The ever popular Mediterranean Diet is defined as eating and drinking based on the traditional foods of the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. It’s often touted as heart-healthy, and goes hand-in-hand as part of a lifestyle that’s considered holistically healthy. In other words, it’s good for both your body AND mind.
I've never been on a diet; it’s not my thing. I’m a believer in eating the foods that are good for your body, as organic and unprocessed as possible. I call it a down-to-earth way of cooking. We certainly don’t deprive ourselves; however, most of the time we eat pretty clean in our house. Our fridge is full of fresh, organic veggies that we love to eat raw with plain Greek yogurt, or steamed and served as a side.
The Mediterranean Diet makes sense to me because it’s not really a diet after all! It’s a lifestyle. Any chronic dieter will tell you that no diet is sustainable unless it’s a lifestyle change, which is why weight loss is often hard to maintain. Since a Mediterranean Diet is “the diet that’s actually not a diet,” it can be an excellent way to beat the diet roller coaster and instead move into a healthier way to consume food all the time. (And delicious too, I might add!)
Four reasons why Greek yogurt is important in a Mediterranean Diet:
1. Greek yogurt aides in bone health!
Unlike milk, yogurt has been through a fermentation process that includes an iron-binding protein called lactoferrin which helps to build strong bones. Lactoferrin increases the absorption of iron, which along with calcium, increases bone density.
2. Greek yogurt aides in heart heath!
With 0g of saturated fat and less than 5mg of cholesterol in a 5.3oz container, your heart will jump for joy! Or at least be given the benefit of a healthy food to keep it pumpin’ longer. Go plain, skip the sugars, and you’ll have an even heart-healthier option. Plus, plain Greek yogurt is SO versatile – see #5 below!
3. Greek yogurt gives the boost of added protein!
Protein, for the win! Compared to its American counterpart, Greek yogurt has twice the amount of protein. The thicker consistency and added protein mean you’ll likely be satisfied longer on a smaller portion, and we know one key to the Mediterranean Diet is a lifestyle filled with normal, not huge, serving sizes.
4. Greek yogurt is versatile!
Whether you’re substituting Greek yogurt for sour cream, or using it as part of a pasta sauce, there’s no denying its versatility. Take a second to peruse Stonyfield’s recipes and you’ll find over 25 different recipes that use Greek yogurt as a main ingredient, everything from smoothies and cake, to meatballs and lamb dumplings!