Every year, US News and World Report names the top diets. The break them into categories that include best diets for weight loss, best commercial diet plans, etc. The most important is the “Best Overall Diet.” This is the diet that is considered the best plan to follow by nutritionists and health professionals.
In 2019, the Mediterranean Diet took first place for the “Best Overall Diet.” It also took first place as the best diet for diabetes and tied for first place for heart health. What makes this diet so popular with health professionals? Why is a great diet for the elderly?
The Diet Has a Strong Focus on Produce
Fresh produce is key to the Mediterranean Diet. If you think of the traditional food pyramid, the levels of the pyramid have changed since it came out, but current recommendations are:
- 5 to 7 servings of fruits and vegetables
- 3 to 5 servings of whole grains, pasta, rice and potatoes
- 3 servings of dairy
- 2 servings of protein
- Limited amounts of oil
- Infrequent amounts of high-fat, sugary, and salty foods
The Mediterranean Diet is set up like this:
- Socialization and physical activity as much as possible every day
- Water throughout the day
- 3 daily meals that include a mix of fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, legumes, olive oil, herbs, and spices
- A small glass of wine each day
- Fish and seafood two or more days per week
- Poultry, eggs, and dairy are eaten in moderation each week
- Other meats and sugary foods should be avoided
Each meal you have on the Mediterranean Diet needs to be packed with vegetables. For breakfast, you might have oatmeal topped with fresh berries and almonds. Lunch could be a salad with grilled shrimp and a lemon and garlic dressing. For dinner, ratatouille with farro is a good choice.
The Mediterranean Diet asks you to avoid beef, pork, and organ meats. You’re limiting dairy and desserts. As it is very heavy in whole grains and vegetables, it ensures people get a lot of fiber and antioxidants throughout the day.
It’s Easy to Incorporate
If your parents worry about incorporating a new diet, they don’t have to. The diet is easily adapted to work with meals your parents love. If your mom adores the Italian dish Chicken Piccata, she doesn’t have to give it up. She could use cod instead of chicken and serve it on spinach with a small side of whole grain pasta.
Cooking may be a struggle for your parents. It doesn’t have to be if you hire caregivers to help. Each day, caregivers can cook your parents meals using the Mediterranean Diet as a guideline when creating menus. Call a home care agency to talk about caregivers and the services they offer.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Castle Rock, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today at 303-953-9924.