Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Mediterranean diet’

traditional chickpea hummus

Hummus is a chickpea-based dip and spread that is a staple food and popular appetizer in many Middle Eastern nations such as Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Israel. Today, according to the USDA, hummus is growing in popularity in the United States, too! This trend is driven by consumer demand for healthier snacks and gluten-free products.

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are naturally gluten-free; high in fiber, folate and protein; and they contain nutrients such as iron, calcium and magnesium.  Consequently, hummus provides more nutrients, more healthy fat and less unhealthy fat than many traditional American dips and spreads. The protein, healthy fat and fiber it contains can help you feel full, which can help with weight control. These nutrients can also help prevent heart disease and stabilize blood sugar. However, portion control is important with hummus, as the calories from the healthy fat it contains may add up quickly. A two-tablespoon portion of hummus contains about 70 calories. Hummus sold at the grocery store may contain large quantities of added sodium, too.

Luckily, hummus is not difficult to make at home. Classic hummus contains chickpeas, olive oil, tahini (a sesame paste), lemon juice and spices. For additional flavor or color, try including fresh herbs or vegetables such as roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, beets, edamame or artichoke hearts in your own personal recipe. Mash the ingredients with a fork or puree them in a food processor to obtain a dip-like or spreadable consistency. hummus plate with celery sticks and crackers

If you don’t have tahini at home, can’t find it in your local grocery store or simply don’t like its flavor, try this easy hummus recipe that utilizes plain, non-fat yogurt in its place.

Serve hummus with whole grain pita chips, wedges or crackers, or fresh cut vegetables like cucumber slices, carrot and celery sticks, bell pepper spears, grape tomatoes, or broccoli and cauliflower florets. You can also spread hummus on your favorite sandwich or wrap, or use it in place of mayonnaise in making a tasty tuna salad. Need more inspiration? Check out this list of 10 Ways to Enjoy Hummus!

Sources:

Fruits & Veggies More Matters. Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans): Nutrition, Selection & Storage. https://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/chickpeas-garbanzo-beans

Fruits & Veggies More Matters. Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Hummus. https://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/top-10-ways-to-enjoy-hummus/

Goldstein, J. Hummus. The Nutrition Source, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.  https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/hummus/

Gottfried, S. (2018). Is Hummus Actually Healthy? Here’s What the Experts Say. Time Health. http://time.com/5331376/is-hummus-actually-healthy-heres-what-the-experts-say/

Spend Smart. Eat Smart. After-School Hummus. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. https://spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu/recipe/after-school-hummus/

USDA Economic Research Service (2017). Pulses Production Expanding as Consumers Cultivate a Taste for U.S. Lentils and Chickpeas. https://www.ers.usda.gov/amber-waves/2017/januaryfebruary/pulses-production-expanding-as-consumers-cultivate-a-taste-for-us-lentils-and-chickpeas/

Written by: Jenny Lobb, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, lobb.3@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Misty Harmon, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Perry County, harmon.416@osu.edu

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

What do the grapefruit, tapeworm, cotton ball, and baby food diets all have in common? They do not work long-term and some of these diets can be extremely dangerous.  With fad diets quick and hefty weight loss may be experienced, but the pounds tend to come back and lead to greater gain.  A healthy lifestyle need not be difficult and not cause additional stress.  One healthy eating pattern that is not a “diet,” is the Mediterranean diet, and it can become a positive lifestyle.

med1

May is International Mediterranean Diet Month, a promotional campaign since 2009, and was started by the Oldways Mediterranean Foods Alliance. Unlike fad diets, the Mediterranean diet is good for you, and it can help reduce the risk for heart disease and high blood pressure.medppyramid

The image shows that being physically active is an important part of this diet.  In addition, the base of the pyramid includes: fruits, vegetables, grains (mostly whole), beans, nuts, legumes, seeds, herbs and spices and olive oil. Every meal should include foods from this section.

Fish and seafood have heart healthy benefits and are an important part of the Mediterranean diet as well.  The diet calls for fish and seafood at least twice a week.  Poultry, eggs, cheese, and yogurt can be consumed anywhere from daily to weekly.  Red meats and poultry are at the top of the pyramid indicating they should be consumed less often.  Water and wine are also a part of the diet.  Wine can be consumed in moderation; however, it is not recommended that a person who does not currently consume alcohol start.  Wine can have some health benefits that include heart health and cancer prevention.  Foods at the top of the pyramid should be eaten less, because they may have higher fat, sugar, and sodium. med3

Healthy fats from fish, seafood, and oils are a big part of the Mediterranean diet.  Opinions on the consumption of fats and oils are always changing. We hear, “Saturated fat is good. Saturated fat is bad. Coconut oil is the perfect fat.”  The science changes so often it is hard to keep up with recommendations.  While recent research shows that saturated fat, including coconut oil, may not be strongly linked to heart disease, it is still suggested that we do not overconsume it.  It does not have any health benefits, and it is low in nutrients. The Mediterranean diet’s recommendation of olive oil relates to its low saturated fat level and being high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats we need.

As with any eating pattern, it is best to start slow. If this healthy plan sounds good, start by making small changes.  Make Monday meatless and consume smaller portions of the meat you do eat.  Choose healthy fats such as olive oil, nuts or seeds.  Eat more fruits and vegetables, and add other healthy options each day or week. After all, an apple a day keeps the doctor away!

Sources:

Oldways: Inspiring Good Health through Cultural Food Traditions. International Mediterranean Diet Month. https://oldwayspt.org/programs/mediterranean-foods-alliance/international-mediterranean-diet-month

Today’s Dietitian. Heart-Healthy Oils: They’re Not All Created Equal. http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/021115p24.shtml

Image: flickr.com

Written by: Jessica Wright, Intern with Wood County Extension FCS, BGSU Graduate Student in Food and Nutrition, and Susan Zies, FCS Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Wood County.

Reviewed by: Cheryl Barber Spires, R.D. L.D, Program Specialist, SNAP- Ed , OSU Extension Northwest Region Office

Read Full Post »

Are you eating wheat products?  Lately, the news has included many stories on how wheat is bad for you causing abdominal fat, triggering diseasewheat and breads, and being linked with Alzheimer’s, headaches, depression and others.

If all that is true why is wheat recommended in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, by nutrition experts and American Heart Association?   Isn’t it a part of the Mediterranean Diet which is highly recommended by nutrition professionals.

Does wheat contribute to abdominal fat or belly fat?  High consumption of refined grains has been associated with greater belly fat in studies.  However, lower belly fat has been associated with the consumption of eating whole grains including whole wheat.  Thus, whole grains including whole wheat do not seem to be the problem.  The problem is our consumption of refined grains.  Cutting out processed foods made with refined wheat (wheat flour, white flour, enriched wheat flour, all-purpose flour) and loaded with sugar and saturated fat will help us all avoid or limit the “wheat belly.”   Limit your consumption of cookies, cakes, pastries, crackers, and white bread.

So what about the other charges on mental effects?  Research has shown that both the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet lower the risk of dementia.  Both diets include consumption of whole grains including whole wheat.  Following those diets showed better cognitive ability in adults ages 65 and up over a period of 11 years.  It is true higher glucose levels from too many carbohydrates is a risk factor for dementia, but cutting out all carbohydrates is not the answer either.  Our brain needs glucose (Carbohydrates break down to glucose in our body.) for energy as it does not store glucose.  Thus, diets low in carbohydrates can hurt our thinking and memory.

Again, it is important to eat whole grains.  Whole grains including whole wheat can provide the glucose needed for our brain.   Whole grains including whole wheat breaks down more slowly than simple carbohydrates like refined grains and sugar.

Whole grains also provide fiber.   Consuming the recommended amount of dietary fiber without whole grains would be very difficult.  Gluten-free diets usually only contain six gram of dietary fiber a day, a lot less than the 25-38 grams recommended by the Institute of Medicine.

Do cwhole-grain-stamphoose a variety of whole grains but including whole wheat, unless you need a gluten-free diet.  When shopping be sure to choose products made with “whole wheat” or “whole-grain wheat.”  You can also look for the 100% Stamp from the Whole Grains Council on foods made with all whole grains.

Note:  If your doctor recommends you follow a gluten-free diet, please continue to follow your doctor’s advice.

Author:  Pat Brinkman, Ohio State University Extension, Extension Educator Family and Consumer Sciences

Reviewed by:   Liz Smith, M.S, RDN., L.D. NE Regional Program Specialist, SNAP-ED, Ohio State University Extension

References:

Tufts University, [2014].  The truth about the war on wheat, Tufts University Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy Health & Nutrition Letter, March 2014 Special Supplement, p. 1-4.

Read Full Post »