Bring the Mediterranean Home

The Mediterranean diet is an eating pattern found in countries of the Mediterranean region of Europe.  It emphasizes the consumption of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, legumes, olive oil, dairy and small amounts of meat and fish.

The Mediterranean eating pattern has been linked in research to many health benefits including reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and lower total mortality rates.  The PREDIMED study is a landmark study that showed these health benefits.  It was a study that included more than 7000 individuals in Spain at high risk of cardiovascular disease. The study compared 3 diets: The Mediterranean Diet supplemented with 30g mixed nuts including almonds, the Mediterranean diet supplemented with 50ml olive oil and a low-fat diet over a 5-year period.  The results showed that both Mediterranean diets with either olive oil or mixed nuts reduced the risk for cardiovascular disease by 30%.

Although this diet was conducted in the Mediterranean, the same foods are available right here.  Here are a few simple ways to adopt a Mediterranean style of eating:

  1. Focus on good fats.  Replace saturated fats from animals such as fatty meats with more fish, use avocado instead of mayo on toast and snack on almonds instead of chips or pretzels.
  2. Include a fruit or vegetable and every meal and snack
  3. Choose Mediterranean protein foods such as lentils in soups, hummus as a dip for vegetables or almonds on a quinoa salad.
  4. Season your foods with fresh herbs, citrus and spice
  5. Be active and social by including daily physical activity and eating with others.

Almonds are an important part of the Mediterranean Diet and an easy food to add to your daily routine. Almonds are packed full of nutrients and energy.  One ounce of almonds (23 almonds) provides 160 calories and contains the most protein out of any tree nut, 6g per ounce.  One ounce also contains 4g of fibre, and 14 g of fat (13g of which are a mixture of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats). Almonds are a good source of calcium 75mg/ounce, vitamin E (35% DV), magnesium, phosphorus, iron and folate.

Perfect for on the go and convenient to pack in your gym bag, travel suitcase, purse or office drawer for a healthy afternoon pick me up. 

Almonds are available in different forms to add to baking, breakfast cereals, and salads.  They are also great to snack on whole.

Don’t wait until you are hit with a snack attack, plan ahead and pack some almonds with you.

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