Combining intermittent fasting with the Mediterranean diet can be a powerful approach to promoting health and weight loss. Here are six tips for incorporating the Mediterranean diet into your intermittent fasting program:
Choose extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) as your main fat: EVOO is a key component of the Mediterranean diet due to its monounsaturated fatty acids and beneficial plant polyphenols. Ensure that you purchase authentic EVOO from a single source, with a recent harvest or crush date, and look for seals of authenticity like the California Olive Oil COOC Seal of Certification for California olive oil.
Emphasize plant protein and seafood: Opt for plant-based protein sources such as beans, peas, lentils, nuts, and whole grains like quinoa. Include small portions of fatty fish like salmon a couple of days a week to benefit from omega-3 fatty acids.
Prioritize whole grains, fruits, and vegetables: Make whole grains like oats a part of your diet, which are excellent for cholesterol management. Fresh berries over oatmeal or yogurt provide heart-healthy, fiber-rich fruit. Ensure that your daily meals include leafy green vegetables, whether in salads, sautéed dishes, or smoothies.
Use salt-free seasonings: Avoid excessive salt intake by seasoning your meals with alternatives like EVOO, vinegars, citrus juices, herbs, and spices. These options add flavor without contributing to high blood pressure.
Consume calcium-rich foods daily: The Mediterranean diet recommends daily intake of calcium-rich foods, such as fat-free yogurt. You may also consider soy yogurt as a plant-based alternative to include more plant foods in your diet while following the Mediterranean approach.
Consider Mediterranean diet meal delivery services: To make adhering to the Mediterranean diet easier, you can try a meal delivery service that specializes in Mediterranean meals. These services provide freshly prepared meals that are ready to eat, making it convenient to maintain a Mediterranean diet while practicing intermittent fasting.
Remember, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian before making significant changes to your diet or starting a new eating plan, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.