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Examining your DNA can help you discover the diet plan that is perfect for your individual genetic structure. In studies, this personalized approach to nutrition was shown to be more effective than traditional diet methods. By eating for our unique dietary needs it’s easier to make long-term sustainable changes to improve our health and wellbeing.

If you clicked on this blog hoping for a menu plan piled with steaming bowls of pasta and pizza or baguettes laden with pate then you may well be disappointed. Instead it is a traditional way of eating that emphasises fresh seasonal produce, whole grains and healthy fats all washed down with a little red wine.

The Mediterranean diet has been shown to be great for health, with research proving that people who eat this way not only weigh less, but also have a decreased risk for heart disease, depression, and dementia. And now scientists believe that the Mediterranean Diet may actually keep people genetically younger.

 

What is the Mediterranean diet?

The Mediterranean Diet is based around fresh non-starchy vegetables and fruit, whole grains and legumes. Healthy fats are included like olive oil, avocado and nuts, which can reduce unhealthy blood lipids. The Mediterranean diet is a delicious and healthy way to eat, with food savoured and enjoyed with family and friends as part of an active lifestyle.

What should I eat?

Choose primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts. Use healthy fats, such as olive oil. Eat fresh fish, seafood and poultry at least twice a week and use eggs too. Herbs and spices can add flavour to foods and contain micronutrients with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Dairy produce in the form of cultured milk (kefir, yogurt, ricotta) can be easier to digest and contains bacteria for healthier bowels.

And of course drink red wine in moderation!

 

What shouldn’t I eat?

Avoid processed food and limit red meat to a few times a month. Stay away from salt, saturated fats like butter and cut down on refined carbs, which lack nutrients and can send your blood sugar on a rollercoaster.

 

The Good

This way of eating is not about punishing or depriving your body; instead it’s about nourishing it and enjoying the good things in life. It has been shown in research to be associated with living longer and a greater quality of life

 

The Bad

Many of the ingredients can be expensive and while fresh local, seasonal produce in jewel tones may be abundant in the Mediterranean, it can be a little limited and uninspiring in the depths of a British Winter.

 

And the ugly

Much of the world’s fish and seafood contains high levels of mercury and other toxins, so it is not safe to enjoy them as abundantly as would have been possible in the past. This is more of a problem for produce sourced from Asia and the Gulf of Mexico than from Europe.

 

A Sample Day

Breakfast: Greek Yoghurt with assorted berries and toasted almonds.

Lunch: Grilled chicken breast with tomato salsa, avocado and spinach salad and drizzled with olive oil and lemon.

Supper: Red peppers stuffed with garlic, basil, couscous, olives and feta cheese

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