Family and Consumer Science staff member at NC Cooperative Extension, Brunswick County Center
We’re about a week into the New Year. How are you doing with that resolution to eat healthier? If that is a goal, but you’re not sure how to do it, consider a way that doesn’t involve excessive dieting, a major lifestyle change, or unusual foods. Sounds too good to be true? It isn’t. This is one resolution that you can keep. I’m talking about eating the “med” way or a Mediterranean-style diet.
The “Med Way” incorporates the basics of healthy eating that has been traditionally practiced in countries that border the Mediterranean Sea. This type of eating has been shown to promote health and decrease risks of many chronic diseases such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Eating the Med Way can decrease your risk of some forms of cancer. It has been found to be more effective than a low-fat diet for weight loss. The Med Way also may decrease the risk of macular degeneration and dementia. Not only is it healthy eating, but delicious and satisfying.
Here are the basics:
- Get at least five cups of fruits and vegetables every day.
- Eat primarily plant-based foods. Replace red meat with plant proteins, such as beans and legumes often.
- Choose whole grain foods such as oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice and popcorn often.
- Choose at least three-ounces of nuts and seeds per week.
- Swap the solid fats like butter and margarine in your diet for olive oil.
- Use herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor to foods.
- Eat seafood at least three times per week.
- Be physically active. Aim for at least 150 minutes per week or 30 minutes each day.
- Drink red wine in moderation (this is optional).
- Limit yourself to no more than three servings per week of sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages.
Carolyn Dunn, our state specialist in nutrition at NC Cooperative Extension and a group of professionals from NCSU and the NC Division of Public Health have developed a program called Med instead of Meds. This program encourages eating the med way to reduce your risk of needing to take medications. Locally here in Brunswick and New Hanover Counties, the Family and Consumer Science Extension staff along with our Extension Master Food Volunteers are gearing up to teach a series of virtual classes featuring Med instead of Meds.
Join us each Wednesday starting February 3 to explore how to “Go Med” and eat the med way. Learn med tips and life hacks, enjoy a live cooking demonstration and get recipes that will help you eat the med way every day. These classes are free and will tbe held virtually for six weeks on Zoom. Classes will be held live at 2 p.m. But, if you cannot make that time, the sessions will be recorded and sent out to those who sign up.
To register, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/med-instead-of-meds-new-hanover-brunswick-tickets-133271248893?utm-medium=discovery&utm-campaign=social&utm-content=attendeeshare&aff=escb&utm-source=cp&utm-term=listing. For questions or to register by phone, contact Meghan Lassiter, Brunswick County Family and Consumer Science Extension Agent at 910-253-2594.
Join us to learn more about the med way. You can check it out at the Med Instead of Meds website to get you started on the program before February: https://medinsteadofmeds.com/.
Cheryle Syracuse is a Family and Consumer Science staff member and can be reached at NC Cooperative Extension, Brunswick County Center 910-253-2610 or by email at [email protected]
The Arboretum is the location of the N.C. Cooperative Extension Center for New Hanover County. The grounds are free and open every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.