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Boiled, poached, scrambled or as an omelette – they’ll keep you feeling fuller for longer compared to cereal or toast. Delicious with greens and parmesan or smoked salmon and a sprinkle of chilli.
Choose a plain Greek-style, full-fat yoghurt and add berries, like blackberries, strawberries or blueberries for flavour. Or, a sprinkling of nuts and a dash of cinnamon.
Oily fish, prawns, chicken, turkey, pork, beef and, of course, eggs. Other protein-rich foods include beans, especially edamame beans, dairy and nuts and seeds. Processed meats (bacon, salami, lunch meats) should be eaten sparingly and in small quantities.
Along with oily fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel), we encourage adding extra virgin olive oil to meals. A splash makes vegetables taste better and improves the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. For cooking, use olive or coconut oil. Avocado is another great source of healthy fats that will keep you feeling full and satiated.
From dark leafy greens to bright red tomatoes and purple aubergin, more variety of colours means more variety of nutrients.
A low carb Mediterranean-style diet does not mean no carbs at all. Not only is this very difficult to achieve, but can be detrimental. This is why complex carbs and fibre are still important and can easily be gained from vegetables, legumes and wholegrains.
Recent research has found that consuming dairy products do not lead to type 2 diabetes. They are a good source of calcium and protein and will help you feel fuller for longer. Always choose full-fat but eat in moderation as it can be high in calories; a scattering of parmesan is low in calories and can be used on baked vegetables to add flavour and protein.
They provide a good source of protein, minerals and vitamins, contain healthy fats and have a high fibre content. Have a handful alongside meals, or add them into salad or stews. Almond or coconut flour makes a good low-carb alternative to flour for baking - yes, you can bake healthy treats!
Research shows that resveratrol, a compound present in red wine (as well as in blueberries, cranberries and cocoa) can contribute to the health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet. So, if you would like to complement your recipes with the occasional glass of red or piece of dark chocolate, you can. Just be more mindful on fasting days as the calories can be significant.
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Reduce your intake of sugar, sugary treats, drinks and desserts. Instead, if you are looking for something sweet, try eating berries, a square of dark chocolate or The Fast 800 shakes.
Instead, choose whole grains, such as brown rice quinoa, bulgur (cracked wheat), whole rye, whole-grain barley, wild rice and buckwheat.
Full fat products will keep you satiated; studies have shown that people who consume full fat dairy are more often slimmer and have a lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome.
Enjoy berries, apples and pears, which have less sugar than sweet, tropical fruits such as mango, pineapple and melon.
Breakfast cereals are often laden with sugar. Rolled oats (not instant) are a better choice as they contain more fibre.
Snacking spikes your insulin levels between meals and tends to increase hunger. Try to avoid snacks, especially on fasting days, but if required, have some non-starchy veg, a sliver of cheese or some berries. Alternatively, nuts are a great source of protein, fibre and micronutrients - just avoid salted or sweetened nuts, which can be moreish and easy to overeat.
There is extensive evidence for the benefit of the Mediterranean-style low carb diet, including cutting your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. It has even been found to reduce the risk of breast cancer, compared with those on a low-fat diet. Consuming extra virgin olive oil (the fresh squeezed juice of olives) seems to be particularly beneficial when it comes to cancer, perhaps because it contains compounds such as polyphenols which are known to be anti-inflammatory.
The PREDIMED study followed up more than 5,000 patients who were healthy at the start of the study, but who had risk factors for cardiovascular disease. After 4.8 years, the group that followed a Mediterranean-style diet were 30% per cent less likely than the group following a low-fat diet to have experienced a stroke, a heart attack, or death due to other cardiovascular disease.
The Harvard Nurses’ Health Study examined the health outcomes of more than 10,000 women aged between 57 and 61. Those on a Mediterranean-style diet were 46% more likely to age healthfully, defined by remaining alive beyond the age of 70 with good mental health and intact physical and cognitive function.
In 2011, a review combined the results of 50 separate studies which measured the effect of following a Mediterranean-style diet on a cluster of symptoms known to increase the risk of heart attack or stroke: high blood pressure, too much “bad” and not enough “good” cholesterol, raised blood sugar and increased waist circumference. Collectively, these symptoms are called Metabolic Syndrome. Data showed that it was 50% less likely to develop or progress in people who followed a Mediterranean-style diet.