Jillian Michaels discusses benefits of the Mediterranean diet
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Often described as the healthiest diet in the world, the Mediterranean diet consists of eating lots of fruit and vegetables, as well as foods containing healthy fats and fibre. Olive oil is another key component of the diet.
Dr Simon Poole is the author of The Real Mediterranean Diet, a book he has described as “a practical guide to understanding and achieving the healthiest diet in the world”.
An expert on the Mediterranean diet, Dr Poole has shared a quiz with Express.co.uk for readers to find out more about the diet, as well as to discover how many Mediterranean ingredients they already eat – and how to eat more.
“Recent studies show that the greatest barriers to people taking up the Mediterranean diet are a lack of knowledge, awareness and understanding,” Dr Poole explained.
He said that his quiz will “test your knowledge and help you to lose weight and achieve the healthiest diet in the world”.
“Take the quiz and calculate your score. This will give you a rough idea how Mediterranean your current diet is, and provide a challenge to increase your score,” Dr Poole added.
Question – Scores one – Scores zero – Calculate total
How many servings of vegetables do you eat each day? (one serving = a cupful, approx. 100g. Includes medium salads which may weigh less than 100g) – five or more – four or fewer
How many different colours of vegetables do you eat in each main meal? – three or more – two or fewer
How many pieces/servings of fruit do you eat each day? (one serving = approx. 100g) – three or more – two or fewer
How many times a week do you eat different legumes or pulses such as lentils, chickpeas, peas and beans? – three or more – two or fewer
How many times a week do you eat wholegrains – wholegrain pasta, rice, bread etc? – three or more – two or fewer
Do you use extra virgin olive oil for all types of cooking and as your only oil? – yes – no
How much extra virgin olive oil do you consume each day? – three or more tablespoons – two or fewer tablespoons
Do you regularly eat seafood/fish cooked (oven or pan) with extra virgin olive oil? – yes – no
How many times a week do you eat a handful (approx. 30g) of unsalted, raw nuts (excluding peanuts)? – five or more – four or fewer
How many times a week do you eat sweets, commercial bakery products e.g. pastries, ice cream? – two or fewer – three or more
Do you consume no red meat, or occasionally, always prepared with extra virgin olive oil, in maximum portion size 120g (palm size), maximum frequency once per week? – yes – no
Do you eat processed meat for example sausages and bacon and processed convenience foods less than once per week? – yes – no
Do you eat unsweetened yoghurt and unprocessed cheese as your main intake of dairy rather than butter, cream and margarine? – yes – no
Do you eat “scratch” main meals i.e. home prepared using fresh ingredients more than five times per week? – yes – no
How many days a week do you add a variety of herbs and spices to cooking? – five or more – four or fewer
How many times do you prepare a sauce similar to “sofrito” each week? (olive oil, garlic, onions, tomatoes) – two or more – one or fewer
Do you consume two or more of the following regularly each week – high cocoa chocolate, raw honey or olives? – yes – no
Do you drink products with added sugars or sugar substitutes for example pops and sodas? – no – yes
Do you not drink alcohol or if you do it is always wine, in moderation (less than 250ml per day) with a meal rich in extra virgin olive oil? – yes – no
Do you get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity? – yes – no
Score 15 – 20
You are doing really well. Keep up the good work. See what small additional changes you can make to perfect your Mediterranean diet.
You are on the right track. There is room for improvement to make real gains. Focus on a few of the areas to improve your score.
There is lots of work you can do. Concentrate on your vegetables and extra virgin olive oil to get some easy wins and work from there.
The good news is that there is so much you can do to improve your diet. Use the quiz questions to improve your diet in a matter of days.
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