This week we explore the foods containing these elements to prep you for our Mediterranean Diet finale next week (you won’t want to miss it!).
good things come in small packages
Virgin and extra-virgin olive oil, because it’s a fruit oil, is an antioxidant food and a must-have staple in the Mediterranean Diet. When replacing butter (saturated fat) or margarine (trans fat) with olive oil (monounsaturated fat), it helps to reduce LDL (the bad cholesterol), can protect the body against free radicals (that can lead to cancer), and can add youthful years to your life. Now who doesn’t want that?
Just 2 to 3 tablespoons daily will help you extract the benefits from this oil without adding fat to your hips. Other antioxidant sources include vegetables and fruit, which you can enjoy in abundance.
Tip: They’re an easy smart-snack to pack and go!
Herbs and spices are great for flavoring your meals, and they allow you to cut back on the salt. At the top of our herb list is garlic. Eating garlic helps to ward off a cold and can lower cholesterol. No matter how you slice, chop, crush, or mash it, ya gotta have garlic when it comes to making skordalia (garlic dip), slow-roasted lamb, lentil soup, and a ton of other dishes. In Greek cooking, its usual companion is lemon juice or vinegar, which balances out the flavor of each dish perfectly.
Tip: A clove a day can keep the doctor at bay!
fill up with fiber
a simple plan
~Sprinkle nuts and seeds into your salads, add them to yogurt, use them as a topper for oatmeal, or fold them into batters, breads, and cookie dough.
~Add herbs and spices to your foods and taste before adding the salt. Your meals will burst with flavor instead of sodium.
~You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to get your daily dose of fiber! Add chickpeas, legumes, or cooked barley to a salad or combine with a veggie side dish to give it dimension. Have some hummus two or three times a week with a side of carrot or cucumber sticks. Add whole-oats granola (with dried fruit, nuts, and honey) to low-fat yogurt or eat it alone as breakfast or a snack—a ¼ cup will do it but once you start you won’t be able to stop…now there’s an irresistible snack to feel good about!
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Kali orexi! Good appetite!
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Mediterranean Diet overview
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