The Mediterranean diet was developed in the 1960s to reduce heart disease and associated ailments. It is a high-fiber diet, rich in produce and nuts. It also includes some dairy products, especially yogurt and cheese, as well as fish and olive oil.
The Mediterranean diet philosophy states that you should eat in moderation, listen to your body’s needs and only eat when hungry. In keeping with this idea, Pita bread is made from white flour – which is not allowed on the Mediterranean diet – so it’s not really compatible with the Mediterranean diet… or is it?
One of the hallmarks of a Mediterranean diet is the inclusion of bread like pita bread or whole-grain bread. There are no specific rules for what type of bread should be consumed, but you should not opt for white bread since it’s usually made from refined flour and has low nutrient value.
Pita or whole grain? It doesn’t matter! However, if you do opt to have pita, make sure it isn’t loaded with oils and salt since these ingredients put you at risk for heart disease.
The Mediterranean diet itself is a healthy dietary pattern that has numerous health benefits, and some studies have even shown that it can even delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
When following a Mediterranean diet, it is important to focus on nutrient-rich foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds.
But not all breads are equal when it comes to the Mediterranean diet. Some types of bread contain high amounts of sugar and fat which can contribute to weight gain and other health concerns.
If you are looking to follow the Mediterranean diet, here are some guidelines to help you plan your meals:
- Pick an authentic Mediterranean bread that has been around for centuries.
It should not contain a lot of sugar and fat, but it should be made with traditional ingredients like flour, water, yeast and sea salt.
- Avoid breads that also contain preservatives and other chemicals not found in the sun-dried tomatoes or olives you use.
- Make sure the bread you choose contains nutritious whole grains.
The Mediterranean diet is a diet rich in whole grains and research has proven that consuming whole grains helps with heart health, weight control and diabetes prevention.
- Be careful of added oils.
Add-ons like vegetable oils, butter or margarine are just empty calories. They can contribute to weight gain without providing any vital nutrients from dairy or meat sources.
- Check the ingredients on your bread.
If gluten is listed among the first four ingredients, then it isn’t a good choice for the Mediterranean diet.
If you are on the Mediterranean diet, make sure you are following these guidelines. And as always, learn from your mistakes and find better options for alternative breads.