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The Lake News Online
Health, food and wellness from MU Extension Specialist Melissa Bess
Mediterranean eating style
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About this blog
By Melissa Bess
My name is Melissa Bess. I am a Nutrition and Health Education Specialist with University of Missouri Extension. This health and wellness blog started as a way to help improve MU Extension faculty and staff wellness but has grown to a much larger ...
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MU Extension Health and Wellness
My name is Melissa Bess. I am a Nutrition and Health Education Specialist with University of Missouri Extension. This health and wellness blog started as a way to help improve MU Extension faculty and staff wellness but has grown to a much larger audience. Follow me, share with others, bookmark this page, leave comments, and enjoy.
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The Mediterranean way of eating has been in the news again lately, due to its health-health benefits and lowered risk for heart disease. Some reports use the word "diet" but this eating style is not a diet because it is not temporary, it is a way of life.

In the US, we have the MyPlate graphic from USDA to represent healthy eating. The Mediterranean eating style has the Mediterranean pyramid to represent healthy eating their way.

On the bottom, you will find physical activity and enjoying meals with others, which are incorporated into everyday life. The second level has fruits, vegetables, grains (mostly whole), olive oil, beans, nuts, legumes, seeds, herbs, and spices. The description says to base every meal on these foods. The third level is fish and seafood, to be consumed often, at least two times per week. The fourth level is poultry, eggs, cheese, and yogurt, to be consumed in moderate portions, daily or weekly. Finally, meats and sweets should be eaten less often. On the side you will see drinking water is important and wine in moderation.

If you are looking for recipes that incorporate more Mediterranean recipes into your eating habits, you can look for recipes on the Oldways website. Oldways PT is a nonprofit food and nutrition education organization, with a mission to guide people to good health through heritage. They have a wealth of recipes available on their website. Some of my favorites include:

  • Arugula-walnut pesto
  • Green olive and almond tapenade
  • Israeli couscous and avocado salad
  • Mediterranean tuna and bean salad
  • Tzatziki sauce
Haven't heard of tapenade, couscous, or tzatziki? It's never too late to introduce some new Mediterranean foods to your meals. Browse through the recipes to find others you might enjoy. 

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