According to the Mayo Clinic, research shows that the traditional Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease. In a study of almost 2 million healthy adults, it was found to be linked to a reduced risk of death from heart disease and cancer, as well as a reduced incidence of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.
When adopting a Mediterranean diet, you will be eating primarily fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts. This diet also calls for replacing butter with healthy fats, such as olive oil, and to limit red meat to no more than a few times a month.
If you think this type of diet is right for you, try some of these healthy Mediterranean dishes that are easy to make and good for you too.
Chopped Greek Salad with Chicken
By adding chicken to a Greek salad, you can enjoy a healthy, but satisfying meal. Either poach some boneless, skinless chicken breast or pick up a store roasted chicken for quickness and ease. You can also serve with pita bread and hummus.
Per serving: 343 calories, 18g fat, 11g carbohydrates, 31g protein, 3g fiber
Mediterranean Portobello Burger
Fulfill your burger fix with this mushroom sandwich topped with feta cheese and salad fixings. Use sourdough bread instead of a roll for a real authentic taste.
Per serving: 301 calories, 11g fat, 40g carbohydrates, 10g protein, 4g fiber
Shrimp Saltimbocca with Polenta
Traditionally made with veal, this healthier version using shrimp is still full of flavor. Be careful choosing a brand of clam juice for this recipe. Some have high levels of sodium. Chicken broth is another alternative that will still work well with the shrimp.
Per serving: 152 calories, 6g fat, 21g carbohydrates, 2g protein, 4g fiber
Tabbouleh with Grilled Vegetables
This Middle Eastern favorite combines a salad of bulgur and herbs with grilled vegetables. Toasted walnuts also provide additional flavor. This recipe makes eight servings making it perfect for your large gatherings.
Per serving: 167 calories, 9g fat, 22g carbohydrates, 5g protein, 6g fiber
With this lasagna dish, you have the ingredients you enjoy – ricotta cheese, pasta and tomatoes – without the time-consuming layering and long baking time. Prefer meat lasagna? Brown and crumble up some turkey sausage to add to the dish.
Per serving: 364 calories, 9g fat, 55g carbohydrates, 16g protein, 7g fiber