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A Heart Healthy Diet

Tina Garon

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Feb 10th, 2015

healthy eating blog

Starting a healthy eating plan can be a huge commitment. The average dieter typically changes their eating habits, exercise routines, and time spent cooking and planning meals. After all of this effort, the last thing you want to risk from a new diet is your health. US News and World Reports recently weighed in on the best diets for healthy eating. Of the 35 diets examined for safety, the DASH diet, TLC diet, and Mediterranean diet were at the top of the list. In the spirit of National Heart Month, all of these diets are winners due to their focus on healthy fats, low sodium, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Let’s dive deeper into the Mediterranean to see why it topped the list of the healthiest diets.

The Mediterranean diet has been recognized for its heart health benefits, weight loss promotion, and now for its safety.  The foundation of this diet is built on Greek, Italian, and Spanish lifestyles. So not only does the Mediterranean diet include healthy food choices, but also focuses on participating in physical activity, and enjoying meals with family and friends.

The Mediterranean diet has been proven to improve blood pressure and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. These include type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and most notably heart disease. As a mostly plant based diet, it is high in antioxidants, heart healthy fats, and fiber that promote a healthy heart.

Here are some tips to help you add some Mediterranean spice to your diet:

  •  Make half of your meal green. Choose leafy greens and brightly colored vegetables at each meal.
  • Choose lean meats like grilled chicken breast a few times a week and reserve red meat for special occasions.
  • Eat fish three times a week and at least one of those servings should be a fatty fish like salmon.
  • Season your food with garlic, onions, basil, and oregano. Skip the sauces and gravy.
  • Make a fruit salad out of apples, cherries, dates, melon, and strawberries for a dessert or afternoon snack.
  • Eat nuts between meals as a filling and nutritious snack. Choose dry roasted walnuts and almonds.
  • Eat legumes three times a week. Try hummus made with olive oil or a spicy black bean burger.
  • Make olive oil the main source of fat used to prepare food and add flavor. Try dipping your bread in olive oil instead of using butter or margarine.
  • Focus on whole grains. Try using more oats and brown rice. Experiment with barley, teff, bulgur, and quinoa.

Try pairing your favorite roasted vegetables with a quick and easy sautéed salmon recipe for the perfect Mediterranean style dinner!

soy salmon recipe

Come give this recipe a try at the following Jewel-Osco locations:

Wednesday, February 18th

11am-1pm     370 N. Des Plaines St., Chicago

11am-1 pm    750 Army Trail Rd., Carol Stream

Thursday, February 19th

11am-1pm      5545 S. Brainard Ave., Countryside

3pm-5pm        1340 Patriot Blvd., Glenview

Friday, February 20th

3pm-5pm   2480 S. Route 59, Plainfield

3pm-5pm   370 N. Des Plaines St., Chicago

Monday, February 23rd

3pm-5pm     5545 S. Brainard Ave., Countryside

3pm-5pm    14200 S. Bell Rd., Homer Glen

 

Molly Bray, RD,LDN

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