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7 Easy Ways to Make your Diet More Mediterranean

By Kate Gardner

Maybe you've heard about the Mediterranean diet and the ways it can help your health. If not, this way of eating has been linked by research to a number of heart and brain health benefits, including lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease and mortality. These are some pretty amazing benefits, but knowing something is good for us doesn't always make it easier to change the way we eat. Here are seven ways from the Mayo Clinic to make your diet more Mediterranean. 

Eat less red meat - The Mediterranean diet includes very little red meat. But don't despair, you can still have it a few times per month. Instead, include fish and poultry in your menu. 

Eat less mean in general - While you can eat fish and poultry on the Mediterranean diet, you don't have to. Many of us feel a meal isn't complete without meat, but try some new recipes to see if you can work more meatless meals into your menu. 

Make vegetables the center of your meal - Try new recipes that feature vegetables as the main dish. I know that when I cut meat out of my dinner, I tend to replace it with things like pasta or bread. Instead, make an effort to use more vegetables. 

Make dessert fresh fruit - We all deserve something sweet, sometimes. Instead of always making that "something sweet" a dessert packed with fat and refined sugar, replace it with fresh fruit when you can. 

Use olive oil instead of butter - The Mediterranean diet doesn't use much butter. Instead, it uses heart-healthy olive oil for things like cooking and salad dressings. 

Use spices instead of salt - We all know that too much salt is bad for our health. The Mediterranean diet relies less on salt to flavor food, and more on other spices. If you're unfamiliar with different spices and their tastes, this could be a great opportunity for you to learn! 

Drink a glass of red wine - If it works for you, add a glass of red wine per day. If you can't drink red wine, drinking purple grape juice may provide benefits as well. 

Don't make this too hard! If it seems too much to work on all seven tips at once, focus on one item from the list that you think will be the easiest. Once that change has taken hold, you can choose another item to work on. Hopefully, adopting one change at a time will make the transition to healthier eating easier and more likely to stick. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, visit your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Euless, Tex. 

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