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Learn about the Mediterranean diet

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Ready to enjoy a way of eating that is great tasting and good for you? Then the simple, delicious and satisfying Mediterranean way of eating may be right for you. Join the NC Cooperative Extension, Granville County Center in celebrating the Med Way of eating by using MedInsteadofMeds.com to help you eat the Med Way.

Created by NC State Extension and the Community and Clinical Connections for Prevention and Health Branch of the North Carolina Division of Public Health, MedInsteadofMeds.com is filled with recipes and resources that make the New Year a great time of year to start eating the Med Way.

The Med Way reflects a way of eating that is traditional in the countries that surround the Mediterranean Sea and includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, nuts, seeds, and olive oil and limits highly processed foods and added sugar. The Mediterranean diet has been extensively studied and is associated with promoting health and decreasing the risk of many chronic diseases including some forms of cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

As such, the Mediterranean way of eating is recommended around the world, including in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. There are seven simple steps to eating the Med Way and they are: 1. Change your protein; 2. Swap your fats; 3. Eat more vegetables; 4. Eat more fruit; 5. Snack of nuts; 6. Make your grains whole; and 7. Rethink your sweets.

Since we know that eating like those who live in the Mediterranean region has been shown to promote health and decrease risk of many chronic diseases, we want to provide a program to teach this healthier way of eating to the community.

Therefore, the local Cooperative Extension Office will host a Med Instead of Meds class at the South Granville Library at 1550 S. Campus Drive in Creedmoor. The six weekly sessions will share the basics of the Mediterranean way of eating along with information about different recipes and cooking tips. Participants will increase their understanding of the health benefits and concepts related to the Mediterranean style eating pattern.

The classes will be held on Wednesdays, Jan. 8, 15, 29, Feb. 5, 19, 26 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. each afternoon. Cost for the entire six-week program is $5 and includes handouts, lesson materials and some taste tests of Mediterranean recipes.

You can pay the first day of class but you must call or email Jennifer Grable, Extension Agent, at 919-603-1350 or jennifer_grable@ncsu.edu to register by Monday, Jan. 6.

This column as provided by Jennifer Grable, family and consumer sciences extension agent for Person and Granville counties. For more information on things to keep your family healthy and safe, along with updates on programs, activities and recipes, go online to http://facebook.com/personcountyfcs or email jennifer_grable@ncsu.edu.

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