In recent decades, dieting has taken over the life of many Americans. If you’re anything like me, and you’re willing to try most diets, if it means you’ll lose a healthy amount of weight, then this may be the diet for you.
Prevention Magazine was one of the first sources to tout this diet as a miracle – calling it “The Flat Belly Diet,” and indeed, MUFA follows an eating plan which reduces the heart-plaguing spare tire. Soon after Prevention promoted the diet, ABC News and several physician-based groups (including The American Heart Association and The American Diabetes Association) became advocates for the diet.
MUFA stands for Monounstaturated Fatty Acids, which are fats that do not clog arteries and have been tested through time, from ancient civilizations to now, to be healthy food choices. The foods of the MUFA diet are categorized into five groups: chocolate, oils, nuts and seeds, olives and avocados. This may sound odd at first, but eating these foods on a day-to-day basis will make you feel better, look better, and open your palate up to new and fabulous foods.
First things first – chocolate. Have you ever been allowed to eat chocolate on your old diets? Probably not, which is one of the aspects that made this diet so exciting for me, as I am sure it will for you as well. While you can’t snack on Hershey Bars all day, you can add rich, luxurious (yet small) amounts of dark chocolate to some of your snacks or meals. One of my favorite things to do with the chocolate is sprinkle a few of the chips on my morning whole-wheat waffles, sprinkled on fruit, or just have a few for a small snack during the day.
Oils may seem like a tricky subject because of the health risks associated with many types of oil. The MUFA diet helps take these risks away because of it’s use of olive oil. Olive oil is a diet staple for people living in the Mediterranean region of Europe because of it’s wonderful taste and health benefits. So, what’s the catch? Throw out your other cooking oils (with the exception of canola, sunflower, and flax oil), substitute olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette for butter when eating bread, and cook your meat, vegetables, and other dishes in olive oil. My favorite use of olive oil is in basic pasta dishes, when I can substitute a fattening cream sauce with olive oil, sea salt, and pesto.
Nuts and seeds obviously prove a problem to some who are allergic to nuts and products produced with nuts, but fear not – there are plenty of alternatives to be found with seeds that you can use in your MUFA routine. When you’re eating yogurt, breakfast dishes, Italian dishes, Asian dishes or salads you can add some flair by adding your favorite nut or seed. Acceptable nuts and seeds include flax seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds.
Now, for olives and avocados. Black olives are not a recommended food for this diet, but green olives are encouraged. Green olives go great in salads, sauces, and even as a snack.
While many people do like olives, it’s often difficult to fine people who absolutely love avocados – typically because they are an underutilized in American food and often go unnoticed in the produce section of your grocery store. Being one of the many people who had never prepared food with avocado, I found myself intrigued and tried it out for myself. It ended up being great – I use it as a substitute for fattening mayonnaise on sandwiches, as a topping on tacos, and eat it as a snack on whole wheat crackers. Once you begin using the avocado, you will become more familiar with it and might even find yourself making your own homemade guacamole.
Now that you’re familiar with the basic foods used in the MUFA diet, you should also know that eating your recommended daily allowance of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is important to staying healthy. You can also promote weight-loss in your diet by exercising thirty minutes a day and getting a full night’s rest.
I recommend for a more detailed MUFA diet information that you visit the following websites:
Good luck with your diet! Stick with it and you see results in a matter of weeks.
*This article has not been edited by a physician. Please see your doctor before beginning new diet and exercise programs.