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August 30, 2011 at 11:44 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

The Mediterranean Diet: Beans

By Jessica Corwin MPH RDN More Blogs by This Author

Registered dietitian Jessica Butcher goes over beans and whole wheats that are involved in the Mediterranean Diet.
Host, Gerry Barnaby - Hey, what’s happenin’, Barnaby here.  Another HelloLife Moment as regards the Mediterranean Diet.  Because you know, part of the diet is salads.  But, Jessica Butcher, Registered Dietician, when we think of salads, most people think of greens, but there’s all sorts of other salads you can have.
Health Coach, Jessica Butcher, RD – There’s a huge variety of different salads.  And even here at the grocery store.  If you go check out your deli section there’s a wide variety available right to you, saving you from the time to prep it at home.
Barnaby – Well I tell you what.  I just sampled some of this which is a beautiful Tuscan bean salad.  Describe what’s in there and tell us why it’s so good for us.
Jessica  – Well, a lot of the salads found over in the Mediterranean region, they use the beans as the center or the focus of that salad.  So there’s lots of rich, heart healthy olive oil, beans full of fiber and anti-oxidants, and then they even spice in some vegetables.  So it’s a very delicious and very nutritious meal.
Barnaby – Alrightie.  And you know what?  One of my favorites now that I just tried a moment ago, it is this one.  The wheatberry crunch.  Now that almost sounds like a breakfast cereal.  And it doesn’t look like a regular – it almost looks like oatmeal.  What is the wheatberry all about?
Jessica  – Wheatberries is another whole grain.  There’s so many options.  We don’t have to stick to whole wheat.  We have wheatberries, we have some cracked wheat, we have faro, we have farina.  There’s so many different options of grain out there.  So this is just one example of something different to help spice things up in your own diet. 
Barnaby – Ok well, let’s take a little walk down the salad aisle right here.  Cole slaw – not part of the Mediterranean, potato salad not so much.  But you get into the tri-color chickpeas, also known as the garbanzo beans, that’s got a bit of an oily base to it doesn’t it? 
Jessica  – Well, definitely.  They like to use the olive oil which is very rich and heart healthy unsaturated fats.  And even if you go with extra virgin olive oil, it’s even less process and even more rich in antioxidants.  So it’s going to help keep that cholesterol level in check. 
Barnaby – Ok, back down to the salads we go.  Can’t go wrong with some hummus.  Again with the chickpeas and olive oil.  What about the four bean salad back there?  Is that a good one for you, Jessica?
Jessica  – That still is a great salad.  It has more of the white, the green beans and the white beans so those are a little bit lower in calories.  But, it still has your heart healthy omega 3’s, your heart healthy olive oils – pardon me!  And still have all the flavor from the fiber rich kidney beans. 
Barnaby – Excellent.  And I tell you, you can’t go wrong when you’re looking for a healthy diet when you go with something called the ‘seven grain salad.’  Now that is just fiber, fiber, fiber right there.
Jessica  – Well, it does look good. But even the name in itself can be misleading.  Just because there’s seven grains doesn’t necessarily mean there are seven whole grains.  So it helps to find out what’s in that salad and what types of grains they’re using.  You really want the whole grains.
Barnaby – Alrightie.  Well you know what?  We’ve launched your little ship on the pathway of the Mediterranean Diet.  But, like Jessica just said, it’s up to you to do the necessary research and not be fooled by things like ‘seven grain,’ automatically assuming it’s exactly right for you.  So ask questions and have a healthy life as a result.  Which is what we’re all about here at HelloLife, and that is matching your commitment to a healthy lifestyle.  Thanks so very much again, Jessica.
Jessica  – You’re welcome, Barnaby.

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