Mediterranean Diet or DASH Eating

While there are hundreds of different 'diets' that someone can choose to follow, there is one that is superior and has proven through research that it improves health when followed.  The Mediterranean Diet or DASH eating pattern are two of same and help individuals lower their blood pressure, achieve the desired blood lipid profile, and even lose weight! 

 

May is Mediterranean Diet Month, but again, it's not so much a 'diet' as a balanced meal plan! Focusing on nutrient dense foods and moderation, follow this chart and be on your way to healthier eating today:
 

 

Food Group

Serving Size

Servings per Day / Week

Examples

Fruits

One medium fruit, 1/2 cup canned, 1/4 cup dried

2 to 3 per day

Apples, grapes, etc

Vegetables

1 cup raw, 1/2 cup cooked

4 to 5 per day

Carrots, broccoli, etc

Whole Grains

1 slice of bread, 3/4 cup breakfast cereal, 1/2 cup pasta or rice

6 to 8 per day

Whole wheat bread, brown rice, oatmeal, etc

Nuts, seeds, and beans

1/4 cup nuts and seeds, 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 1/2 cup beans or lentils

4 to 5 per week

Almonds, peanut butter, pepitas, lentils, black beans, pinto beans, etc

Lean meat, poultry, and fish

3 ounces or about the size of your palm

1 to 2 per day

Beef sirloin, pork tenderloin, chicken breast, tuna, salmon, etc

Dairy

8 ounces milk, 6 ounces yogurt, 1 ounce cheese

2 to 3 per day

Milk, yogurt, and cheese

Fats and Sweets

1 small or 1/2 cup

Maximum 2 per week

Fried potatoes, cookies, ice cream, etc

 

 

Giving the Mediterranean Diet or DASH eating pattern a try may be what you have been looking for.  Remember to follow the recommended serving size and focus on choosing nutritious foods for your meals and snacks. 

 

Here is a delicious recipe to get you started:

 

Tuscan Chicken and Beans

Source:  Taste of Home
 

Ingredients

1 pound Open Acres boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4-inch pieces

2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon Our Family dried rosemary

1/4 teaspoon Our Family salt

1/4 teaspoon Our Family ground black pepper

1 cup Our Family reduced-sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil), chopped

1 can (15-1/2 ounces) Our Family cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

 

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine the chicken, rosemary, salt and pepper.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook chicken over medium heat until browned or internal temperature of 165 F.
  3. Stir in broth and tomatoes.
  4. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 3-5 minutes or until chicken juices run clear.
  5. Add beans; heat through. 
  6. Serve.

Eating the Mediterranean way or following the DASH eating plan allows flexibility in food choices and ensures you get the variety of nutrients your body needs.  This week shop D&W Fresh Market for a great selection of nutritious foods including Our Family Almonds in a 10 to 12 ounce bag for $5.99.  Almonds made a great snack that is packed with protein, healthy fats, and little bit of fiber.  Almonds can also be incorporated into breakfasts such as with oatmeal or yogurt and in desserts too!

 


This medical and/or nutritional information is not intended to be a substitute for individual advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


Stephanie Edson - Regional Wellness Specialist
Stephanie is an award-winning registered dietitian who believes in empowering every individual to make nutritious food choices to support a healthy lifestyle. She believes in the power of food as medicine and loves sharing about nutrition with others.