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Published on April 01, 2019
Teresa Farrell, Registered and Licensed Dietician
The Mediterranean diet has long been recognized for its health benefits. It has been highly researched, dating back to the 1940’s, when it was discovered that people who ate a Mediterranean-style diet (based on the diet commonalities of countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea) had very low rates of heart disease and were living longer than people in Northern Europe. Over the years the evidence supporting its healthfulness has continued to grow. In fact, it earned top spots for Best Overall Diet, as well as Best Diet for Diabetes, Healthy Eating, Heart-Healthy Diets, Plant-Based Diets and even Easiest Diet to follow by U.S. News! Wow! “One diet can do all this?”, you may be asking. Yes, it can. Actually, the Mediterranean diet isn’t a diet at all, it’s an eating pattern, a lifestyle approach to healthy eating, not a structured diet. Since it is an eating pattern vs a strict diet it’s easy to follow and very flexible.
The Mediterranean pattern of eating is characterized by abundant plant foods (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and legumes). Olive oil is the primary source of fat. Fish and seafood are eaten at least a couple of times a week. Poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt is consumed in moderation. Red meat and sweets are consumed in small amounts, for special occasions. Fresh fruit is typically used for dessert. Wine is consumed in low to moderate amounts, normally with meals. Stay physically active and maintain a healthy body weight and you’re set.
Use these tips to eat more Mediterranean:
Eating a Mediterranean diet is also environmentally friendly.
Shifting to eating Mediterranean vs a meat heavy traditional Western diet could cut:
This information provided by Environmental Health, 2013.
With so many health and environmental benefits, why not start making some changes toward a Mediterranean eating style today.
A good website to go to for more information is oldwayspt.org
Chicken, Fennel and Orange SaladServes: 4 (side dish servings)
Ingredients:2 - 4 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts1 - tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil½ - cup bite-sized broccoli florets2 - small fennel bulbs, thinly sliced1 - orange, peeled and segmented6 - cherry tomatoes, halved1 - avocado, slicedSalt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Dressing:2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil1 tablespoon chopped chives
Nutrition information:Calories: 270Carbs: 22 gramsProtein: 16 gramsFat: 15 gramsSaturated fat: 2 gramsFiber: 7 gramsSodium: 117 milligrams