The Mediterranean Diet originates in Greece, and is optimal for heart health. It focuses on fresh ingredients and healthy fats. (Think fresh veggies doused in olive oil, sprinkled with fresh oregano, and roasted, one of our personal favorite ways to enjoy this cuisine!) The Mediterranean Diet is normally associated with warm weather months, due to the freshness of the fruits and vegetables typically prepare and enjoyed near the Mediterranean Sea, but with the cold weather here to stay for a bit, we wanted to share a few tips for keeping the Mediterranean Diet relevant, while still warming our tummies and keeping us full, healthy, and energized.

01 Eat Lots of Vegetables

Vegetables should be included in as many meals as possible and are the focal point of a healthy meal. If you want to spice up your veggies, add to soups and entree options like this Lemon Chicken Soup and these Stuffed Peppers.

02 Change the Way You Think about Meat

If you eat meat, eat smaller portions and opt for lean meats. Try to substitute poultry or fish for red meats, and limit red meat consumption to two times a week.

03 Enjoy Some Dairy Products

Eat greek or plain yogurt and try smaller amounts of a variety of cheeses.

04 Eat Seafood Twice a Week

Fish such as tuna, herring, salmon, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and shellfish including mussels, oysters, and clams have similar benefits for brain and heart health. Avoid fried fish, unless it is sauteed in a small amount of canola oil.

05 Cook a Vegetarian Meal One Night a Week

Build meals around beans, whole grains, and vegetables then heighten the flavor with herbs and spices. Down the road aim for two nights a week.

06 Use Good Fats

Include sources of healthy fats in daily meals, especially extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds, olives, and avocados. Keep nuts on hand for a quick snack and avoid peanut butter that has had hydrogenated fat added.

07 Switch to Whole Grains

Whole grains are naturally rich in many important nutrients. Choose whole grain cereal, rice, pasta, and bread over their flour counterparts.

08 For Dessert, Eat Fresh Fruit

Substitute sugary sweets for natural sugars from fruit. Fruits like oranges, peaches, grapes, and apples can be delicious treats. Save the cookies, cakes, and ice cream for special occasions or celebrations.

09 Share your Meals with Friends and Loved Ones

Enjoy your time around the table, even during the winter months when you’re cozy indoors.

10 Sip Wine

Instead of other alcoholic beverages that can be high in calories and sugar, opt for a glass of your favorite red wine. Studies show that red wine can be beneficial to heart health. But be sure to consult your doctor to be ensure it makes sense for your individual health. Bonus Tip: If you don’t drink alcohol, purple grape juice is a delicious alternative to give you that same feeling of indulgence.

 

_

Want more tips and recipes?

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.