Friday, July 5, 2013

Mediterranean Health

It seems that nowadays the Holy Grail of lifestyles is the Mediterranean Diet. A secret I encountered when I lived in Southern Europe is that each season produces its own fruit. What this means is that you live off the land because the land will always bare some kind of fruit(fruit meaning food in general). Since I am a firm believer that eating local foods is a foundation to overall health, it will be discussed elsewhere.

Sometimes the foods have to do with one's heritage, as a health benefit to a person's nutritional benefits. The Mediterranean nutrition is something that will benefit everyone in some way. Here is a shopping list for the Mediterranean Diet. Here are some recipes. Personally I would cut back on dairy and limit it to yogurt and cheese only. Take note of the Pyramid because you will find many differences from the Pyramid or My Plate we use in the United States.

The benefits of this diet, if done right, are very beneficial. The other aspects to this lifestyle is that the meals are shared and eaten in a social setting. You also get plenty of exercise through physical activities. These are the true combinations of what makes this diet as healthy as it is. You can't expect to eat Mediterranean-style foods and live a sedentary lifestyle and hope for optimal health. It just won't work. More info here.

You can't get too much information on the Mediterranean Diet, and only you can determine what to eat. Just to add my comments on the last link, salt should be substituted with other spices, but in Europe there are many dishes that are heavily salted. To the list of fish, I would like to add the barramundi. Extra Virgin Olive Oil should be used in salads, while regular olive oil should be used for cooking. Take note, REAL olive oil comes from only ONE country. If it comes from more than one country such as Italy, Greece and Spain, for example, it is a mixture of oils that take away from real olive oil benefits.

I still say to limit your dairy and only consume yogurt and cheese. I consume 4 oz. of yogurt each morning and cheese on occasion. I avoid milk as much as I can. I don't agree with only one glass of wine because in Europe they consume 2 glasses of wine. One with their lunch and one with their supper.

Again, keep in mind that the diet involves not only nutrition, but eating meals with families and friends, and physical activity and exercise.