Food, HEALTH/FOOD

Go Well On A Mediterranean Diet

Photo Credit:  National Cancer Institute.
Photo Credit: National Cancer Institute.

The Mediterranean diet has been touted over the years to be the ideal diet to have as part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  Many people have taken this path and not only view it as a delicious and healthy way to eat, but moreover, swear by the benefits it affords.

Now, here are some of the goodies that will delight your appetite:

Slow down on those saturated fats and hydrogenated oils (trans fats).

Go “Extra-virgin” and “virgin” olive oils (the least processed forms).

Choose Fatty fish — such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, and salmon — are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

A little wine for the stomach’s sake will do.

Stick to veggies and fruits.

Stay off those processed food and indulge in fresh variety of plant foods — veggies and fruits should be part of your routine when eating. Also whole-grains products are a must. Snacks of baby carrots, apples, bananas, and fruit salads are also great to have and enjoy.

More nuts please.

Nuts and seeds are good sources of fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Keep almonds, cashews, pistachios and walnuts on hand for a quick snack. Choose natural peanut butter, rather than the kind with hydrogenated fat added. Try blended sesame seeds (tahini) as a dip or spread for bread.

Get out of butter.

Try olive or canola oil as a healthy replacement for butter or margarine. Lightly drizzle it over vegetables. After cooking pasta, add a touch of olive oil, some garlic and green onions for flavoring. Dip bread in flavored olive oil or lightly spread it on whole-grain bread for a tasty alternative to butter. Try tahini as a dip or spread for bread, too.

Stay nice with spice.

Herbs and spices make food tasty and can stand in for salt and fat in recipes.

Go fish.

Eat fish at least twice a week. Fresh or water-packed tuna, salmon, trout, mackerel, and herring are healthy choices. Grill, bake, or broil fish for great taste and easy cleanup. Avoid breaded and fried fish.

Turn your back on red meat.

Limit red meat to no more than a few times a month. Substitute fish and poultry for red meat. When choosing red meat, make sure it’s lean and keep portions small (about the size of a deck of cards). Also avoid sausage, bacon and other high-fat, processed meats.

Choose low-fat dairy.

Limit higher fat dairy products, such as whole or 2 percent milk, cheese and ice cream. Switch to skim milk, fat-free yogurt and low-fat cheese.

Yvad Billings Readers Bureau Fellow

Editing by Jesus Chan

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