May is Mediterranean Diet Month and, along with all of us here at Oldways, supermarket dietitians around the country have been celebrating this healthy way of living during the past few weeks. And what’s not to celebrate? The Mediterranean Diet is oh so delicious and good for you, too.
At Oldways, we don’t think of this way of eating as a diet per se, but as a lifestyle. It’s about balance really– a combination of eating healthy, spending time with friends and family, keeping active, staying hydrated, and getting enough sleep.
When it comes to food, it’s about enjoying a variety of plant-based foods, like fruits and vegetables, healthy fats like olive oil, lean protein such as chicken and ﬁsh, and if you’re so inclined, a glass of wine with dinner.
One misperception is that the Mediterranean Diet is expensive, but almost anyone can enjoy the foods of this region (no jet setting required!): fruits and veggies – fresh, frozen or canned are all good choices – as well as olives and olive oil, nuts, beans, ﬁsh, and lean meats. And for the days when you don’t have time to cook, many stores oﬀer a range of prepared foods from bean salads and grilled vegetables to hummus, tapenade, and tzatziki.
In a recent Oldways Nutrition Exchange Toolkit*, we share resources to help you enjoy and better understand the Med Diet, from learning about healthy fats such as olive oil, tips on how to incorporate Mediterranean foods into your diet, along with a shopping list to help you organize your next trip to the grocery store. And if you’re interested in learning about Mediterranean foods that you may have only heard about, check out the quiz we’ve included below (don’t worry, we won’t keep score!).
For good reason, scientiﬁc studies on the health properties of this way of eating abound. We’ve summarized a few of them for you and include the links to the studies. You can read more about the research ﬁndings here.
If you missed Mediterranean Diet Month at your local grocery store, don’t worry. Alyson Dykstra, RD, LD CPT/Corporate Dietitian for HAC Retail, Oklahoma City, OK has shared her TV segment on Mediterranean foods found in most grocery stores. Check it out here.
If you haven’t eaten the Mediterranean way, we hope you will try it. And, you don’t have to wait until next May to start celebrating – the Mediterranean Diet is a deliciously nutritious and aﬀordable way to eat every day.
*To access the Toolkits, you just need to signup for a free account here.