Chef Idan cutting fish

6 Inspirational Healthy Eating Secrets from the Mediterranean

Idan - Loco Tulum
In the recent years, the Mediterranean diet has been hailed as one of the world’s healthiest diets by renowned chefs, nutritionists, physicians, scientists, and dietitians – and with good reason. The diet is jam-packed with wholesome grains, nutrient-heavy veggies, fresh fruits, lean meats, legumes, and olive oil. It’s no wonder chronic conditions like obesity, heart disease, diabetes are a rarity in the region.

In fact, a recent study by School of Public Health at Harvard University showed that incorporating Mediterranean diet into a healthy lifestyle can stave off up to 70 percent of strokes, 80 percent of heart disease cases, and 90 percent of type 2 diabetes incidences. That’s remarkable, to say the least. Turns out, the unique combo of anti-inflammatory foods, high-quality nutrients, and healthy fats transforms gut bacteria in a manner that keep stroke and coronary heart disease at bay. What’s even better is that Mediterranean cuisine is as flavorful and filling as it’s nutritious.

Wondering how to incorporate nutritious and savory ingredients from the Mediterranean into your daily diet? A celebrated Mediterranean chef restaurant in Tulum offers six amazing healthy eating secrets from the region to help you find your way to a healthier and happier life.

1) Let Chickpeas be Your Mantra

Chickpeas are the holy grail of Mediterranean diet. You can add a dash to your favorite salad, mash them into hummus or bake with a little seasoning, chickpeas go with just about any dish, and can-do wonders for your health and overall wellbeing.

Chickpeas, like most legumes, are loaded with soluble fiber and protein, as well as reasonable amounts of nutrients and minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, and folic acid. As if that isn’t fabulous enough, recent studies have shown that chickpeas stimulate the release of the so-called “feel-good” hormones, serotonin.

2) Feast on Fish

Fish is the favorite source of protein in the Mediterranean cuisine. More specifically, the diet places more emphasis on fatty fish varieties like sardines, salmon, and mackerel. These fish not only make for a hearty meal, but they are also incredibly rich in brain-healthy and heart-friendly Omega-3 fatty acids.

The trick is to set aside at least one night a week especially for eating a fish-based meal. Don’t forget to cook your fish in a healthy way, avoiding deep-fried dishes. Even better, you can incorporate your fish in some of your favorite dishes like soups, salads, stir-fries, and so on. You’ll be glad to know that fatty fish is an indispensable component of our menu at the Mediterranean chef restaurant in Tulum.

Tuna

3) Pile on Fresh Vegetables

Fresh, healthy veggies are at the epicenter of every Mediterranean dish. That’s why it pays to feast on tomatoes, crunchy vegetables, leafy greens, and crispy peppers. This way, you’ll get plenty of folic acids, dietary fiber, good-for-you vitamins, and antioxidants to boot, all of which will keep your immune system ticking without a hitch.

Mediterranean Chef

4) Eat More Lentils

Did you know that lentils are one of the best sources of healthy protein? Load up on lentils to feel full and rejuvenated for longer, as well as keep hunger pangs at bay. What’s even better is that these legumes offer myriads of amazing health benefits. They not only stabilize your blood sugar and lower cholesterol but lentils also great for your heart’s health and digestion.

Since lentils contain the 3rd highest amount of plant protein, make them part of your major meals (preferably lunch)

Esparagos with egg

5) Make the Switch to Olive Oil

Olive oil is the undisputed superstar of cooking oils. So, if you are used to cooking with coconut or vegetable oils, it’s high time to swap them for the extra-virgin olive oil. And there’s a heap of scientific studies that back the use of olive oil. Rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, olive oil helps bring down the blood levels of LDL (the bad kind of cholesterol) and spruce up the levels of HDL (the good type).

With that said, drizzle some olive oil on your and vinaigrettes and salad dressings, use it to cook chicken or fish to heighten the flavors. More importantly, ditch butter for extra-virgin olive oil in your pasta, mashed potatoes, and other dishes.

6) Ditch Chips and Greasy Snack for Nuts

Here’s another staple of the Mediterranean cuisine that you need to embrace. Snack on healthy nuts such as cashews, almonds, or pistachios. They are super-rich in minerals and fiber, and usually quite filling.

These are just but a few healthy eating tips from the Mediterranean. At Mediterranean chef restaurant in Tulum, we also recommend that you help yourself to whole grains like oatmeal, quinoa, whole-wheat bread, and so on. The good news is that Mediterranean recipes are easy to whip up and most ingredients are readily available in your kitchen pantry.

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