The Mediterranean diet is a great way to improve your health. It’s a wholesome approach to eating that’s full of fresh produce, healthy fats and unprocessed, whole grains. There are many variations of the Mediterranean diet, but they all have one thing in common: They’re low in carbs and sugar, high in healthy fats and plant-based foods, and they emphasize fresh ingredients rather than processed ones.
However, as with any wholesome diet, sticking to a Mediterranean eating plan can be challenging if you’re trying to cut back on carbs and sugar while increasing your intake of healthy fats. After all, most carbs and sugars come from natural sources like fruits, vegetables and grains.
What to expect from a Mediterranean diet
If you follow a Mediterranean diet, you can expect a variety of health benefits, including reduced blood pressure, lower blood sugar, reduced risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, and reduced risk of certain types of cancers. Diets that include a Mediterranean eating plan have been shown to reduce the risk of early death by about 30%, compared to people who don’t follow the diet.
The Mediterranean diet is an excellent way to support your overall health due to its high content of healthy fats, a rich variety of whole grains, and high intake of plant-based foods. This diet is rich in fiber, antioxidants and probiotics, which help to promote good gut health, reduce inflammation and improve immune function.
Understanding the Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet is a well-balanced diet that focuses on consuming plenty of fresh produce, unprocessed foods, healthy fats and whole grains while limiting the amount of red meat and processed foods you eat.
This eating approach is rich in antioxidants and vitamins thanks to the high intake of fresh produce and unprocessed foods, which also makes it a low-calorie diet that’s suitable for weight loss. The Mediterranean diet is also naturally low in sugar, which is why it’s an excellent choice for people trying to follow a low-carb diet.
The Mediterranean diet is a free-from diet, meaning that you don’t have to follow it exactly to reap the benefits. The goal is to adopt a diet rich in healthy fats, fresh produce, unprocessed foods and whole grains while reducing your intake of processed foods and refined carbohydrates. The Mediterranean diet is not a specific plan, but a general eating approach based on the current research.
Wholesome foods and recommended brands
A Mediterranean diet is naturally low in sugar, but it’s helpful to be aware of the amount of sugar in each food you eat. The following foods are good sources of wholesome carbohydrates that are low in sugar and high in fiber, plus they contain lots of vitamins and minerals, which means they’re good for your health. The recommended brands are all sugar-free and low in carbs, plus they’re high in fiber and made with wholesome ingredients. These foods, among others, make up a healthy Mediterranean diet: –
- Artichoke – Artichokes are rich in antioxidants, fiber, iron and vitamin C. They’re best when eaten raw or steamed.
- Arugula – Arugula is a delicious, peppery green that’s rich in iron and vitamins C, A and K. It’s a great addition to salads or pasta dishes.
- Avocado – Avocados are a staple of the Mediterranean diet, and for good reason – they’re rich in potassium, fiber and healthy fats. Mash them up and use them as a dip, spread or sauce, or slice them up and mix them with salads or pasta.
- Barley – Barley is a whole grain that’s low in sugar and high in fiber. You can use it in salads, soups or stews, or make a barley porridge for breakfast.
- Chickpeas – Chickpeas are a nutritious legume that’s rich in fiber, protein and iron. You can use them in salads, stews and pasta dishes.
- Cauliflower – Cauliflower is a wonderfully versatile vegetable that can be used in many dishes, including pizza, stews and soups.
Tips for making a Mediterranean diet meal plan without sugar
Cutting out sugar from your diet doesn’t have to be a difficult task. If you’re trying to follow a Mediterranean diet and reduce the amount of sugar in your diet, here are a few tips on how to do it: – Swap sugary foods for naturally low-sugar alternatives. Rather than using a bag of refined white flour to make baked goods, try using almond flour or oat flour. Swap sugary cereal for a bowl of wholesome granola, and swap out canned fruits for fresh ones.
- Try new unsweetened flavor combinations. For example, barbeque sauce doesn’t have to be sweet – it can be used as a flavourful, low-sugar topping for roasted vegetables instead.
- Choose low-sugar alternative ingredients when baking. Instead of using white sugar, try using unbleached granulated sugar or coconut palm sugar. Instead of using white flour, try using whole wheat flour or oat flour instead.
- Be mindful of hidden sugars in foods. Sugar is added to many processed foods, such as soups, salad dressings, ketchup, crackers and even bread. Avoid consuming too many of these foods, and be sure to read the nutrition facts of foods you purchase to avoid consuming too much sugar.
The Mediterranean diet is a healthy way of eating that emphasizes fresh produce, unprocessed foods and wholesome carbs. This diet is naturally low in sugar, and it’s also suitable for people following a low-carb diet.
To make a Mediterranean diet meal plan without sugar, try new flavor combinations, swap out sugary foods for naturally low-sugar alternatives, and be mindful of hidden sugars in foods.