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International Mediterranean Diet Month

The Healthy EmployeeBlood pressure & heart disease International Mediterranean Diet Month

International Mediterranean Diet Month

There is no definitive plan to follow when it comes to a Mediterranean diet due it being consumed by many countries and lifestyles. But there is a lot of research out there to confirm the health benefits of eating a Mediterranean diet, which include:

  • Weight loss
  • Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Lowered cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Lowered risk of early death by 40%
  • Lowered risk of heart disease by 30%
  • Reduced risk of depression
  • Reduced risk of developing diseases such as cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
  • Lowered risk of premature death

The Mediterranean diet can be adjusted to suit individual needs and preferences, but the guidelines you should follow are:

FOOD CATEGORIESFOOD EXAMPLES

EAT

 

Vegetables – Broccoli, kale, spinach, onion, cauliflower, carrots, Brussels sprouts, cucumber, cabbage, peppers, asparagus

Fruits – Apples, bananas, oranges, pears, strawberries, grapes, dates, figs, melon, peaches

Whole grains – Whole oats, brown rice, rye, barley, corn, buckwheat, whole wheat, whole grain bread, whole grain pasta

Nuts and seeds – Almonds, walnuts, Macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds

Legumes – Beans, peas, lentils, pulses, peanuts, chickpeas

Fish & seafood – Salmon, sardines, trout, tuna, mackerel, shrimp, oysters, clams, crab, mussels

Herbs & spices – Garlic, basil, rosemary, sage, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper

Healthy fats – Extra virgin olive oil, olives, avocados, avocado oil

EAT IN MODERATION

Poultry

Cheese

Yoghurt

EAT RARELY

Red meat – Pork and beef

DO NOT EAT

Sugar-sweetened drinks – Fizzy drinks, sodas, soft fruit flavoured drinks

Added sugar – Table sugar, various sugars and syrups added to processed foods and drinks

Processed meat – Processed sausages, hotdogs, salami, corned beef, canned meat

Refined grains – White bread, white rice

Refined oils – Soybean oil, cottonseed oil, rapeseed oil, sunflower oil

Processed food – Anything labelled ‘low fat’ or ‘diet’ and anything that looks like it was manufactured in a large factory. Check nutrition labels for high levels of salt, sugar and fat

Extra points worth knowing:

  • A Mediterranean diet is known to be high in plant foods, and relatively low in animal products
  • Eating fish or seafood is recommended at least twice a week
  • Water should be your go-to choice of fluid, although tea and coffee is fine as long as it doesn’t contain sweeteners or sugar

Are you thinking about adding something to your health and wellbeing programme? Contact us here for more information on our Employee Nutrition Services.

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