Cuisine of The Month: Spanish

A table arranged with Spanish food featuring vegetable paella, tapas, grilled seafood, and olives.
Written by Ron Martin
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2 minutes

Meal Plan Created By: Amanda Kostro Miller

In 2019, Bloomberg named Spain as the healthiest country in the world.1 The country’s exceptionally high life expectancy average and dietary and lifestyle habits play a huge role in the population’s overall health. Luckily, you don’t need a passport to cash in on the multiple health benefits Spanish cuisine offers - we’ve partnered with a Registered Dietitian to create a flavorful and heart-healthy 7-day Spanish meal plan.

Download The Printable Meal Plan 

Health Benefits Of Spanish Food

Less Processed Food

Many dishes rely on a variety of fruits and vegetables and fish is the main animal protein. Supplemented with whole grains, nuts, beans, olive oil, and small amounts of dairy, the Spanish diet emphasizes eating less meat and processed food.2 Eating less meat (particularly red meat) can help decrease the risk of death from stroke, heart disease, or diabetes, and eating less processed foods fuels your body with more nutrients.3 4

Read More: 6 Easy Food Swaps To Be More Heart-Healthy

Variety of Seafood

Seafood is one of the starlets of Spanish cuisine, offering numerous health benefits. In a meta-analysis, researchers found that eating fish once a week was associated with a 15% lower risk of death due to cardiovascular disease, compared to eating no fish at all.5 In addition, an intake of white and fatty fish (but not shellfish) may help to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, even in at-risk populations.6

Focus On Healthy Fats

Instead of cutting out fats, the Spanish diet emphasizes eating the right kind of fat - especially fats containing Omega-3. This cuisine calls for high-quality fats like extra virgin olive oil, nuts, and legumes. Not only is this type of diet associated with a lower rate of cardiovascular events than reduced-fat diets, but consuming healthy, long chain Omega-3 fats could help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.7 8

Heart Healthy Spanish Recipes

Meal Plan - Spanish

To check out the benefits of Spanish cuisine, download our free, 7-day meal plan. Featuring traditional dishes like cocido madrileno (chickpea-based stew) and gazpacho, you’ll fill up on plenty of good-for-you ingredients. With heart-healthy nutrients packed into each dish, your body (and taste buds) will thank you!

Written by:

Ron Martin

Director of Marketing

Ron Martin is the Director of Marketing at Kaneka Ubiquinol. Ron’s dedication to lifelong learning and belief that “one cannot know too much” inspired a decades-long career centered around educating the public about health.

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