As a person that tries to maintain a healthy diet while doubling as a foodie, traveling abroad can be tough. You want to stay healthy, but all of the delicious foreign delicacies are so tempting. The latter is a problem in many foreign countries, but not in Israel, my friend.

Fresh, healthy food is embedded in the Israeli diet, often due to the proximity of local produce such as olives and dates. Here are a few points showing how you won't have to feel too guilty as a tourist in Israel. 

They Cook with Olive Oil, Not Butter

Unlike butter which contains saturated fats ,which can lead to cancer and heart disease, olive oil contains healthy unsaturated fats that have been found to lower cholesterol levels and possibly benefit insulin levels and blood sugar control. Using olive oil is a great Israeli tradition that shows the prevalence of the nutritious Mediterranean diet in Israel. 

Hummus and Tahini are Dipping Sauces of Choice

Unlike the US where dips are often ranch or filled with cheese, in Israel, hummus and tahini are used everywhere, for just about everything. Hummus is a delicious dip often made from chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon, olive oil, and sea salt. Tahini is a condiment made from ground sesame seeds, sometimes with a touch of olive oil. These two dips are healthy and tasty, perfect for dipping veggies or eating with pita bread.

Tamara Yogurt 

Yes, you saw it, a tiny yogurt place with one location needed its own category. That's how great it is. Tamara Yogurt is one of my favorite shops in Tel Aviv. It's legitimately the best frozen yogurt I've ever had. It's made with fresh ingredients (unlike many American chains containing loads of chemicals), full of healthy probiotics, and tastes like heaven. Plus, the toppings range from dried cranberries, granola, fresh fruit, toasted coconut, to Oreos, chocolate cornflakes, and warm and gooey Nutella if you want to treat yo self. They even have vegan options (shoutout to the vegan coconut, you were bomb). Essentially, you can't go wrong at Tamara, and I promise you'll leave wishing the United States had its own.

Markets are Filled with Fresh Produce, Dried Fruits, and Nuts

Before visiting Israel, I had never been to a real middle eastern shuk. Let me tell you, this place was heaven. A shuk is an outside market with a plethora of stands, selling everything ranging from pastries, fruit, nuts, veggies, to meat and fish. Prices tend to be relatively cheap, and you can bargain. The best part of the shuk is that the majority of food is fresh, pure, and contains no processed ingredients. My favorite stands were the unreal dried fruit and nut bars, which contained fresh nuts of all kinds and almost any dried fruit imaginable. Israel is famous for its top notch, homegrown Medjool dates, and these stands almost always have them.

Israeli Salad is Everywhere

Unlike your typical US salad which often contains a 200+ calorie dressing and croutons, thus basically defeating the purpose of having a salad, Israeli salad is much better for you. Your typical Israeli salad contains chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions, with a light olive oil, salt, and lemon dressing. My style of salad. 

Even if you never end up making it to the Holy Land, consider adopting the Israeli diet into your every day routine. Trust me, your body and tastebuds won't regret it.