Tea Types and their Benefits

A Natural Approach with Cheryl - www.cobornsblog.com

That first sip of hot, freshly brewed Earl Grey tea is what awakens my taste buds and opens my eyes every morning. I love tea, and so do over 158 million Americans. Tea is the most consumed beverage (besides water) in the world. However, it is also a very misunderstood drink. Continue reading “Tea Types and their Benefits”

Mediterranean Diet Month

www.cobornsblog.com - Eat Healthy, Shop Smart with Ashley
Coborn’s Dietitian

Happy Mediterranean Diet Month!

“If you’re looking for a heart-healthy eating plan, the Mediterranean diet might be right for you! The Mediterranean diet incorporates the basics of healthy eating — plus a splash of flavorful olive oil and perhaps a glass of red wine — among other components characterizing the traditional cooking style of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea,” says the Mayo Clinic. May celebrates Mediterranean Diet Month.  I am sure you have heard a lot of talk about this diet and are wondering more… so that is what I am here to provide you with today! J But before I get started I want to invite you to be at guest at my class on May 20, 2013 at the Coborn’s in Sauk Rapids and May 22, 2013 and at the Coborn’s on Pinecone in Sartell as I discuss the Mediterranean diet and its many benefits, as well as share a recipe and a scrumptious sample!

It is very obvious that America has a very high rate of obesity and chronic disease; in many studies, diet has been linked to one of the many reasons causing these epidemics. The typical Western diet is high in saturated fats and sodium as well as being low in fiber and heart healthy fats.  This type of diet increases our risk for such chronic conditions. In order to lower your risk for becoming another statistic, take a deeper look into your diet and try to make some healthier substitutions, such as the ones found in the Mediterranean Diet.

“Research has shown that the traditional Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease. In fact, a recent analysis of more than 1.5 million healthy adults demonstrated that following a Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of overall and cardiovascular mortality, a reduced incidence of cancer and cancer mortality, and a reduced incidence of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. For this reason, most if not all major scientific organizations encourage healthy adults to adapt a style of eating like that of the Mediterranean diet for prevention of major chronic diseases. The Mediterranean diet has been associated with a lower level of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol — the “bad” cholesterol that’s more likely to build up deposits in your arteries” Mayo Clinic.

Check out the Mediterranean Food Pyramid…

www.cobornsblog.com - Mediterranean Food Pyramid. Courtesy of oldwayspt.org

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes:

  • Getting plenty of exercise
  • Eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts
  • Replacing butter with healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil
  • Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
  • Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month
  • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
  • Drinking red wine in moderation (optional)

The diet also recognizes the importance of enjoying meals with family and friends, this is not something typically emphasized in the American diet. We are a society that sees food as another task that needs to be completed in the day so that we can continue to work harder for longer! We eat in our cars or as we check our e-mails.  When we enjoy our meals with other people, we eat slower and tend to not eat as much.  Here is a fun fact, did you know that it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to communicate with your brain that it is full?

www.cobornsblog.com - Quinoa and The Mediterranean DietWhole Grains

Most of the grains consumed in the Mediterranean Diet are whole grains, meaning they are full of fiber, and B vitamins, with some iron. Bread is eaten with every meal, trust me on this one! I studied abroad while in college for two months in Greece and two months in Italy, this is ABSOLUTELY true. It is not a meal without the bread! It is served either plain or dipped in olive oil, notice that this is used in place of butter and margarine.

The Right Kind of Fat

In the US we tend to focus on “low fat” and “fat free,” but the focus of the Mediterranean diet isn’t on limiting total fat consumption, but rather making better choices about the type of fat being consumed.  Due to the high intake of seafood and low intake of red meats as well as the use of olive oil instead of butter and margarine and the addition of nuts, residents of the Mediterranean have “substituted” “bad” fats for “better fats.”  This switch decreases saturated and trans fats in the diet, doing so has been shown to reduce the risk factors contributing to heart disease.

www.cobornsblog.com - Olive Oil and the Mediterranean DietOlive Oil

The Mediterranean diet features olive oil as the primary source of fat. Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat “a type of fat that can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels when used in place of saturated or trans fats” Mayo Clinic.

www.cobornsblog.com - Fish, Omega-3 and The Mediterranean DietFish

Fish is eaten on a regular basis in the Mediterranean diet, fatty fish are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids; “Omega-3 fatty acids lower triglycerides, decrease blood clotting, are associated with decreased sudden heart attack, improve the health of your blood vessels, and help moderate blood pressure,” Mayo Clinic. Here is a list of fatty fish that you should include in your diet:  mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, tuna and salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

www.cobornsblog.com - Almonds and the roll they play in The Mediterranean DietNuts

Nuts are another part of a healthy Mediterranean diet. Nuts are high in fat, but usually it is the heart healthy fats; almonds and walnuts are best. Almonds are rich in monounsaturated fats and walnuts are a good source of Omega 3’s. Avoid cashews; they are higher in saturated fats, the fats that can raise our total cholesterol levels. Also, make sure to choose the unsalted variety to limit excess sodium. Remember, nuts are high in calories, so you should consume only about a handful per day.



www.cobornsblog.com - YES! You can drink up to two glasses of Red Wine with each meal on The Mediterranean Diet“Red, Red, Wine”…..

You cannot forget the wine, red wine that is…. This is served with every meal as well…. even lunch. But it is done so in a very moderate way; one or two glasses. I am not talking about happy hour after a long week! 😉 Red wine is a better source of anti-oxidants. Benefits of consuming wine are possible with moderate amounts, that is one glass (5 ounces) per day for women and two glasses (10 ounces) per day for men. Be careful, because it is not recommended to begin drinking if you currently do not consume alcohol.

That is a quick and simplified overview of the Mediterranean Diet, I hope you can incorporate some of these healthy ways of eating into your lifestyle. Don’t forget to come to my class to learn more and try some Mediterranean food… did I mentioned that I took a cooking class while I was in Greece? If you have any questions or would like help with meal planning and/or learning more about how you can personalize these tips and incorporate them in your eating routine, you know where to find me…. In the grocery aisles at Coborn’s!

Peace and Wellness,
Coborn’s Registered Dietitian


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