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What Greek Kids are Eating for Lunch and Why American School Lunches Should be More Greek

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When you look at this photo which is from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it makes you feel good. Truthfully, it looks healthy, fresh, good for you. It is titled: Fresh vegetable cups prepared for the National School Lunch Program at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Virginia.

There is only one problem. Read more »

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Red Pepper Dip with Feta Cheese and Greek Yogurt

redpepper dip

A new study from English researchers published in the British Medical Journal Open, showed that people who consumed 5 or more servings of fruit and vegetables experienced a higher level of mental well-being. According to researchers, high mental well-being is more than the absence of symptoms or illness; it is a state in which people feel good and function well. Optimism, happiness, self-esteem, resilience and good relationships with others are all part of this state. Read more »

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Men, Listen up! This is Your Super Food.

tomatoes

Obviously I believe that tomatoes are one of the best foods we have. In the Greek kitchen tomatoes transform even the most boring vegetable into a delicious meal. But even plain, good, in-season tomatoes are wonderful with a sprinkle of salt or with some cheese or with a drizzle of olive oil.

We know that they are a good source of vitamin C, have very few calories and also have an antioxidant called lycopene that appears to protect from prostate cancer.

And now a new British study showed that men who consume 10 servings of tomatoes a week had an 18% less chance of developing prostate cancer. Read more »

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5 Ways You are Using Olive Oil Wrong

EVOO spoon
1.You use it for special occasions
You may have bought a nice bottle of extra virgin cold pressed olive oil once and save it for special occasions and that bottle is sitting there for months even for a year waiting to be used. Drizzling it on some heirloom tomatoes you found at the farmers market or just to dip in some bread when you had company over. But the reality is that you are doing a disservice to the olive oil and yourself. Olive oil is best used when fresh for two reasons: it tastes good and it retains its nutrients when it is fresh. Let’s not forge that olives are fruit and as with every fruit you prefer their juice fresh. After 3-6 months from the harvest date olive oil is no longer fresh. So next time you find a nice olive oil, make sure you use it. Read more »

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Eating Out in Greece. 10 Ways to Eat Like a Local.

Eating out in Greece

Every country has it own rules and considerations when it comes to food and Greece is no different. Generally, when you visit another country it is good to eat as the locals do, to know what to expect and to gain as close as you can an authentic eating experience.

1. Don’t expect your waiter to be your friend. By this I do not mean that Greek waiters are not friendly, many of them are, but you will not get the typical American greeting “Hi my name is so and so and I’ll be your server for tonight, can I get you some margaritas to start out?” No you will not have any of that. If they are really busy, they’ll probably bring out the basics (bread, forks, knives, menu etc.), and expect you to quickly give them your order when they come back to your table. Read more »

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Eat This Common Food Everyday for a Healthy Heart

Tomatoes and capers

What do Greeks eat everyday in one form or another? Tomatoes. In the summer tomato and in the winter other tomato products such as tomato paste or tomato sauce. We add tomatoes to food almost as often as we add olive oil.

Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin C, they have very few calories and most importantly they are source of the antioxidant lycopene. This antioxidant has been shown to protect from some types of cancer but also protect the heart. According to researchers from the University of Cambridge lycopene stabilized the function of the endothelium. The endothelium is a group of cells that line the inside of our blood vessels. When these cells are not functioning properly, it may lead to atherosclerosis-hardening of the arteries. The researchers found that lycopene improved the widening of the blood vessels by 53 percent, wide blood vessels is a good thing whereas narrowing of blood vessels can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Read more »

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Mediterranean Diet May Keep Children Thinner

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Well, this is not really surprising, considering that the Mediterranean diet is associated with a normal weight in adults. In this study, presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Bulgaria, Swedish researchers from the University of Gothenburg looked at weight and diet of 9000 children in 8 European countries including Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Spain and Sweden and found that children who followed a Mediterranean style diet were 15 percent less likely to be overweight or obese. Read more »

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Is the Greek Financial Crisis Causing Heart Attacks in Women?

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The World Congress on Acute Heart Failure is currently taking place here in Athens, Greece and two studies were presented by cardiologists Dimitra Papadimitriou and Alexios Samentzas showing that there has been an increase in hospital admissions during the crisis for heart attacks and atrial fibrillation (the most common type of heart arrhythmia-irregular heart rate ). The researchers compared a period before the crisis and the period when the financial crisis began until to 2012. The results showed that there has been an increase in heart attacks, but it was statistically significant only for women. The heart attack increase was also noticed for people under the age of 45, but again only statistically significant for women. The second study measuring arrhythmias, also showed that there was an increase in hospital admissions, again mainly for women. Read more »

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No to the Adulterated Version of The Mediterranean Diet

Greek Santorini Salad

When I first started this site, one of the reasons I began writing here was to clarify the misconceptions and misunderstandings involving the Mediterranean diet. But first let me make a few things clear:

I did not “discover” the Mediterranean diet during a summer vacation to Italy and Greece.

I did not “discover” the Mediterranean diet in the pages of a magazine or on TV

I did not “discover” the Mediterranean diet in a classroom during my studies in Nutrition.

I was raised on the Mediterranean Diet. Read more »

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5 Ways to Eat More Vegetables The Greek Way

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A recent study published in the British Medical Journal showed that individuals who consumed 7 or more servings of vegetables a day had a reduced risk of dying from cancer and heart disease.

While we know that the traditional Greek diet was mostly vegetarian due to the religious fasts, but also to economic reasons, today Greeks have moved away from their traditional diet eating a more westernized diet, but surprisingly still consume plenty of vegetables. In fact, according to a 2010 OECD report, Greece has the highest consumption of vegetables per capita in Europe based on supply and production, however it is mostly older Greeks that still eat more vegetables. Here is how we do it: Read more »

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