Nuts are a big part of the Mediterranean diet meal plan. Some nuts are a good source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids which help reduce LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol.
The following chart shows the nutritional data for a 1oz serving of nuts or seeds.
Here are some tips that you can use to incorporate the Mediterranean Diet into your lifestyle.
- Replace animal fats and vegetable oils with good sources of fats such as olive oil or canola oil.
- Eat fresh berries as a snack during the day. Mix them with organic plain, nonfat greek yogurt for a healthy breakfast (or snack). Pro Tip: Buy flash frozen berries from your local warehouse club (Sams etc)
- Instead of sugary cereals use buckwheat, rolled oats or other whole grain cereals.
- Use dried beans in a casserole or dish. Use them to replace red meats in some dishes.
- Try to get 2 or more fish servings in a week. Most high-end groceries now have pre-made sushi packs ready to go in their meat sections.
- Prep your foods ahead of time. Buy your bulk foods on Sunday afternoon, cut them up into individual servings and freeze them. Thaw out over night before they are needed. (saves time and money)
- Walk/Run/Move! Put some pep in your step when you are shopping for your frozen berries and bulk goods at your local big box retailer. Pro Tip: Park further away from the stores entrance to give yourself additional walking time.
- Throw some nuts into some of your dishes for additional good fats.
- 2 pound(s) broccoli rabe, stem ends trimmed, chopped
- 3 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 clove(s) garlic, chopped
- 6 anchovy fillets, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon(s) crushed red pepper, (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Bring a large pot or Dutch oven of water to a boil. Add broccoli rabe and cook until tender when pierced with a fork, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain well. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, anchovies and crushed red pepper (if using); cook, stirring, until the garlic is very light brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the broccoli rabe, toss to coat, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper.
- 1 lb. tomatoes, chopped
- 1 (14.5-oz) can diced tomatoes
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- ½ cup STAR Red Wine Vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. STAR Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 cup water
- 1 cucumber, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 ripe, Fresh California Avocado, peeled and cubed
Combine all ingredients except avocado in food processor and blend until smooth. Salt to taste. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Serve in bowls and garnish with cubed avocado.
- 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, halved and seeded
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large red onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cup instant or parboiled brown rice
- 1 3/4 cups water, or 1 14-ounce can vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup chopped fennel fronds, (see Ingredient Note)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Grate the squash through the large holes of a box grater. Heat oil in a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft and lightly colored, 10 to 12 minutes. Combine 2 tablespoons water and tomato paste in a small bowl and stir it into the pan. Add rice and stir to coat. Add the squash, in batches if necessary, and stir until it has reduced in volume enough so that you can cover the pan. Increase the heat to medium-high, pour in 1 3/4 cups water (or broth) and wine, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, covered, stirring once or twice, until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid and the squash is tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Add fennel fronds, oregano, salt, cinnamon and pepper; gently stir to combine. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.
- 3 green tea teabags
- 1 cup quick-cooking pearled barley
- 3 cups ½-inch diced butternut squash (12 ounces)
- 2 teaspoons Madras curry powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
- 1/4 cup sliced unblanched almonds, toasted
Boil 3 cupes of water in a medium saucepan. Turn off hea and tea bags. Let steep for 5 minutes. Remove and discard tea bags. Meanwhile, toast barley in a dry sauté pan or deep skillet over medium-high heat 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add squash, 1 cup of the tea, curry and salt. Simmer for 3-4 minutes until tea is absorbed. Stir frequently. Add additional tea by cupfuls, simmering until tea is absorbed before adding additional liquid. This should take 12 to 14 minutes. When barley and squash are tender and all tea has been incorporated, remove from heat. Stir in goat cheese until melted and creamy. Serve and top with almonds.
The intake of olive oil has been related to the prevention of osteoporosis in experimental and in in vitro models. Very few prospective studies have evaluated the effects of olive oil intake on circulating osteocalcin (OC) in humans.
Consumption of a Mediterranean diet enriched with virgin olive oil for 2 years is associated with increased serum osteocalcin and P1NP concentrations, suggesting protective effects on bone.
Those who follow a Mediterranean diet combined with exercise, not smoking and keeping to a healthy weight could live up to 15 years longer, researchers say.
- 1/4 cup chopped sweet red pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup egg substitute
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1 small tomato, chopped
- 1/2 cup torn fresh baby spinach
- 1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh basil
- 2 whole pita breads
- 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
In a small skillet (nonstick) coated with cooking spray, cook and stir red peppers and onion over medium heat for 3 minutes. Whisk the egg substitute, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Add egg mixture to skillet. Cook and stir until set.
Spoon tomato, spunach and basil onto pitas. Top with egg mixture and sprinkle with feta cheese.
The available large prospective studies supporting an inverse association between better adherence to the Mediterranean diet and lower mortality have mainly included older adults.