The Mediterranean Diet has long been promoted for good health, decreased risk for disease, and possibly a longer life. The Mediterranean Diet is based on the eating patterns and traditional cuisines of the regions along the Mediterranean Sea. It centers around plant-based foods with bright, colorful, and flavorful dishes. The main foods enjoyed on the Mediterranean Diet include whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, fish, and healthy sources of fat, which anyone that has been on Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating plan will tell you sounds a lot like our healthy meal plans.
The benefits of the Mediterranean Diet are many and include:
- Promoting a healthy weight and assisting with weight loss
- Reducing the risk of heart disease
- Improving high blood pressure
- Decreasing the incidence of asthma
- Reducing the risk of several chronic diseases including cancer, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and type 2 diabetes
- Improving blood sugar management
- Fostering a better mood
- Lowering death rates
The Mediterranean Diet has been recognized by the World Health Organization as a healthy and sustainable dietary pattern. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans has also outlined the Mediterranean diet as one of their healthy eating plans. In 2020, US News and World Report named the Mediterranean Diet as the Best Diet Overall and the Best Diet for Diabetes. This diet was also recognized in the American Diabetes Association's updated Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes in 2019 as a healthy choice. Clearly, this diet is a winner!
The traditional Mediterranean Diet is high in heart-healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamin C, dietary fiber, and other vitamins and minerals. Interestingly, the amount of fat in the Mediterranean Diet is similar to the total amount in the traditional American diet, however, the emphasis in the Mediterranean diet is on healthy sources of fat such as olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds, and seafood.
Let's look at all the similarities between the Mediterranean Diet and Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating meal plans.
Mediterranean Diet Vs. Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating
Mediterranean Diet Principle #1: Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.
SSHE: We provide fresh fruits and vegetables in every meal plan. We are one of the only meal delivery programs that will send you a fresh salad or a whole piece of fruit. With a focus on adding color and fresh ingredients in every meal, we strive to include a variety of produce every day!
Mediterranean Diet Principle #2: Opt for whole grains.
SSHE: We follow the guidelines set forth by national organizations with making at least half of our grains whole grains. Our meals feature brown rice, farro, barley, whole-wheat couscous, oats, whole-grain bread, and other whole grains. With the benefits of added fiber and increased nutrition, whole grains are a no-brainer on our meal plans.
Mediterranean Diet Principle #3: Use healthy fats.
SSHE: To reap heart health benefits, we include good fats in our meals and avoid unhealthy fats that are linked with inflammation and heart disease. We eliminate high-fat meats from all of our meal plans to reduce saturated fat in our meals and include no fried foods. We use a variety of sources of monounsaturated fat such as olive oil, nuts, avocados, and our very own homemade nut butters.
Mediterranean Diet Principle #4: Eat more seafood.
SSHE: The Mediterranean diet recommends eating seafood twice a week and guess how many servings of fish you get on Seattle Sutton's per week…that's right, 2! We include a variety of tuna, tilapia, cod, and salmon weekly on our traditional meal plans to provide healthy omega-3 fatty acids to support your brain and heart health.
Mediterranean Diet Principle #5: Reduce red meat.
SSHE: We do not include red meat or pork products in any of our meals to lower the total amount of saturated fat on our plans. Our traditional meal plan includes fish, poultry, and plant-based sources of protein just as encouraged on a Mediterranean-style diet.
Mediterranean Diet Principle #6: Enjoy some dairy products.
SSHE: Yogurt and cheese are often included on the Mediterranean diet which we do include in all of our meal plans. Each meal plan includes the addition of 1-2 servings of skim milk per day as well. A number of our meals include greek yogurt for health-promoting probiotics, protein, vitamin D, and calcium.
Mediterranean Diet Principle #6: Spice it up.
SSHE: All our meals are low in sodium and follow the guidelines from the American Heart Association. In place of salt, we add herbs and spices to add wonderful flavor and balance to our meals. Since Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating meal plans are fresh and limit processed foods, which is often included in excess in the typical American diet, we eliminate a lot of sodium in the diet overall
Mediterranean Diet Principle #7: Add in more vegetarian meals.
SSHE: No matter which meal plan you choose, you will get a variety of vegetarian meals every week. We feature meals that are centered around beans, whole grains, and vegetables and limit the amount of animal protein on each plan. This helps promote a diet lower in total and saturated fat while also increasing fiber and a variety of vitamins and minerals.
Mediterranean Diet Principle #8: Include fruit for dessert, and limit sweets to a rare treat.
SSHE: While we don't believe in deprivation, we do encourage balance and moderation. Fruits are included in many of our meals and we limit desserts to about once a week. Of course, the desserts we include are made with better-for-you ingredients and are portion-controlled too!
The Mediterranean Diet also encourages physical activity, mindfulness, and enjoying togetherness as an overall holistic approach to health and wellness. We at Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating are proud to provide food for healthy living, not just diet food. Our plan fits well into a holistic approach to improve health.
Have you been instructed by your physician to follow a Mediterranean diet or have you heard about the benefits of this diet pattern and would like to try it out? Let us take the guesswork and effort out of the Mediterranean Diet for you. All of our meal plans follow the basic tenets of the Mediterranean diet…so what are you waiting for?