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Local dietician weighs in on the benefits of a Mediterranean diet

A study released Monday shows significant evidence that eating a Mediterranean diet full of olive oil, nuts, and even wine, can significantly reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. NewsChannel 9 set out to find what heart healthy foods are included in the diet.
DeWitt (WSYR-TV) -- A study released Monday shows significant evidence that eating a Mediterranean diet full of olive oil, nuts, and even wine, can significantly reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. NewsChannel 9 set out to find what heart healthy foods are included in the diet.

“One of the main recommendations is that people should be having vegetables at least twice a day and one of them should be a salad,” said Registered Dietician Linda Quinn.

The diet calls for fruits and vegetables, and plenty of leafy greens and nuts to make the salad more filling. What’s most important for this diet though, is what you put on top of the salad.

“To top it off, instead of buying that bottled dressing, make sure you use olive oil and vinegar,” Quinn said.

Olive oil is a fat, and the key ingredient for the Mediterranean diet.

“Olive oil is special because when you eat olive oil in the mixture of tomatoes and garlic and other foods, it actually helps the nutrients in the fruits and vegetables become more available to the human body, so it absorbs better,” said Quinn.

Participants in the study were told to try to make their own sauce using tomatoes, olive oil, and either garlic or onions. That sauce can be put on rice or fish and using the sauce a couple of times a week can make a big difference in your diet.

Add in good fatty foods like olives, and especially fatty fish like salmon. But cut out the butter and cream.

Dieticians say too many people say food tastes better with olive oil, compared to what you eat on a low-fat diet, so you’re more likely to stick to the Mediterranean diet.
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