Healthy Recipes Heart-Healthy

Dine the Greek way: It’s heart healthy and tasty, too

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

Ingredients:

  • 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.

About the author

Augusta University Health

Augusta University Health

Based in Augusta, Georgia, Augusta University Health is a world-class health care network, offering the most comprehensive primary, specialty and subspecialty care in the region. Augusta University Health provides skilled, compassionate care to its patients, conducts leading-edge clinical research and fosters the medical education and training of tomorrow’s health care practitioners. Augusta University Health is a not-for-profit corporation that manages the clinical operations associated with Augusta University.

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