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How to follow the healthiest diet

health and fitness Updated: Sep 16, 2010 15:25 IST
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Many doctors and dieticians recommend a Mediterranean diet for its heart-healthy benefits. Here's what that means:



Eat whole foods, not processed. That means plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and items in their original form — low-fat cheese instead of cheese dip.



Limit sweets, especially packaged ones.



Don't make meat a main course. Meat should fill just a quarter of your plate. The other quarter should be whole grains such as whole-wheat bread, pasta or rice and the remaining half should be fruits and vegetables. Aim for seven to 10 servings of produce daily.



Limit red meat. Get your protein from healthy non-meat sources: fish, beans, lentils, chickpeas, seeds and nuts. Grill fish or saute it in a small amount of canola oil.



Drink a little red wine. Have a glass a day for the antioxidants and protection against blood clots. Replace butter with healthy oils.



Use olive or canola oil in recipes and dip bread in olive oil instead of using butter.



Many people also enjoy hummus (mashed chickpeas) or tahini (blended sesame seeds) as a dip or spread.



Cut back on salt. Use herbs and spices such as cilantro, dill, basil and mint to flavor food instead.



Go to low-fat dairy. Avoid whole milk and full-fat yogurts and cheese.



Enjoy your food. Slow down to eat, preferably with family and friends.


–MCT

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