Mediterranean Diet Month: Eat like a Greek and avoid red meat

Konstantina Mpaklori a Dietitian based in Athens, Greece recommends that everybody should eat like a Greek (like a Greek of the 60’s that is).

Mpaklori recommends that we should “Avoid red meat”. And she is right. Several studies have associated red meat and particularly processed red with increased risk of total, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality. Researchers note that red meat, especially processed meat, contains ingredients that have been linked to increased risk of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. These include heme iron, saturated fat, sodium, nitrites, and certain carcinogens that are formed during cooking. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t eat any meat, but it shouldn’t be the main course. It should accompany other foods such as vegetables, greens, rice, pasta like it was with the traditional Greek diet.

Mpaklori also recommends that… we “re-discover the taste of peas, beans and lentils with precious seasonings like oregano, garlic, rosemary and bay leaf.” Non-animal sources of protein provide less saturated fat (if any), fewer calories, more fiber and are a great source of antioxidants. The seasonings are also a very important part of the Greek Mediterranean diet, not only in regards to taste but due to their antioxidant activity. Start by trying these Greek vegetable based recipes.

Konstantina Mpaklori, MSc, RD is a Nutritionist and Dietitian based in Athens, Greece. She specializes in Clinical Nutrition and is a member of the Union of Dietitians and Nutritionists of Greece. You can check out her website at (in Greek).

Photo Credit: Peas in Pod by Chiot’s Run

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