With a little guidance and some helpful tips it is possible to not have to spend a fortune to eat a healthy, balanced diet. In fact an authentic, traditional Mediterranean diet is a nutritious and balanced diet to follow for life.
The traditional Mediterranean diet consists of fruit and vegetables, carob, honey, whole grains, beans and other pulses, fish, eggs, goat’s cheese, yoghurt, virgin olive oil, garlic, onions and herbs, wild edible plants and mushrooms, nuts and seeds, red meat is eaten once a week and let’s not forget that glass of red wine.
Foods made from refined sugar and grains such as white bread, cakes, cookies and pastries are consumed in very small amounts. All for a healthier weight, less belly fat, and a lower risk for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer.
There have been recent studies claiming healthy food is only for the rich, this can make sense when you visit the health food shop and find yourself with a three-figure bill starring at you as you had happened to add in wild-caught fish, grass-fed beef and organic cheeses, eggs and a couple of healthy bars.
For more realistic measures and economical buys for healthy eating and living, here are a couple of tips to follow:
2. Shop for powerfood bargains. These may include:
3. Be choosy about produce. Local, in-season is riper and tastier and costs less than buying out of season. Fruit and veg is more expensive at the beginning of it’s season and then towards the middle or end it becomes more plentiful and is cheaper to buy. Farmer’s markets is another place to hang out at. There you can buy large quantities of fruits, vegetables and other home made items such as whole grain breads, cheeses and wines.
4. Organic or grow your own: Fruit and vegetables that would be worth growing your own or buying organic due to the high pesticide levels are: apples, celery, strawberries, peaches, spinach (or most leafy green vegetables such as lettuces, fresh coriander, Swiss chard etc), nectarines, grapes, sweet bell peppers, potatoes.
5. Sweet treats: Dark chocolate, fruits, healthy bars, honey and walnuts, dried fruits.
6. Studies show that you’ll make 30 per cent fewer unhealthy, impulse buys at the supermarket if you go shopping after a meal and pay with cash. So make sure to go shopping on a full stomach and cash in your wallet !
Barbara is a qualified nutritionist offering Health, Nutrition & Lifestyle Counseling. She gives Healthy weight loss advice and promotes the Mediterranean diet. She is the author of the Med Life Diet - creating healthy lifestyle habits and attitudes for life !