I hate the word diet because it always sounds like you’re starving yourself to lose weight.
These days, hopefully, more people are looking to eat ‘healthy’. Last week I posted the New Canada Health Guidelines, which I think are similar to the American ones. They focused more on healthy eating, fruits, veges, nuts, and drinking water.
Today I’d like to mention the top three diets recommended by nutritionists, doctors, and health personal. They are – one, the Mediterranean Diet, Two, the DASH Diet and number Three, the Flexitarian Diet.
The Mediterranean Diet has been around for years. and incorporates the Mediterranean lifestyle.
This way of eating is low on red meat, sugar and saturated fats and high in produce, nuts and other healthful foods. The Mediterranean Diet may offer a host of health benefits such as weight loss, heart and brain health, cancer prevention, and diabetes prevention and control. There isn’t actually a Mediterranean diet. The Harvard School of Public Health, Oldways, a non-profit food think tank in Boston, developed a consumer-friendly Mediterranean diet pyramid that gives guidelines on how to fill your plate – and maybe wineglass – the Mediterranean way.
The pyramid emphasizes eating fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts, legumes, olive oil, and flavorful herbs and spices; fish and seafood at least a couple of times a week; and poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt in moderation, while saving sweets and red meat for special occasions. Top it off with a splash of red wine (if you want), remember to stay physically active and you’re set.
The DASH Diet has also been around for quite awhile. It stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, is promoted by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to do exactly that. It emphasizes fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy, which are high in blood pressure-deflating nutrients like potassium, calcium, protein and fiber. It discourages foods high in saturated fat, such as fatty meats, full-fat dairy foods and tropical oils, as well as sugar-sweetened beverages and sweets and caps sodium at 2,300 milligrams a day. Start by making whatever small changes seem most manageable to you.
Add one vegetable or fruit serving to every meal, introduce two or more meat-free meals each week, use herbs and spices to make food tastier without the salt and snack on almonds or pecans instead of a bag of chips.
The Flexitarian is a marriage of two words: flexible and vegetarian. The term was coined more than a decade ago, by registered dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner. You don’t have to eliminate meat completely to reap the health benefits associated with vegetarianism – you can be a vegetarian most of the time, but still have a burger or steak when the urge hits. By eating more plants and less meat, it’s suggested that adherents to the diet will not only lose weight but can improve their overall health, lowering their rate of heart disease, diabetes and cancer, and live longer as a result. It’s a bout adding five food groups to your diet – not taking any away. These are: the “new meat” (non-meat proteins like beans, peas or eggs); fruits and veggies; whole grains; dairy; and sugar and spice.
And if you’re looking for healthy snack try roasted chickpeas.
Crispy Roasted Chickpeas
2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas 2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt 2 to 4 teaspoons spices or finely-chopped fresh herbs.
Put rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F.
Open chickpeas and put in a strainer and rinse under running water.
Pat the chickpeas very dry with a clean dishtowel or paper towels.
Toss the chickpeas with olive oil and salt and s pread the chickpeas in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with more oil and sprinkle with the salt.
Stir to make sure the chickpeas are evenly coated
Roast the chickpeas for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring the chickpeas or shaking the pan every 10 minutes. The chickpeas should be golden, dry and crispy on the outside. Toss them with the spices and coat evenly . Serve while warm and crispy.