Eating Greek yogurt is becoming increasingly popular these days. Although it is smoother, has a stronger flavor and is less sweet than regular yogurt, is it healthier for you?
Here's food for thought:
- Both the non-fat and low fat kinds of these yogurts are healthy for you, because they are loaded with calcium and "good" bacteria.
- The same serving of Greek Yogurt is thicker, has half the sugar and twice the protein as
- A 6-ounce serving of Greek Yogurt contains 15 to 20 grams of protein or the same amount in 2 to 3 ounces of lean meat. While the same serving of regular yogurt contains only 9 grams of protein.
- If you are watching your carbs, Greek Yogurt has about half the carbs as the regular kind—5 to 8 grams per serving, compared to 13 to 17 for regular yogurt.
I was essentially raised on the Mediterranean Diet. My mom is Armenian and my Dad is Italian. During my childhood, my Armenian grandmother used to make many delicious, healthy, middle eastern dishes, and my Italian grandmother used to prepare these to-die-for, tasty Sicilian and Neapolitan meals.
Since May is National Mediterranean Diet Month, I wanted to talk a little about what this diet is, its benefits and how it works.
For thousands of years the Mediterranean diet has been been considered the healthiest diet to maintain our wellbeing and prevent many chronic and life threatening disease. Research validates that eating a diet rich in plant foods and healthy fats is beneficial. Many studies have also proven that religiously adhering to the Mediterranean diet protects us against obesity, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, development of heart disease, metabolic syndrome, some cancers, type 2 diabetes and also leads to longevity.
The health benefits are not due to this diet alone, but a way of life too. In addition to a wide variety of nutrient rich, low fat foods and casual dining, family involvement and physical activity make the Mediterranean diet even more effective according to many experts.
Dietary fats and oils yield 9 calories/g, whereas, carbs and proteins produce only 4 calories/gm. Foodies know that nuts and oil seeds are very good sources of fat. They are rich in energy, dietary fats, sources for essential fatty acids and vitamin E. Furthemore, they transport fat-soluble vitamins/hormones.
There are basically two types of dietary fats. Visible fats include butter, oils and animal fat etc. Invisible fats are in foods like rice and wheat. Most of the fats and oils we use are either saturated OR un-saturated fatty acid chains.
Unsaturated fats have one or more double bonds and are liquid at room temperatures. In general, they are derived from plants. Examples are: soybean oil, safflower oil, etc. Fish oil, on the other hand, is composed mainly unsaturated fats—with little saturated fats.
Saturated fats contain no chemical double bonds. They are solid at room temperatures and commonly derived from animals and some from plant sources. Examples: butter, lard, palm kernel oil, coconut oil, etc.
There is nothing more refreshing than an ice cold glass of orange juice with your breakfast—especially if it is served in a frozen goblet. When you think about it, the nutrients in orange juice are virtually unlimited. OJ is also low in calories and rich in fiber. Here are a few more benefits for taking an extra sip in the morning:
· OJ is rich in pectin which acts as a natural laxative and protects membranes in your colon. Pectin has also been shown to lessen blood cholesterol by binding to bile acids in the colon.
· Oranges are an ideal source of Vitamin C which helps our bodies resist infections.
· Oranges are rich in flavonoids or phytochemicals act as antioxidants.
· Oranges contain high levels of Vitamin A which is necessary for maintaining healthy mucous membranes, the skin and for vision.
· OJ is also a very good source of B-complex vitamins such as thiamin, pyridoxine, and folates. These vitamins are essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish.
· Orange fruit also contains minerals like potassium and calcium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure through countering sodium actions.
No wonder why oranges and other Citrus fruits are valued for their wholesome nutritious and antioxidant properties!
- Lisa DeFazio’s a leading nutrition expert and a Master’s degree level Registered Dietitian, so be sure to check out her website and follow her on Twitter for more tips and videos — and if U wanna know more about oranges OR anything else, U can always email us at Questions@FitPerez.com!!
Sometimes, a person needs a day off from dieting and counting calories….just to binge on everything in sight. After a few days of indigestion, guilt begins to set in. We say to ourselves: How can I possibly make up for all that I ate and drank over the weekend? The first thing that may come to your mind is a juice cleanse to lose weight you may have gained and remove all those toxins you consumed. However, are juice cleanses a safe option for you?
Why remove toxins? Daily, we eat foods and drink liquids which contain toxins like colorants and preservatives. These can cause inflammation and weaken our immune system. Toxins also make us more at risk to illnesses. Although our colon, kidneys and liver filter toxins, sometimes we overload them with more than they can handle.
How juice cleanses work:
The olive tree, Olea europaea, is very hearty, drought, disease, and fire-resistant. Many olive trees in the groves around the Mediterranean are said to be hundreds of years old, while an age of 2,000 years is claimed for a number of individual trees–which has been scientifically verified.
The nutritional benefits from green olives are many:
· Olives contain both vitamins, minerals and are high in sodium content. Do not eat too many if you have high blood pressure.
· Olives contain 4.44 mg of iron, which is 24.7 percent of the daily value.
· One serving of olives contains 4.03 mg of vitamin E, or 20.1 percent of the DV. Vitamin E helps to protect your skin from ultraviolet light.
· Olives include 0.34 mg of copper, which is 17 percent of the DV. Copper aides your body in the utilization of iron and reduces tissue damage from free radicals.
· Olives have 4.3 g of fiber or 17.2 percent of your DV. Dietary fibers helps the digestive system.
Next, You are going to love this recipe!
The olive (fruit) tree is native to the Mediterranean region and Western Asia and spread to nearby countries from there. It is estimated the cultivation of olive trees began more than 7,000 years ago. The ancient Greeks used to smear olive oil on their bodies and hair as a method of grooming and good health. There are many types of olives, depending on the region they were grown in and how they were cured.
When growing up, I can still remember my father taking my sister and me to an Italian Deli shopping on Saturdays. The aroma from all those different cheeses, salamis, and freshly baked breads was mesmerizing. One item he always bought–black salt cured olives. Our family served them as a side dish or added to salads and in pasta sauces. Cured bitter black olives are also delicious with warm French bread.
Here's his recipe:
· 1 Pint black cured olives
· 1/2 tsp. crushed garlic
· 1/2 tsp. crushed red Chile (optional)
· 1/2 tsp. dry oregano
· 3-4 tbs. olive oil
· 1 qt. empty plastic container
· Place black olives in quart container –filling with water to top
· Let olives sit for a few hours to remove excess salt
· Drain water from quart container
· Add rest of ingredients; place top on and shake.
· Let sit at room temperature for a few hours before refrigerating
Just a few of the many health and nutrient benefits of black olives are: