Want to Improve your Diet? Add Olive Oil

This is Day 1 of the Mediterranean Diet Challenge: Embrace Fat

Welcome to the Mediterranean Diet Challenge! To kick off our week long Mediterranean Diet challenge, we will focus on fat. Olive Oil is the basis of the Mediterranean diet, it is one of the most important flavor components of the diet, it’s the ingredients that brings everything together. It is also responsible for many of the health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet.

Fat was a bad word in the past decades. If you wanted to lose weight or follow a heart healthy diet you had to go on a low-fat diet. Fast forward a few years later, research is showing us that the right kind of fat is actually good for us. Let’s see why.

Health Benefits of Good Fats:

  • Improved heart health from the inclusion of heart-healthy fats such as extra virgin olive, nuts, and avocados.
  • Less body fat: Studies have shown that saturated fat can lead to more belly fat compared to monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (the ones found in olive oil, nuts, and fatty fish)
  • Increased nutrient absorption for fat-soluble vitamins. The presence of fat increase the absorption of vitamins and antioxidants.
  • Satiety and satisfaction in meals.

Apart from those general benefits, extra virgin olive in particular has additional benefits:

  • Is a source of protective substances that have antioxidant, ant-inflammatory and antimicrobial activity
  • Can help control blood sugar levels
  • Can improve blood pressure

Shopping Tips:

  • Choose only extra virgin olive oil, look for an expiration date that is ideally 2 years ahead.
  • Store olive oil in a dark area, use within a year
  • Choose nuts for snacks instead of chips or crackers
  • Choose fatty fish such as sardines, anchovies, wild salmon, mackerel for omega-3 fatty acids.

Cooking Tips:

  • Prioritize the use of extra virgin olive oil, avocados, and nuts. Use it for all your cooking needs
  • Add extra virgin olive oil to salads and soups.
  • Use extra virgin olive oil on bread instead of butter

CHALLENGE Swap out your usual cooking fat with extra virgin olive oil. Experiment with using it in different dishes, from salad dressings to sautéing vegetables.

MENU PLAN

Breakfast: -Avocado and Tomato Toast with a drizzle of olive oil-
Toast a whole grain piece of bread, mash ¼ avocado on toast, top with sliced tomatoes, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

**Depending on your calorie needs you can double this.

Lunch: -Mediterranean Black-eyed Pea slad with smoked salmon-
Recipe >> ​Mediterranean Black-Eyed Pea Salad with Smoked Salmon​

Dinner: -Roasted Peas with sundried tomatoes and peppers-
Recipe >> ​Roasted Peas with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Peppers​

Adjust portion sizes based on individual needs and preferences. The emphasis on healthy fats is a key component of the Mediterranean lifestyle, contributing to both the deliciousness and health benefits of the meals.

ADDITIONAL READING

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Want More Mediterranean Diet Guidance? Get my top-rated book!

Get it here >> The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Beginners

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