f you suffer from type 2 diabetes, it is imperative to adopt a healthy nutrition and, especially, one based on the principles of the Mediterranean Diet.
But, what is the Mediterranean Diet exactly? Its whole philosophy is presented in the form of a pyramid. The Mediterranean Diet Pyramid is divided into three distinct levels, based on the frequency of consumption of the foods illustrated (on a monthly, weekly and daily basis). At the base of the pyramid are the foods that are consumed on a daily basis in greater proportion, while at its top are foods that should be consumed less often and in moderate amounts.
The Mediterranean Diet recommends the daily consumption of foods rich in carbohydrates and vegetable fibres, such as bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, cereals and fresh fruit. Vegetables should also constitute an integral part of our daily diet and are an excellent source of vegetable fibres and vitamins. Daily consumption is also recommended for dairy products, such as yoghurt and cheese. The main source of fats in the Mediterranean Diet is olive oil, since it is known for its high content in healthy unsaturated fats, liposoluble vitamins (vitamin E) and antioxidants.
Fish consumption is recommended twice a week considering its beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids content. Chicken and turkey are consumed 1 time a week, whereas red meat is at the top of the pyramid and its recommended consumption is once every 10 days. Finally, the moderate consumption of wine (1-2 glasses of wine) is an excellent source of polyphenols and very beneficial to the cardiovascular system.
5 practical and useful tips :
1. Do not leave your stomach empty for more that 3-4 hours. Have regular small meals throughout the day.
2. Always accompany your 2 main meals (lunch & dinner) with vegetables and salads, and your snacks (e.g. grilled sandwich) with some lettuce, cucumber and/or tomato. Remember that vegetables (vegetable fibres) reduce the glycemic load of your meal!
3. Your meals should comprise all groups of foods; they should not be nutritionally monotonous. They should contain proteins, carbohydrates, fats and always vegetable fibres.
4. The main source of fats should be virgin olive oil. Use as much vinegar and freshly squeezed lemon juice as you wish.
5. Always check food labelling. You’ll discover that many products contain ingredients that you never imagined! Did you know, for example, that salad dressings contain sugar?
Do not forget that our nutrition reflects our life philosophy and, certainly, forms part of diabetes treatment.
… Because it’s a way of life!