Fats & The Mediterranean Diet

Posted on May 16th, 2018
Fear fats no more! For the longest time, foods were marketed as low fat or fat free – but that is a thing of the past. Fats are in and hopefully here to stay, thanks to the countless amount of research studies correlating a decreased risk for developing cardiovascular disease and death (things like heart attack, heart disease, and stroke), type 2 diabetes, and breast cancer for those who follow a Mediterranean Style Diet.

Oldways Mediterranean Diet Pyramid
The Mediterranean Diet is not so much of a diet you go on to lose weight or for a quick fix but more of a lifestyle with pillars focusing on physical activity, social interaction, and a diet rich in produce, nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, and fish. Did you know that wine is even a part of the Mediterranean Diet (in moderation, of course)? Another fun fact…. more than half the calories in the Mediterranean Diet comes from fats!
So how is a diet so rich in fats so beneficial to your heart and body? The key is the source of fats – good fats.
Your Reasor’s Dietitians (and we’d guess most of the dietitian community) correlate good fats with monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. It is important that we focus most of our consumption of fats on these two and limit our intake of saturated fats and trans fats. Another important aspect of eating fats? The portion size! While the good fats are beneficial to our health, fats in general are more calorie dense (when compared to carbohydrates and protein) which can add up quickly and equate to weight gain.
You might be surprised that some of the foods you are already eating fall into the ‘good fats’ category.
  • Oils (try Canola, Olive, Walnut, Flaxseed, Grapeseed, Avocado, and Sesame)
  • Avocados
  • Fatty Fish (try Salmon, Mackerel, Trout, Herring, and Sardines)
  • Nuts (try Walnuts, Almonds, and Pistachios)
  • Nut Butters
  • Seeds (try Chia, Sunflower, Pumpkin, and Flax)
  • Soybeans (try tofu or edamame)
Do you have a hard time deciphering what fats are saturated fats? Here is a quick trick…. saturated fats are typically solid at room temperature (think butter and lard) and the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature (think olive oil).
Stay tuned to the Reasor’s Healthy Living page for more recipes, tips, giveaways, and live videos focusing on all things Mediterranean Diet.
I leave you with a couple of resources from our friends at Oldways and Today’s Dietitian magazine to get you started on implementing a Mediterranean Diet, right here in Oklahoma.

About the Blogger:

Heather Steele, RD/LD is a Registered Dietitian and loves to garden, cook, and ride her bike! Heather offices out of the Reasor’s off 71st & Lynn Lane and is on staff at Reasor’s for all of your food & nutrition needs.
Information included does not constitute medical advice and should only be used as a general recommendation for a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle. Reasor’s Registered Dietitian opinions and recommendations are her own; she is not paid to endorse any products or services.