The Mediterranean Diet
Have you heard of the “Mediterranean Diet?” The heart healthy Mediterranean diet combines whole foods with Mediterranean cooking. Lately, it has been getting a lot of hype (as many other diet fads out there), but I have personally seen results from adhering to a Mediterranean diet.
The Mediterranean Diet is made up by the following characteristics:
High consumption of extra virgin olive oil.
High intake of vegetables and fruits and legumes.
Use of non refined carbohydrates (portions to be adjusted to physical activity).
Consumption of fish, specially oily (or “bluish” one) three to four times a week
Consumption of milk and derivates, cheese and yogurt
Three or four eggs per week.
Moderate consumption of meat and saturated fats.
One or two small glasses of wine a day, preferably red and at the main meals.
Nuts as snacks
Reading those characteristics, some people may be scared away by the fat content in some of the items, but the important thing to remember is that these foods are whole foods, rich in monounsaturated fats, not saturated fats. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, and seeds provides thousands of micronutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that can help protect against cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and obesity.
Feta-high in calcium, good source of protein, lower fat content and calories than most cheeses
Chicken- excellent source of protein, contains Vitamin B6 for energy and cardiovascular health, high in niacin, which protects against age related cognitive decline
Yogurt-contains active cultures which are beneficial for the gastrointestinal tract, complete protein, high in probiotics which boost the immune system, high in calcium, enhances immunity, and lowers blood pressure
According to he Mayo clinic, research has shown that “the traditional Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease. In fact, a recent analysis of more than 1.5 million healthy adults demonstrated that following a Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of overall and cardiovascular mortality, a reduced incidence of cancer and cancer mortality, and a reduced incidence of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.”
Like I mentioned, I have seen changes in the way I feel and the way I look from focusing on eating a “Mediterranean Diet” high in plant foods and monounsaturated fats. Give it a try! You will be surprised and satisfied (not to mention the research suggests it may be more effective for weight loss than a lowfat diet)
These Greek Chicken Burgers combine some of my favorite Mediterranean ingredients, they are so easy and so yum! Make these burgers today and give the Mediterranean diet a try!
(recipe from Good Housekeeping)
4 pita pockets
1 pound ground chicken
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 large egg
2/3 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, chopped
6 ounce low-fat plain yogurt
4 cup romaine or iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced
3 tomatoes, sliced
Cut off 1/3 piece of each pita and grate on fine side of grater or pulse in food processor to make 1/2 cup bread crumbs. In large bowl, mix crumbs, chicken, feta, egg, 1/4 cup mint, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper until just combined. Shape mixture into 8 small 3/4-inch-thick burgers. Heat nonstick 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add burgers and cook 10 to 12 minutes or until browned on both sides and cooked through.
Meanwhile, in small bowl, combine yogurt and remaining mint. To serve, fill each pita with lettuce, tomatoes, 2 burgers, and yogurt sauce. Enjoy!
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12 Responses to “The Mediterranean Diet”
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- Carol: Have you tried using a different cheese? Not sure my kids will dig the feta cheese. Thanks
- Danielle: I for one am glad your blogging again! Although, like you I rarely have time to research new recipes and...
- Lauren: Congratulations!
- Lauren: Congratulations!:) I check your blog from time to time and I really enjoy it.
- Staci: By the way, these have become my staple for bringing to potlucks, they’re tasty and rich and I’ve...