Diets and food trends come and go but one diet has been consistently considered one of the best diets year after year, The Mediterranean Diet.

The Mediterranean Diet is an eating pattern that is traditionally followed in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. It is comprised of a daily diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and lentils, and nuts and seeds. Small portions of red meat are limited to twice a week and sweets are enjoyed only occasionally.

If you want to change your diet to reflect more of a Mediterranean style diet here are some things to try.

Cut Back on Red Meat:

Think of meat as a condiment instead of the main part of the meal.  Instead of a 10 ounce steak go for three ounces grilled with red peppers, mushrooms, and onion or stir fried with lots of vegetables.  Increase the amount of fish you eat, especially salmon and trout.  Eat chicken or turkey twice a week.

Add plant-based meals:

Plan on having four meatless meals each week. For lunch, try a salad with kidney beans, or a pita with vegetables and hummus or tahini sauce.

Make extra whole grains:

Brown rice, bulgur, whole wheat couscous and farro can be added to leftovers and salads during the week to add some extra fibre, protein, and various vitamins and minerals.

Eat vegetables every meal:

Aim for at least one serving (1/2 cup raw or cooked or 1 cup of salad greens) at each meal, including breakfast.  Add spinach, mushroom, and other vegetables to eggs or omelets, add carrots or zucchini to muffins, or add greens to your smoothies.

Snack on fruits and nuts:

Eat fresh fruit with a small handful of walnuts, pecans, or pistachios for a snack.  Top Greek yogurt with pomegranate seeds, toasted almonds and a drizzle of honey.

Change your fats:

Make olive oil your go to cooking fat. Swap olive oil for butter in baking (you’ll need less: 1/4 cup butter = 3 tbs olive oil).

Add herbs and spices:

Flavour grains, salads, soups, and dressings with fresh or dried herbs and spices. Doing so will add various antioxidants that help boost brainpower and fight against cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.