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Recipes & Nutrition,

The Mediterranean Diet, A Lifestyle That Is Tried And True

Mediterranean diet

South Denver Cardiology has an entire team of health and prevention professionals, including highly trained Registered Dietitians. Jennifer Leone, RDN, is one of the nutrition team members and writes this article on the Mediterranean diet.

Once again, the Mediterranean Diet is named the #1 diet by US News and & World Report. The Mediterranean Diet is based on the way the people of the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea eat. So, naturally, there are some cultural differences. However, all have a common theme. They are all primarily plant-based in their consumption of food. The Old Ways pyramid of the Mediterranean Diet shows that most foods come from plants and plant-based protein sources. These foods are fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices. Animal protein sources are primarily from fish or shellfish, which is consumed often, at least two times a week. In addition, poultry, eggs, and yogurt are consumed in moderate portions daily to weekly. Lastly, meats and sweets are consumed infrequently.

The benefits of the Mediterranean eating style were first documented in the Seven Countries Study, which looked at the correlation between diet and heart disease for men in Greece, Italy, Japan, Finland, former Yugoslavia, the Netherlands, and the United States. The groundbreaking study was developed by Ancel Keys, a Minnesota psychologist, from 1958 to 1983. Since then, countless studies have been conducted on the benefits the Mediterranean diet provide to your cardiovascular health. For example, a study by the Journal of the American Medical Association of 26,000 women found that the participants who followed this lifestyle had 25% less risk of developing cardiovascular disease over 12 years.

Implementing the Mediterranean Diet Into Your Life

vegan meal that is part of the Mediterranean dietA Mediterranean diet, including a whole food plant-based lifestyle, can easily be implemented into your life. Studies show that a vegan diet is a heart-healthy lifestyle. Start by having two vegan meals a week. Then, call us to meet with one of our Registered Dietitians if you’re considering implementing this lifestyle fully.

Here is an example of a vegan one-day meal plan.

Breakfast: Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats

AM snack: 1 clementine and four tablespoons of almonds

Lunch: Chickpea & Quinoa Grain Bowl

PM snack: 1 Fruit Energy Balls and one 6-ounce container of soy yogurt

Dinner: Green Salad with Pita Bread & Hummus

Here is an example of a regular one-day meal plan.

Breakfast:  Cherry Walnut Overnight Oats

AM snack: ¾ cup of raspberries and ½ cup of plain Greek non-fat yogurt

Lunch: Avocado Egg Salad

PM snack: 2 Tbsp. hummus and two medium carrots

Dinner: Dijon Salmon with Green Bean Pilaf

Check out these links from reputable sources to learn more about the Mediterranean Diet.

https://oldwayspt.org/traditional-diets/mediterranean-diet

https://health.usnews.com/best-diet/mediterranean-diet

These two websites have Mediterranean diet recipes and meal plans.

https://oldwayspt.org/recipes

https://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/18314/cuisines-regions/mediterranean/

If you would like to learn more about the Mediterranean diet, the South Denver Cardiology Health and Nutrition team can help. To schedule a nutrition consultation with one of our Registered Dietitians, visit our website or please call 303-744-1065.

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