The Best Father’s Day Gift-A Long, Healthy Life with the Mediterranean Diet

 By Amy Riolo

With Father’s Day just around the corner, most of us are busy planning the perfect present for Dad. The usual gifts of cards, neckties, and watches are nice ideas, but the greatest gift you could give your father is helping him achieve lasting health.

The best way to show love to your dad on Father’s Day is by making a meaningful contribution to his life. Let your dad know that you love him, and that’s why you want him to live a long, healthy, and happy life. Introducing him to the healthful and delicious dishes from the Mediterranean region is a great way to do just that.

You’ve likely heard of the Mediterranean diet, which was recently named best overall diet of 2019 and has been shown to help extend your lifespan by roughly a decade. This eating pattern has also been linked to preventing heart attacks, strokes, certain cancers, and diabetes, and reducing inflammation. It may even help lower your risk of dementia by a third.

The Mediterranean eating pattern centers around seasonal produce, fish and seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy, and small amounts of meat and sweets. Part of what makes this diet so successful is that people in the Mediterranean region consider food to be a friend and ally—a source of pleasure, nutrition, history, medicine, and tradition. When combined with lifestyle choices like communal eating and physical activity, the Mediterranean diet is believed to contribute to remarkable longevity in the region. For example, residents in Sardinia are ten times more likely to live past 100 than people in the United States.

Father’s Day is the perfect time to help your dad make the lifestyle changes that can give him a longer and more joyful life. Read on for two ways you can celebrate your love for your dad and help him start living a healthier life.

Prepare a delicious Mediterranean-style Father’s Day lunch. Show Dad how much you love him by preparing him a special Father’s Day meal. Offering a lunch that features delicious and healthy Mediterranean-inspired dishes is the perfect way to celebrate with your dad and the rest of your family. Not only is this a great time to enjoy healthy food, it’s also a chance to reap the benefits of communal eating, a long-upheld tradition in Mediterranean communities. Sharing a table and enjoying camaraderie with loved ones provides a sense of comfort, security, and stability. Below you’ll find a tempting lunch menu.

Help him stock a healthy Mediterranean pantry. A well-stocked pantry saves time, money, and stress, and makes it easy to eat more healthy meals. With a full Mediterranean pantry in place, Dad can whip up fresh and delicious dishes in just minutes. For Father’s Day, treat him to a shopping trip and stock his pantry with the basics he’ll need to continue cooking healthy meals.

Ready to start planning an unforgettable Father’s Day feast? Read on for a healthy and delicious dessert to share with Dad and the rest of your family.


Recipe

 

MangoMiSu (Mango Tiramisu)
Vegetarian

Serves: 8 | Serving Size: ½ Cup |
Prep Time: 5 Minutes, Plus at Least 6 Hours Chilling Time | Cook Time: None

The rich, indulgent flavors of traditional tiramisu are reserved for special occasions in Italy. This version combines yogurt, mango, and cooling cardamom for a light, uplifting treat that is perfect for a healthy indulgence any time of year. Keep in mind that the MangoMiSu needs to set for a minimum of 6 hours or overnight. Peaches and pineapple also work well in this recipe.

12 BelVita breakfast biscuits, golden oat
16 oz fresh mango cubes, or frozen and thawed, divided
2 Tbsp light agave nectar
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups fat-free organic vanilla yogurt, divided
1/2 cup strawberries
8 fresh mint sprigs

Line the bottom of an 8-inch wide bowl with 4–6 biscuits, making an even layer. (You may need to break a few to get them to fit.)

Purée 8 oz mango cubes by placing them in a food processor and processing until liquid. Using a spatula, remove from food processor. Add agave nectar, cardamom, and vanilla to mango purée.

Pour or spoon half of the mango purée over the biscuits. Spoon 1 cup of yogurt over mango purée evenly. Scatter remaining mango cubes over the yogurt, reserving 1 Tbsp for garnish. Sprinkle the strawberries over the mangoes, and top the fruit with remaining 6–8 biscuits.

Pour remaining half of mango purée over the biscuits. Top with remaining yogurt, and smooth out to cover surface. Scatter remaining 1 Tbsp mango cubes over the top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 6 hours or overnight or until set.

Serve 1/2-cup portions in small dessert cups. (Alternative plating idea: To plate as 8 individual servings rather than using a large bowl, simply layer 1/8 of each ingredient in a glass dessert dish or wine glass.) Garnish each serving with a mint sprig.

Choices/Exchanges 
2 Carbohydrate, ½ Fat

Calories 170
Calories from fat 30
Total fat 3.5 g
Saturated fat 0.3 g
Trans fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 110 mg
Potassium 230 mg
Total carbohydrate 31 g
Dietary fiber 2 g
Sugars 19 g
Protein 4 g
Phosphorus 85 mg

Getting healthy and staying that way means adopting a lifestyle that allows you to enjoy more nutritious homecooked meals and share them with the ones you love. There’s no better time than Father’s Day to help your dad make a commitment to eat fresh and delicious foods that will keep him healthy and well for years to come.

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