Ellie Wilson MS, RD, CDN Senior Nutritionist, Price Chopper Supermarkets What our dietitians hear from our shoppers so often is their challenges with weight loss and healthful eating for diabetes and heart disease. What we know as professional nutritionists is that there is a delicious way to enjoy foods that protect health and promote weight loss. Consider a great buffet – green salad full of vegetables of all colors, savory fish entrees, bean dishes, a sparkling fruit plate, creamy Greek yogurt; herbed, low fat cheeses and 1% or fat free milk; rich, whole grain breads, deep green olive oil. Add in skinless chicken and turkey and other lean meats; nuts, seeds and legumes. You have arrived at the delicious, nutritious Mediterranean Diet! Following this pattern of eating may lower risk of heart disease, stroke and Alzheimer’s. It also helps improve risk factors for cancer and diabetes, and new research shows it can help manage diabetes as well. So, how can you create this lifestyle, especially if you are a traditional “American” eater? Like most changes, food changes are most successful if they are one at a time. Super Strategies Switch butter and margarine to olive and canola oils – save on the saturated fats that can challenge our waistline and our hearts. Eat veggies at least twice per day – whether a veggie omelet, a salad, or a side, eat vegetables often. Fresh, canned, frozen, steamed, roasted or sautéed in olive or canola oil – more is better! A diet high in vegetables is a smart choice for weight loss. Whole grains are great – white and brown rice, corn, quinoa, barley, multigrain or whole wheat pastas and breads are all great choices and easy to use. Higher fiber helps with satisfaction. Fish and seafood, skinless turkey and chicken, small amounts of lean red meats, nuts, seeds and legumes are all protein sources you can count on, and promote weight loss. Check out the Eating Well recipes on the website and in the stores – they will offer you delicious inspiration to eat well. Fruit, with its great flavors and jewel colors, has to so much to offer our taste buds and weight loss efforts. Think small – one handful of blueberries, one small apple, and one small banana – eat them each day to bring in fiber and other nutrients, for very few (delicious) calories, a great bang for your buck! Last, but not least – the best part – you can find all of these great foods and more at Price Chopper. Welcome to the Mediterranean Lifestyle!