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If you haven't found the perfect diet for your lifestyle, the Mediterranean diet might be an excellent option. This heart-healthy diet focuses on foods like fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains. It also calls for reducing the amount of unhealthy fats and sugars that you consume and has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease. The Mediterranean diet may lower cholesterol and blood pressure and decrease the risk of serious diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's. These important health benefits are why many people swear by this healthy lifestyle. So how do you get started with this diet, and what are some easy meal ideas for beginners?

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1. Focus on Plant-Based Foods

Food that's grown naturally is almost always better for you than food that's been processed or modified. That's why the Mediterranean diet focuses on plant-based foods like fruits and vegetables to fill the bulk of your nutritional needs. Add salads, steamed or grilled vegetables, fresh-cut fruit and a handful of nuts to your daily diet in place of fried or sugary snacks and side dishes. Pack a bag of grapes or apple slices for your midafternoon snack, and fill up on salad before the main course at each meal. Try to stick to organic, healthy options rather than prepackaged foods.

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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.