The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend the Mediterranean-style diet that focuses on limiting processed foods and eating a lot of seafood! Many delicious types of seafood, like salmon, cod and mussels, are part of this diet, which promotes healthy, balanced eating. Feeling inspired to give the Mediterranean-style diet a go? Here’s what you need to know:
Benefits of Following a Mediterranean-Style Diet:
- Live longer. We’ll cut right to the chase – eating the suggested 2-3 weekly servings of seafood and following the Mediterranean-style diet can help to reduce the risk of premature death. And don’t be discouraged by your age. You can still reap the benefits even after switching to the Mediterranean diet during midlife.
- Lower your risk for chronic disease. Research has shown that following the Mediterranean-style diet can help to reduce the risk of heart disease, some forms of cancer, and other major chronic diseases. Another win.
- Reduce your carbon footprint. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) suggested that following a Mediterranean-style diet can help the environment, because you’re eating more vegetables, legumes and seafood and less red and processed meat. The DGAC goes on to say that a seafood-rich diet can help reduce our carbon footprint by improving energy and water consumption while lowering the amount of both greenhouse gas emissions and agricultural land use.
Tips on Following the Mediterranean-Style Diet:
- Add herbs, not salt, to your seafood. The Mediterranean diet relies on a host of flavorful seasonings to enhance the mouthwatering, natural flavors of seafood.
- Seafood + Veggies = Dream Team. Seafood pairs perfectly with seasonal vegetables for simple and easy-to-prepare meals that check the boxes of the Mediterranean-style diet.
- Swap the butter for olive oil. When possible, ditch heavier sauces for olive oil, a healthy alternative.
- Serve seafood with whole grains. Whole grain pasta and brown rice help add dietary fiber, B vitamins and other important nutrients to an already-nutritious dinner.
- Grill, bake, broil. While the Mediterranean diet uses olive oil for cooking and enhancing flavor, frying is out. Seafood prepared by frying can negate some of the health benefits, so opt for lighter cooking methods. It’s all about grilling, baking, roasting and broiling.
Looking for recipe inspiration? Here are a few seafood recipes for you to get started: