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The Mediterranean Diet Made Easy

Visiting Nurses of the Lower Valley is dedicated to improving the health of the community. One focus of this effort is to provide helpful nutritional information by joining the CDC and Healthy People initiatives to reduce obesity. Throughout the year we will bring you articles of interest related to healthy eating patterns.

There are many “diet plans” on the market and it is hard to choose. By focusing on adding healthy foods to your daily eating pattern you can improve health. This month we are looking at the healthy Mediterranean-style eating pattern. According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans this includes more fruits and seafood than the U. S. healthy eating pattern. In the Mediterranean–style pattern, dark green, red and orange vegetables and legumes should be eaten each day, along with lots of fruit. Lean meat, poultry, seafood, eggs and nuts provide protein. According to the Mayo Clinic, “the traditional Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease”. ”The diet has been associated with a lower level of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol — the “bad” cholesterol that’s more likely to build up deposits in your arteries.” Give it a try who knows you might like it!

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes:

  • Eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts (2 ½ cups each fruits and vegetables)
  • Replacing butter with healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil
  • Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
  • Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month
  • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
  • Enjoying meals with family and friends
  • Drinking red wine in moderation (optional)
  • Getting plenty of exercise

Learn more: Mayo clinic

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