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6 Common Mistakes You Should Never Make on the Mediterranean Diet, Says Dietitian

6 Common Mistakes You Should Never Make on the Mediterranean Diet

If you are looking to make a dietary change, the Mediterranean Diet is an excellent choice. It is based on the sound scientific principles of nourishing the body with healthy and nutritious food. However, there are still some common mistakes that people make when they start following a Mediterranean diet. Here, a dietitian provides a list of mistakes to take heed of when delving into this way of eating.

1. Not Eating Enough Whole Grains and Legumes

Though the Mediterranean Diet does not heavily feature breads, pastas, and other refined grains, consuming some whole-grain varieties is important. Whole grains provide the body with essential vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber which promote healthy digestion, support regular bowel movements, and reduce cholesterol. Additionally, legumes like lentils and beans provide valuable plant-based proteins and help to round out meals with additional fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.

2. Skimping on Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are some of the most beneficial and delicious components of the Mediterranean diet. They are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that help to prevent chronic diseases, increase energy levels, and support digestive health. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables of all colors provides the body with a wide range of vitamins and minerals, so aim to eat a few different vegetables at each meal.

3. Over-Restricting Fat Intake

The Mediterranean Diet does not involve any strict fat-restricting, but depending on the diet plan you have chosen to follow, it may involve some limiting. While it is important to avoid unhealthy processed fats, it is necessary to consume a moderate amount of healthy fats – like those found in olive oil, avocados, nuts, and other plant-based sources. The body needs a moderate amount of fat to remain healthy and to absorb important nutrients.

4. Not Seeking Professional Guidance

Even though the Mediterranean Diet is based on healthy and nutritious principles, seeking professional guidance or utilizing a dietician may be the best way to make sure you stay on track and that you are adapting the principles to your individual needs. A professional can provide valuable advice and resources that can help you to construct and maintain a balanced diet.

5. Not Limiting Red Meat Consumption

Though some red meat is allowed in a Mediterranean Diet meal plan, limiting your intake to small amounts 1-2 times a week is key. Eating too much red meat can increase your risk of certain chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease. Seek to eat more lean proteins, such as fish, poultry, eggs, and soy products, rather than fatty beef and pork.

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6. Ignoring Meal Timing

Though meal timing is not necessarily the most important aspect of any diet, there are rhythms to when our taste buds enjoy certain shapes and flavors. Eating breakfast at the same time every morning, and eating dinner a few hours before going to bed, can help to regulate blood sugar levels, prevent binging, and provide energy throughout the day.

Bottom Line

The Mediterranean Diet is an excellent dietary choice for health and nutrition, but it is important that you follow it properly. Take heed of the list above to make sure you are not making any of the common mistakes associated with this way of eating. Talk to a professional to find a diet plan that works for you!

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