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Pick up any food magazine, and there will be at least one article championing the Mediterranean diet: about how it utilizes so many fresh vegetables, the benefits of olive oil over butter, etc.
And while much of that is well known by now, many people hesitate to adopt the practices of the Mediterranean diet because they’re not quite sure of its practicality – how well it will fit into their already busy schedules.
Comfortable with the cooking patterns they’ve adopted, they are hesitant to transitioning into uncharted waters.
But we’re here to tell you: there is no easier, clinically proven diet to follow than the Mediterranean diet.
1.) It’s Cheap
The Mediterranean diet is rich with vegetables. From Pasta Primavera in Italy to Hummus and Babbaganoush in the Middle East, vegetables are in a vast majority of Mediterranean dishes, and not as bit players, but as stars of the show.
How that translates to your pocketbook is easy: vegetables are the least expensive thing you can buy in stores. Grab some bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes for a Peperonata, or a bundle of asparagus for steaming and topping with a little shaved Parmasean and lemon juice.
Get creative and use whatever in season; those options are the least expensive and most delicious.
2.) It’s Satisfying
One thing you’ll enjoy about the Mediterranean diet immediately after you try it is just how satisfying it really is. No one will leave your table hungry after a few helpings of pasta, polenta, or fresh bread.
Another note here: these popular Mediterranean side dishes are very affordable as well. (See? Satisfying, AND easy on the wallet!)
3.) It’s Quick and Easy
Most Mediterranean dishes can be prepared in thirty minutes or less. Save for a stewed Chicken Cacciatore or one of the various bean dishes made from scratch, Mediterranean dishes are designed to be quick and easy, especially since many of their ingredients are so readily available already prepared.
All you have to do is bring water to a boil and cook any one of the wide range of prepared gnocchis or raviolis until they float. Dress with some good olive oil, garlic, and parsley, and you’ll have a wonderful meal in record time.
4.) It Uses a Wide Range of Meats
And in small portions. Unless you’re preparing a Steak Florentine, most Mediterranean dishes use meats sparingly. A whole chicken is used sometimes, yes, but it is done so in hopes of feeding four to six people.
You can stretch Italian meats like pancetta and salami for use in sandwiches, sauces, and even crisped up to render out fat for sautes. Mediterranean recipes typically don’t call for much meat in them, and if they do, it is often from a very affordable cut that can easily feed your entire family.
5.) It’s Healthy
Granted, you may have already deduced from the ubiquitous use of fresh vegetables that the Mediterranean diet is healthy, but what you may not know is that it can actually MAKE you healthy.
High blood pressure or cholesterol? Olive oil is rich with the “good fat” that can lower both over a short span of time.
Having digestive problems? Vegetables and various beans are high in fiber, which helps ease things like incontinence and IBS.
So there’s no reason not to adopt the Mediterranean diet, at least in some capacity. Utilizing its ingredients is quick, easy, and affordable, and you’ll be surprised just how good you feel after only a few meals.
(If in need of some cookbooks to help get started, check out Amazon’s selection here.)
Now get out there, and do it!