Ellie Wilson, MS, RDN Senior Nutritionist
May is Mediterranean Diet month, and a wonderful time to embrace beautiful, delicious food and all of the health benefits it can bring you. In January, a panel of health and nutrition experts ranked the Mediterranean diet as the best diet overall for 2019. What does that really mean? The basic ranking is based on how easy it is to follow, how well it meets nutrition needs for the total general population (including you!), its ability to promote short and long-term weight loss, and its usefulness for preventing and managing heart disease and diabetes. This luscious lifestyle can also help protect you from aging issues like Alzheimer’s. Is it magic? Not really, but it is very powerful stuff to realize that following some basic food practices can have such a big, positive impact on health, length and quality of your life.
- Eat seafood, preferably high in omega 3’s, twice per week.
- Eat lots of produce – fresh, frozen, canned, dried – even a small glass of 100% juice each day counts as a fruit serving! Beans and legumes are also fundamental in this veggie-rich eating style.
- Nuts, avocados and olive oil are key players – particularly walnuts. A few each day have been shown to be powerfully protective, and they are also a great snack.
- Enjoy a small glass of red wine – if you are of age, of course! Deep purple concord grape juice can be the stunt double for wine, if needed.
- Whole grains – 3 to 6 (1 ounce) servings per day. Your typical slice of bread is about 1 ounce – check ingredients to make sure it is a source of whole grain.
- Delicious dairy – low fat milk, traditional and Greek yogurt with little or no added sugars are the best choices, but cheese is certainly included and enjoyed – we love the calcium and protein it brings to this lifestyle.
- Small quantities of lean meats and eggs are encouraged – emphasis in this lifestyle is on plants, but enjoying some lean meats and poultry is a perfect complement to many meals and snacks.
- Occasional sweets, like smooth dark chocolate, are the perfect indulgence for Mediterranean menus.
Feel like this might be a lot to change? Take it one step (and delicious plate), at a time. We have everything in our stores you need to make this easy, fresh and affordable lifestyle come to life. Enjoy!