8 Food Swaps for the Best Diet: The Mediterranean Diet

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Fish is the preferred animal protein in the Mediterranean diet.

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The Mediterranean diet is a healthy eating plan. Considered the best overall diet to follow in 2023 according to the US News and World Report annual diet rankings.

Although the Mediterranean diet is primarily plant-based, also includes some animal-based foods. It’s a simple plan to follow that has been linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

To start following the Mediterranean diet you can make some small food changes and gradually increase the adjustments, starting with the easiest.

The Harvard Nutrition Source explains that The Mediterranean diet includes daily intake of whole grains, olive oil, fruits, vegetables, beans and other legumes, nuts, herbs, and spices.

In the Mediterranean diet, animal proteins are eaten in smaller amounts. LThe preferred protein is fish and shellfish, with consumption at least twice a week, animal proteins from poultry, eggs and dairy products (cheese or yogurt) are also included, although in smaller portions, daily or a few times a week. Red meat is limited to a few times a month.

Eight food exchanges to follow the Mediterranean diet

1. Change the fats you use to cook for extra virgin olive oil. Use EVOO as a base in salad dressings; he also uses the oil as a replacement for butter in bread.

2. Eat a handful of raw nuts every day as a replacement for other unhealthy snacks.

3. Include fresh vegetables at every meal; start or end with a salad.

4. Add more and different vegetables to the menu. Add an extra serving of vegetables to both lunch and dinner, aiming for three to four servings a day. Try a new vegetable each week.

5. Eat legumes (lentils, chickpeas, beans and peas), at least three times a week.

6. Reduce your consumption of red meat. Opt for poultry and fish. Eat fish two or three times a week.

7. Eliminate sugary drinks and reduce the consumption of juices, opt for water and other natural drinks without sugar.

8. Eat fresh fruit instead of high-fat, high-sugar desserts. Try to eat three servings of fruit a day. Enjoy cakes on special occasions.

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