Everyone is different. There is not one way of eating that works for everyone. The important thing is to choose a healthy eating style that you can stick to for life. The Mediterranean Diet could very well be what you have been searching for. Below are seven important tips to eating like a Mediterranean:

1. Cook with olive oil. It is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, which may improve the good type of cholesterol in our bodies (HDL). It also weeds out the bad cholesterol (LDL). Use extra virgin olive oil in homemade salad dressings and vinaigrettes. Drizzle it on dishes like fish and chicken to boost flavor.

2. Eat more fish. Fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel are very good for the heart and brain since they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Even fish that are leaner and have less fat (such as cod and tilapia) are still worth it, since they provide a good source of protein. Try adding fish to some of your favorite foods such as tacos, stir-fries, and soups.

3. Help yourself to REAL whole grains. Barley is full of fiber, and it’s filling. Try it with mushrooms for a steamy, satisfying soup. Overnight oats or a hot bowl of oatmeal are perfect for breakfast or even for a snack.

4. Eat veggies all day long!! It’s never too late to add more vegetables to your diet. Start with one serving at snack time. Try crunching on bell pepper strips or throwing a handful of spinach into a smoothie. Then add one serving at dinner, such as steamed squash or honey-glazed brussels sprouts. Aim for at least two servings per day…but three servings would be awesome!

5. Snack on nuts. Grabbing a handful, whether they’re almonds, cashews, or pistachios, can make a satisfying quick snack. Plus, nuts contain more fiber and minerals, such as potassium, than processed snack foods.

6. Enjoy fruit for dessert. Fresh fruit is a healthy way to indulge your sweet tooth. It’s also a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Keep fresh fruit visible at home, and keep a piece or two at work so you have a healthful snack when your stomach starts growling.

7. Savor every bite. Instead of gobbling your meal in front of the TV, slow down and sit at the table. Savor what you’re eating. Eating slowly allows you to tune into your body’s hunger and fullness signals, so you are more likely to eat just until you’re satisfied.

Remember, eating like a Mediterranean is more of a lifestyle than it is a diet. Try incorporating one of these tips at a time until it becomes a habit, then move on to the next tip. Once you see how much better you feel, you’ll never want to return to the Standard American Diet…also known as the SAD diet. For a reason.