from cutting fat to neurological advances in battling dementia to promoting heart health.
The diet — crowned the best overall for six years running by US News & World Report — could even halt premature death, experts say.
“It’s a combination of nutrition, physical activity levels, and also a social environment,” Spanish dietician, Alba Santaliestra told Insider.
Santaliestra shared six tips for making the Med diet as pleasurable to follow as actually being on the Mediterranean — well, close — and ultimately, more successful.
Make it a positive experience with people
“The social environments in the Mediterranean countries are really, really important,” Santaliestra said about forging happy memories with healthy foods.
“We have a really good experience around the table.”
She recommends doing what you can to share your meals with friends, family, or even co-workers to brighten the experience.
Make your own meals
A great way to avoid processed foods is to stick to your own cooking, said Santaliestra. She advises cooking at least one meal a day as a way to get fresh food that also saves money compared to ordering or eating out.
Switch up protein sources
It’s important to enjoy a variety of protein sources like meat, fish, eggs, and lentils, according to the dietician.
Aiming to have a different protein at every meal is important for reducing any harm that would come from eating too much of one food group.
Oil it up
Olive oil exists as a main, healthy fat source in the Spanish version of the Med diet, Santaliestra said.
Especially when combined with vegetables for flavor, olive oil also plays a role in absorbing nutrients from foods like salad leaves.
Go nuts for nuts
Have plenty of nuts this November and in the months to come. Santaliestra recommends the high healthy fat legume as a go-to snack in the mid-morning to mid-afternoon.
It’s dealer’s choice on what kind as long as they are either plain or roasted without a coating.
Vegetables, vegetables, vegetables
Santaliestra stressed that veggies are the key factor in what makes the Mediterranean Diet so successful. Like mom would say, they boost fiber, vitamins, minerals and health overall.