Mediterranean diet is a diet model recommended by authorities in the nutrition science, which was originated in areas along the coast in Italy and southern Greece.
Mediterranean diet is a type of cuisine that contains plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, foods low in saturated fat and rich in Omega-3. The ingredients of the cuisine have the characteristic of being anti-aging diet. Studies have proven that Mediterranean diet can reduce risk of all kinds of heart diseases, enhance cancer prevention, and is beneficial to the immune systems.
Mediterranean diet also has the feature that lies in the way they enjoy. Food on the table is shared with family members and friends, taking time, no hurry, having pleasant chat, accompanied with laughter. All these are making meal times very much enjoyable.
Rich plant food is the main course of the meal, whole grain food, raw or through simple cooking. Ingredients include seed, nuts, bread, potatoes, beans, and fruits and vegetables. Food from the animal source is kept in a small amount.
This diet provides enough nutrition to maintain human health. Food on the table is usually in the original flavor, little or no condiments added.
Locally grown or gathered fresh fruits and vegetables are consumed in the form of whole grain, not canned, not processed, or in juice. Oatmeal, whole wheat bread, brown rice (no white rice, flour or market food made from the white flour with additives) are favored in the selection. Freshly made salad is everybody’s favorite, with fresh fruits as desert.
Sugar is used in cooking and to the minimum. Cautions should be exercised when choosing the refined food in the local store. Sugar may be under a different name on the food label, such as glucose, sucrose, dextrose, or corn syrup. The sweetened food should be avoided, as it gives quick energy with little or no nutrition. Instead, body needs minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, and good fats from food. In the perspective of anti-aging diet, sugar accelerates the aging process; it generates the bad hormone (cortisol) which would make people look older because it aids the free radicals and raise the bad cholesterol. Limit the sugar intake is one of the key points in the Mediterranean diet.
Following is the main characteristic of the Mediterranean diet.
1. The consumption of fish and poultry is limited to the small to moderate amount, Fish is preferable over poultry.
2. No more than 4 egg yolks in a week, including those in the bakery or other recipes.
3. Use lean red meat only; keep the animal fat in diet to minimum.
4. Olive oil is the major source of fat.
5. Dairy food should be in the forms of cheese and yogurt, made from different type of milk, such as that of goat, cow.
6. Dessert after a meal is mainly fresh fruits, occasionally saturated fat dessert, only a couple of times in a week.