Maintaining a low fat diet can conjure up images of dry grilled chicken breasts and broiled fish topped with a slice of lemon for flavoring. However, this does not have to be the case. When we look across the globe; those who live in the Mediterranean region appear to have lower incidence of heart disease and elevated cholesterol. Lucky for us, even if you do not live in the Mediterranean, your family can easily adopt this healthy and flavorful lifestyle. Below are some simple ideas to introduce Mediterranean foods to your lifestyle.
Key components of Mediterranean cuisine include whole grains; monounsaturated fat found in olive oil, nuts, and avocados; polyunsaturated omega -3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, and trout); fat from plant sources, like flax seed and moderate amounts of wine and red meat.
- Limit red meat to a few times per month.
- Consume fish high in omega 3?s at least twice per week.
- Purchase a Misto? can at your local house wares store. Fill with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Use to spray fish, poultry and vegetables prior to grilling or roasting.
- Make meatballs, meatloaf and burgers with ground chicken or turkey. Mix 1-2 tsp. ground flax seed into the meat.
- Dredge fish in a mixture of fresh herbs, ground almonds and whole wheat bread crumbs; spray with olive oil and bake.
- Snack on nuts and seeds. Watch portion size. Even though nuts and seeds contain heart healthy fats, they are also quite high in calories.
- Greek yogurt makes a healthy and delicious snack with 14g of protein per 6 oz serving. Plain Greek yogurt can also be a healthy alternative to sour cream.
- Give lunch a healthy twist. To replace mayonnaise, mash ? of a small avocado. Spread on whole wheat bread and top with turkey or chicken.
Remember; a healthy diet can be flavorful. Be adventurous- take a dietary trip to the Mediterranean. Your heart will thank you!