Student Health: Go Greek

March 30, 2009  

By Marissa Adamany
madamany@smu.edu

The Mediterranean diet is one of the leading ways to get that beach-ready bod. Focused mainly on vegetables, nuts, olive oil, dairy, and fish, it provides a great mix of essential fats, lean protein, and natural carbs.

Although a fat itself, olive oil has been shown to lower cholesterol in the blood, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure. It is also a great fighter against ulcers. Wine, which is also a staple in the Mediterranean diet, contains many powerful antioxidants.

Below are some staple Greek signature foods that will have you screaming, “Opah!”

  • Tzatziki- Made with Greek yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, olive oil, dill, lemon juice, and mint. High in protein and low in carbs, this is the perfect dressing for a salad or dip for assorted veggies. It’s also a great alternative to ranch dressing or mayo and has 110 fewer calories per serving. Serve on sandwiches and gyros.
  • Hummus- Made with garbanzo beans, sesame, olive oil, lemon, and garlic. This spread is high in protein and fiber (the stuff that keeps you full and satisfied) due to the beans and has a hearty serving of monounsaturated fat. It also has lots of vitamin C , iron, manganese, and calcium. Use in conjunction with tzatziki sauce, or on its own with veggies, sandwiches, and pita bread.
  • Dolmades- These are Greek appetizers made by stuffing grape leaves with meat and rice. These bite-size delights will fill you up fast and give you the carbs you need for a long day ahead.
  • Couscous- This is a coarsely ground pasta. The fiber in couscous will keep you full and satisfied longer than traditional pasta. Eat with steamed veggies, on a fruit salad, or over chicken.
  • How to make a Greek salad

    Mix the following together in a bowl:

  • spinach leaves
  • diced cucumbers
  • tomatoes
  • feta cheese
  • carrots
  • kalamata olives
  • tzatziki sauce
  • hummus
  • Serve with chicken or salmon, and enjoy with a piece of whole wheat pita bread.

    “????????????!” (Fabulous!)

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