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Stephanie D. Murillo
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Looking for a Healthiest Diet? Eat Like a Greek Native

As a food lover, you know that Italian, Chinese and Mexican are the healthiest diets across the world. But do you know any other healthiest diet that is getting popularity around the globe? Well, Greek diet has also included in the list of world healthiest foods because Greek specialties are popping up not only in restaurants but also in food streets, mall eateries and various other locations in different countries.

There is a region of the world where people tend to live curiously healthy and long lives. Do you know this region? No, well the region is Island of Ikaria, Greece. Yes, this area has received the significant attention from scientists and journalists who want to disclose the mysteries of its long-living people. According to a study, many of the residents of Ikaria land cross the age of 100 or more, and this is because of a healthy diet. Ikarians consume a Mediterranean diet which has been associated with lower rates of heart diseases, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease and certain types of cancers.

The Secrets of Greek Diet: 

Typically, Greek food is inspired by the Mediterranean diet which has a significant impact on your overall health. Greek diet

Greek foods
Image Credit by davidsbeenhere

includes vegetables, fruits, fish, whole grains, and a small amount of cheese and yogurt. Beans and legumes such as split, peas, fava and lentils are also a favorite staple which is considered an alternative to meat. They are mostly used in salads, soups, and stews. This array of foods looks a lot like a healthy and balanced diet.

Another significant attribute of Greek diet is that most of the Greek foods are prepared with olive oil which is an excellent source of heart-friendly monounsaturated fats. Olive oil is the best choice for cooking than butter because it is lower in saturated fat and can add lots of calories in your routine diet. A recent journal published by PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) reveals that the combination of olive oil and leafy salads or other veggies gives the Mediterranean diet a healthy edge. The reason is that the formation of nitro acids between the two food groups leads to lower blood pressure.

Drawback of Modern European Diet: 

modern Greek food
Image Credit by nomadicmatt

After reading this, you can say that eating like a Greek is not only healthful, but it is also super delicious. However, another recent study of World Health Organization finds that almost 33% of boys and girls who have the age of 11 years are overweight in Greece. The rate of obesity is the highest prevalence in Europe. But it is not because of traditional Greek diet; it surely belongs to the rise of fast food outlets in the major cities. Modern fast foods are usually high in fat, sugar, and salt which can cause weight gain and lead to many other health problems including heart attack & stroke, diabetes and cancer.

READ:  20 Foods That Keep You Awake At Night

Therefore, it is always advised that you should limit the intake of fast food and focus on consuming the healthiest diet like a traditional Greek Diet on a daily basis.

20 Healthiest Ways to Eat Like a Greek Individual

Here are some healthiest ways that Greeks follow. If you want to have a longer and healthier life, then you should eat like a Greek individual and also adopt the followings habits.

  1. Eat fresh veggies and fruits

Eat unprocessed vegetables and raw fruits. Greeks dine on greens veggies, olives, potatoes, seasonal veggies and fresh fruits. Vegetables are an important part of every meal of Greeks and they cook veggies in a healthy way, for example, they serve raw veggies in a salad or roast them with olive oil rather than fried.

fresh vegetables and fruit

  1. Say Yes to Greek Yogurt

Add Greek yogurt to your diet because it is packed with twice as much protein as regular yogurt. Greek yogurt is also a high source of calcium and probiotics which are beneficial for bone building and stomach soothing respectively. However, you should prefer to choose fat-free plain Greek yogurt instead of sugar or fat containing flavors.

Greek Yogurt
Image Credit by missbloom
  1. Include Creative Toppings

If you are making pizza and any other food which require toppings, then you should choose the Mediterranean style toppings. Prepare the toppings with fruits and vegetables such as olives, spinach, and tomatoes to increase the nutrient and fiber content of your meal.

pizza topping

  1. Try Eating New Grains

According to a study, you should add various types of grains into your daily diet to keep yourself healthy and fit. Don’t consume white bread and pasta alone; mix some bulgur to make them nutritious. As well, add nutty-tasting grains with tomatoes and feta cheese to make the traditional tabbouleh salad.

tabbouleh
Image Credit by telegraph
  1. Add All Types of Legumes too

Legumes are a super power food which is an excellent source of getting more protein and fiber. So, add beans and lentils to your favorite snacks and side dishes, they’ll help you prevent overeating and make you full. Choose soybeans, string beans, and lima beans and combine them all into a flavorsome salad.

READ:  Is Italian Food Good For You?

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  1. Choose Whole-Wheat Pasta

Yes, pasta is one of the most mouth-watering meals of the Greeks, but they always balance it out with fresh veggies, healthy fats, and lean protein. So, make your noodles dishes healthier by picking whole-wheat pasta which contains more amount of fiber. It’ll help you eat less while you feel full.

pasta
Image Credit by foodnetwork
  1. Flavor Your Meals With Feta Cheese

This tasty cheese is a staple in Greek cuisine as it is ideal for both topping salads and baking into flavorful dishes. Feta cheese is slightly lower in fat as compared to other cheeses. Choose the low-fat dairy products and use feta cheese as a topping.

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  1. Prefer to eat home-made burger

Instead of a big hamburger, try to make burger by your own. Add fish and seafood rather than ground meat in your burger with fresh vegetables and feta cheese and make this a healthy feast.

fish burger

  1. Make Salad Dressing

Greek salads are light, healthy and refreshing because of their simple and wholesome dressings. Avoid adding extra sugar and preservatives and strive using healthy olive oil with vinegar, honey or lemon juice.

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  1. Sneak in spinach

Feta cheese and spinach are the perfect combinations of various Greek dishes. Most of the times, they are baked together into pastries and egg cuisines like spanakopita and frittata. Additionally, it is also served raw with the fresh salad.

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  1. Eat red meat carefully

In a traditional Greek diet, red meat is not included in a daily diet. However, Greeks serve local pork or lamb at their special events and holidays.

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  1. Switch in shellfish

In Greek diet, people use shellfish and shrimps instead of chicken. They are low in fat and high in protein. Add shrimps and shellfish in your favorite salad and keep yourself active and healthy.

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  1. Snack on real food

Greeks don’t like to eat chips and store-bought dips as they are usually packed with saturated fat and have no calories. Instead of them, they prefer to eat a smarter snack between their meals such as raw veggies and protein-rich dips which are made from Greek yogurt and beans.

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  1. Make fun with Phyllo

Do you know what Greeks eat as a starter? Phyllo dough. Yes, Phyllo sheets are usually stuffed with goat cheese and fig jam that ensure the nutritional value and deliciousness of this traditional Greek starter.

Image Credit by mindmegette
Image Credit by mindmegette
  1. Eat more olives

Greek cooking never completes without olive oil or olives. This tiny fruit adds a divine taste in your meals and also make them healthy. According to a recent study, a diet which contains olives or olive oil reduces the 30% chances of ovarian cancer in women.

READ:  30 Foods That Can Help You Sleep

olives

  1. Dip into hummus

Hummus is a dipping sauce traditionally made with chickpeas which are rich in protein and fiber and contain less amount of saturated fat. Greeks love to eat hummus with pita bread and with any other meal of their choice.

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  1. Season with spices

Thanks to healthy herbs like parsley, basil and oregano as they make Mediterranean dishes full of flavor. These ingredients not only add taste to Greek dishes but also make them a prime choice for every food lover.

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  1. Eat food on steaks

Kabobs are a great fun way to add a diverse variety to your routine meals. Make skewers with vegetables, olives, seafood or meat grilled with amazing dipping sauce.

Image credit by bakedbree
Image credit by bakedbree
  1. Serve a side of potatoes

Potatoes are served as a side dish in Greek food tradition because they are high in carbohydrate content. Try to eat roasted potatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper to make them a nutrient-rich side dish.

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  1. Drink more coffee

The main secret of Greeks’ longevity lies in what they eat and drink. A recent study reveals that higher coffee consumption is linked to better blood-vessel function which is a key factor in heart health. So, try to add more Greek coffee to your routine diet.

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  • 15 Healthiest Popular Greek Cuisines

Greeks own a delicious food culture that consists of a broad range of taste experiences from delicate, light dishes to rich and deeper dishes. Along with this variation, Greek cuisines are full of nutrients. Here are some famous Greek cuisines that are healthiest and delicious options for you if you want to enjoy Greek dishes.

  1. Papoutsakia
    Image credit by Food
    Image credit by Food
  2. Loucanico
  3. Dolmades
  4. Skordalia
  5. Shrimp Saganaki
  6. Pastitsio
  7. Mousaka
  8. Souvlaki
  9. Pikilla
  10. Taramosalata
  11. Briam (Tourlou)
  12. Gigandes
  13. Avgolemono
  14. Baklava
  15. Galaktoboureko
  • Top Greek Restaurants in UAE

So, one of the best ways to enjoy Greek cuisines is that you make them at your home on your own. But sometimes, you love to dine out in a Greek restaurant to enjoy the delectable and wholesome Greek cuisines. There are countless restaurants in UAE which serve Greek cuisines. Followings are the most popular Greek restaurants:

Choose one of them, order your favorite Greek cuisine and enjoy it in the comfort of your home or office.

Stephaine D. Murillo is a Dubai-based American professional nutritionist who tells the secrets of a healthy and longer life. She is ambitious to find the significant benefits of a nutritional and balanced diet. She guides food lovers about the health benefits and drawbacks of vegetables, fruits and other types of food. She loves to share information about food & health through Papaorder Blog. So, subscribe Papaorder blog to get her health & food tips.

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Papaorder Blog explores the food culture of various nations while the main focus is on Arabic culinary style and culture.

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