If tried and tested is the reassurance that you need, then look no further than the Mediterranean diet.
Whilst many 'diets' come and go, often fashionably touted by celebrities and splashed across magazines, the Mediterranean diet has stood the test of time. It has long been heralded as a healthy way of eating and yet again research has backed it up. The newest study1 has shown a Mediterranean-style eating plan is good for your heart. The study found that those following a Mediterranean diet reduced their risk of heart attack or stroke by 30 percent.
You don't need to be Mediterranean to follow this eating plan. The diet is simply high in fruits and vegetables, includes whole grains, olive oil, fish, nuts, beans, and legumes. It is low in foods that are overly processed or high in saturated fat.
We've picked five easy changes to get you started;
- Love legumes
We can't get enough of legumes. These gems are so versatile and provide protein, fibre, iron, and folate. Try baked beans on toast for breakfast, make a bean salad for lunch or add canned chickpeas or lentils to stews and soups. You don't get much more Mediterranean than our Mediterranean Tuna & Chickpea Salad.
- More fruit and vegetables
Eating five or more serves of fruits and vegetables a day is probably the most consistent health message you hear. Nutrition superheroes- full of fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Remember to mix it up as the greater the variety the greater the nutritional benefits. Keep frozen vegetables on hand to add to meals. No preparation needed and no wastage.
- Kaimoana goodness
Aim for three servings of fish or seafood a week. Oily fish such as salmon is especially good for heart health because of its omega-3 fatty acid content. Canned seafood is an easy and affordable way to up your fish intake- Try making Tuna Rosti tonight.
- Go nuts
Tree nuts and peanuts contain a variety of nutrients like selenium and magnesium and also have omega-3 fatty acids. Add a small handful (about 30g) of nuts to your breakfast muesli, eat them as a mid-afternoon snack or include in salads like our Caramelised Pear, Rocket & Walnut Salad.
- Choose Olive Oil instead of butter
Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fat, a heart-healthy fat, whereas butter is high in saturated fat. Use olive oil to make salad dressings or drizzle over chopped vegetables before roasting.