Easy-to-make Mediterranean salad with Dr. Bitner

Eating healthy is important when it comes to losing weight and feeling great, but it doesn't have to be expensive, fancy or difficult to make.

Dr. Diana Bitner, a nationally recognized menopause specialist from Spectrum Health, takes part in the Mediterranean diet. She says it's not only appealing and tasty, but satisfying and healthy.

She came on the show to teach us how to make one of her favorite salads as part of her Mediterranean diet. Here's what you'll need:

  • Mixed greens (no iceberg lettuce, the darker the greens the better)
  • Vegetables
  • Lean protein (fish, chicken, venison, turkey, etc.)
  • Whole Grains
  • Olive Oil
  • Nuts

Research shows that people who follow the guidelines of the Mediterranean diet have a lesser chance of heart disease, a lower chance of ever dying from heart disease, lower incidence of cancer, Parkinson's Disease and Alzheimer's Disease.

Here are the simple guidelines to follow as part of the Mediterranean diet:

  • Eat primarily fruits and vegetables, 7-10 servings per day.
  • Eat only whole grains (whole wheat, sprouted grain bread, brown rice, etc.)
  • Use nuts as snacks (cashews, almonds, walnuts.) Don't eat more than a handful per day.
  • Use natural peanut butter, not with added oil.
  • Replace butter with olive oil.
  • Use more herbs and spics than salt.
  • Make red meat a rare part of the plate, eat less than two times per month.
  • Drink red wine in moderation.
  • Limit saturated fats and use olive oil and the main source of fat. Oils such as canola oil and nuts contain fatty acids, which can reduce triglycerides.
  • Eat fish two times a week, which can be grilled, baked or sauteed in health oil. Fatty fish like mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

Want to learn more about how to cook foods part of the Mediterranean Diet? Spectrum Health teaches a cooking class Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Butterworth Hospital. To register for these classes, click here. 

Dr. Bitner's office is located at 3800 Lake Michigan Drive Northwest, Suite A. To schedule an appointment with her, call (616) 267-8225.

All information was provided by Dr. Diana Bitner and her blog. Read more.

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