say. Fruit can be the basis for making delicious and healthy desserts.

They can be baked with honey, raisins, nuts and cheese; lightly grilled and served with honey, cinnamon or yogurt. Fruit can also be used to bake whole wheat pastries, make chips, and healthy dark chocolate candies.

  • Mediterranean lifestyle: more socializing and movement

Mediterranean cuisine is not only about healthy and delicious food. Attention to food, socializing, fresh air and exercise are also key parts of this lifestyle.

"The Mediterranean lifestyle is about going out with friends and family. Instead of thinking about exercise all the time, just walk, dance, or move," says nutritionist Kelly Le Blanc, vice president of Oldways, a nutrition organization dedicated to preserving traditional diets.

Nutritionists also recommend lengthening meals, each of which, in their opinion, should last at least 20 minutes. Although this is difficult to implement in modern life, experts advise turning off the TV, putting away your cell phone, focusing on meaningful conversations, and chewing your food as thoroughly as possible. This can be the beginning of your journey to conscious eating," say fans of the Mediterranean lifestyle.