Cuisine of the Month: Greek

White Wood table with vibrant Greek Food, Salad, Pastry, Chicken and Yogurt Dip
Written by Risa Schulman
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3 minutes

Meal Plan Created By: Amanda Kostro Miller

Is Greek Food Good For You?

The traditional Greek diet — sometimes lumped together with the Mediterranean Diet — is considered among the healthiest in the world thanks to being rich in antioxidants, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Not only is it healthy, but it’s also flavorful. The traditional diet of Greece (the diet before 1960) consists of a high intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, olive oil and olives, more cheese but less milk, and more fish and less meat and has been linked to many health benefits, including healthy aging.1,2 We’ve partnered with a Registered Dietician to bring the Greek diet and its health benefits to you. Opa!

Download The Printable Meal Plan 

Health Benefits of Greek Food

Fruits and Vegetables

We’ve all been told, “Eat your vegetables” and there’s a good reason why, too. Fruits and vegetables are rich in important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Research shows that a diet rich in a variety of vegetables and fruits is linked to lower blood pressure, reduced risk of heart disease, stroke and some types of cancer, lower risk of vision issues, and reduced risk of digestive problems.4

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Another Greek diet health benefit is that far less red meat is consumed than with a typical Western diet. High intake of red meat has been linked to an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, colorectal cancer, and type 2 diabetes.3 A Greek diet includes more fish, which contains heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which have been found to help decrease triglycerides, lower blood pressure, reduce blood clotting, and lower your risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease.5

Healthy Fats

While you may think of fats as being bad for you, not all fats are created equally. Healthy fats — monounsaturated fat — found in nuts, olives, and olive oil have been found to lower total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or bad) cholesterol levels.6

Whole Grains

The Greek diet focuses on healthy, whole grains rather than refined grains such as pasta and white bread made from refined wheat. A diet heavy in refined grains is linked to many health issues such as an increased risk of obesity, high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and heart attack,7 whereas diets rich in whole grains reduce those risks. Whole grains contain important nutrients such as protein, fiber, B vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals such as iron, zinc, copper, and magnesium.8

Good For You Greek Recipes

Greek Teaser Menu

 

Enjoy the benefits of a heart-healthy Greek diet by downloading our free, 7-day meal plan. You’ll get scrumptious recipe ideas for traditional Greek fare like sfougato, a crustless quiche, spanakopita, a flaky spinach pie, and satisfying snacks like pasteli bars. Full of heart-healthy nutrition, we’re sure you’re going to be gaga for Greek!

Written by:

Risa Schulman

Ph.D

Risa Schulman, Ph.D. has been helping companies and people build wellness for 25 years.

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