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Get to Know the Mediterranean Diet

HealthDay logo HealthDay 4/17/2017 By Joan McCluskyHealthDay Reporter

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(HealthDay News) -- The diet followed by people who live in countries around the Mediterranean Sea has been shown to be more than just delicious. The so-called Mediterranean diet can help you limit daily calories so you can lose weight. Plus, it's a healthy long-term way of eating.

The main focus of the Mediterranean diet is on eating plant-based foods. That means including fruits and vegetables in every meal, and eating them for snacks and dessert, too.

Switch from refined to whole-grain foods, including breads, cereal, rice and pasta. Also add legumes like peas and beans. Try to eat a vegetarian dinner one or two nights a week.

People who successfully lose weight while following a Mediterranean diet generally get about a third of their calories from healthy fats, including a small handful of nuts each day.

© Provided by ScoutNews LLC Other tips:

  • Switch from butter to olive oil.
  • Limit red meat to just a few times a month, and have smaller amounts than you're probably used to -- just a 3-ounce serving.
  • Eat more chicken and fish. In fact, have fish at least twice a week. Fatty fish like salmon and sardines are among the healthiest choices.
  • Choose low- or no-fat dairy products over high-fat ones to cut out more saturated fat.

As a bonus, if you like red wine, you can say cheers to one glass a day.

More information

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a detailed portion chart to help you plan menus for the Mediterranean diet.

Understand the components of a Mediterranean diet: The first thing to know about the Mediterranean diet is that it focuses on whole, fresh foods, so you can start skipping those middle aisles of the supermarket now. (Here's how to <a href="http://www.rd.com/advice/saving-money/nutritionist-healthy-food-list/1">revamp your grocery store game plan</a>, according to nutritionists.) The key components of Mediterranean cuisine are whole grains; monounsaturated fat found in olive oil, nuts, and avocados; polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, and trout); fat from plant sources, like flaxseed; and moderate amounts of wine and red meat, according to Suzanne Fisher, MS, RD, LDN, registered dietitian and licensed nutritionist in South Florida. 9 Tricks to Make Your Diet a Little More Mediterranean (Reader's Digest)

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