Tuesday, 5 June 2012

How To Beat The Monday Blues And More On A Mediterranean Diet

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It’s time to take the Mediterranean diet to the next level.  If you thought that you knew everything about this 'fishy' and 'olive' diet, then keep reading for just a little bit more.. 

When you choose to take on board the goodness of the Mediterranean diet, you likely have your cholesterol and heart health in mind.  It’s not just a myth; countless studies have openly reported the beneficial effects of following this pleasurable diet.  We’ve even begun to get quite obsessed over it and quite rightly so.  From heart disease, rheumatitis, significant reduction in overall risk of mortality, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, the payback of following this sunlit and glorious diet just keeps getting endless.

You may even think that you know absolutely everything about this diet, but did you know that a Mediterranean diet pattern may even play a protective role in the prevention of depressive disorders? 

A Spanish study amongst University graduates revealed an inverse dose-response relationship with fruit, nuts, the monounsaturated to saturated fatty acids ratio and legumes.  

This simply translates to trade in your processed baking and butter for olive oil, canola oil, avocado, nuts and fruit for a needed boost in mood.

If you don’t want to convert completely to the cuisine that was created under the sun and sea, here’s an easy daily meal and snack checklist to ensure that you are receiving your daily dose of mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Toasted muesli OR toast with butter  

Change to plain oats, tablespoon of
Flaxseeds, golden raisins and a generous dollop of reduced fat Greek yoghurt

Ordinary egg sandwiches, deep fried fish and chips, sausage roll, burgers

Greek salads with juicy tomatoes, cucumber, olives, sundried tomatoes, soft goat or feta cheeses, avocado, ¼ cup of walnuts OR tuna and omega -3 egg salad sandwiches
Milk chocolate bars, cakes, biscuits, roasted, salty nuts

Unroasted nuts, fruit, reduced fat yoghurt
Evening meal
Sausages or other processed meats cooked in butter or lard

Choose oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna OR meat, chicken, omega- 3 eggs, chickpeas prepared in olive oils or canola oils.  Marry the meal with salads and vegetables for a heart friendly affair.

This is not an exhaustive list but it’s a great starting point for anyone contemplating on embarking on the Mediterranean adventure.  Remember that this diet is typically characterised by moderate alcohol consumption, high consumption of legumes, cereals (including breads), fruit, vegetables and seafood.  This diet has low intake of meat and meat products and a reasonable consumption of dairy foods.

For a delicious salad endorsing the Mediterranean diet, see My Big Fat Greek Salad on Love My Grub.

If you have any favourite Greek salad recipes, please do post your recipe ideas below.

This article was also featured on Tuesday 12 June 2012 in The Useful Unique Tweets (paper.li).