It's been a long-kept secret of the yiayiathes and nonne of Greece and Italy but it seems the Mediterranean diet is the key to living a healthier life.
To hear them talk, the benefits of the Mediterranean diet have kept them young and snappy. Which is why they probably remember everything.
And why they're likely to take pride in being proven correct.
Studies have supported their oft-repeated claims, citing benefits from a healthier heart to a reduced risk of dementia.
Adopting the diet is easy, too. There's no calorie counting or ingredient scanning. Just follow these ten commandments and you'll be well on your way to a healthier, happy lifestyle.
The 10 commandments of the Mediterranean diet
- Extra Virgin olive oil should be your main added fat with an aim to eat 60 millilitres per day. Rich in antioxidants, it's great for adding to salads and for cooking.
- Eat vegetables with every meal to a total of 400 grams every day. This should be broken down into 100 grams of leafy greens (great for vitamin C), 100 grams of tomatoes and 200 grams of other veggies.
- Eat two legume-based meals a week, aiming for 250 grams per serve. A source of protein, they're also low GI for slow-digesting, long-lasting energy.
- Include two serves (150g - 200g) of fatty fish, such as salmon and mackerel, per week. These deep-sea favourites are high in omega-3 for a healthy heart and brain.
- Refrain from eating meat more than twice a week. This includes chicken. When you do serve up a steak, ensure it's no bigger than the palm of your hand.
- Replace processed snacks with lots of fresh fruit and a handful (30g) of nuts every day, with the skin on if possible. Not only are nuts filling, they're a great source of fibre, protein and are low in carbs.
- Aim to consume 200 grams of yoghurt a day and around 30 to 40 grams of cheese.
- Up your wholegrain intake. Healthy cereals and three to four slices of bread a day should do it.
- Stick to one standard drink (that's 100mls) a day but try to aim for some alcohol-free days, too.
- Save your sweets for special occasions.
Not on the list, but one certainly worth mentioning, is replacing salt with antioxidant-rich herbs. Healthier and just as satisfying, it's an easy one to remember!
Though it sounds like a world away from the stereotypical Greek diet, and just as far from our modern Australian one, following this diet has been proven to maintain your long-term health.
We're so down to try it!