SUNBURY – Is it time for you to try the Mediterranean Diet? That’s a diet and lifestyle that deemphasizes meat, and encourages more fruits and vegetables. Locally, we turned to Registered Dietician Erin Long of Weis Markets. She said its more than just what you eat, its lifestyle too, enjoying meals with family and friends, and being hysically active.
She and a colleague Kathryn Long of Weis Markets gave us their eight principles of the Mediterranean Diet. Erin Long says the number two item on the list involves an attitude change, “Change the way you think about meat. So, a lot of times typically, we would decide what we are eating based on the meat portion. Well, the Mediterreaning lifestyle really focuses more on building your plate around fruits and vegetables.”
Kathryn Long said have a meatless meal once a week, “Beans, nuts, seeds, hummus, eggs, those are all really good sources of protein. Eggs are actually considered an ideal protein and have a long history in the Mediterranean Diet. They have vitamin A, D, E, and lots of minerals. They do have cholesterol, but the new dietary guidelines say that cholesterol is no longer a nutrient of concern, so you don’t need to be as concerned about cholesterol. You don’t want to go crazy with it, but you don’t have to be as concerned.”
Kathryn Long says, what you eat is only part of the Mediterranean Diet, “The basis of this lifestyle really, is being physically active, and enjoying your meals with family and friends.”
Eight principles of the Mediterranean Diet..
- Eat lots of vegetables. Fill half your plate with vegetables.
- Change the way you think about meat.
- Cook a meatless meal once a week. Try eggs as a meat substitute.
- Enjoy seafood two times per week. Even canned and pouch fish is good.
- Eat more dairy products, including yougurt, cheese and milk.
- Try more good fats—olive oil, etc.
- More whole grains, such as faro, rice and pasta.
- Eat more fresh fruit.