Want a heart-healthy diet that’s also tasty? Nutritionists found that the traditional Greek diet — which focuses on vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, nuts and yogurt; olive oil as the sole source of added fat; only a few weekly servings of fish, poultry, eggs and sweets; and red meats saved for special occasions only — is one of the healthiest eating styles you can choose.
“In fact, Greeks are 20 percent less likely to die of coronary artery disease, and about 30 percent less likely to die of cancer than Americans,” said Dr. Vinayak Kamath, chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Augusta University Heart and Cardiovascular Services.
Here’s one easy recipe:
Greek-Style Stewed Chicken
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 pound chicken breast tenders, visible fat discarded
- 1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch strips
- 2 medium shallots, peeled and quartered
- 14.5-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1/2 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, drained and coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and cook chicken for 2 minutes on each side.
Add the bell pepper and shallots. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender-crisp, stirring occasionally.
Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center.
Serves 4. Per serving: 197 calories, 5 g total fat (1 g saturated fat, 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat, 3 g monounsaturated fat), 66 mg cholesterol, 404 mg sodium, 10 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 28 g protein
Recipe adapted with permission from the American Heart Association’s Low Fat Low Cholesterol Cookbook
Get Smart about Your Heart
To help prevent heart disease, diet and exercise are both great ways to start. Call 706-721-8637 to make an appointment to meet with an Augusta University Health dietitian who specializes in heart health.