Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. What is it and why is it so highly regarded?

Let's start with the fact that the Mediterranean diet has nothing to do with weight loss - it is more like a guide to proper nutrition that makes us healthier and better. UNESCO has defined the Mediterranean diet as follows: "The Mediterranean diet includes a set of skills, knowledge, rituals, symbols and traditions for crops, harvesting, fishing, animal husbandry, conservation, processing, cooking and, in particular, food sharing and consumption."

The word "diet", nowadays synonymous with "weight loss”Originated from the ancient Greek word δίαιτα (diaita), meaning lifestyle or proper nutrition.

In order to meet the canons of modern beauty and strive for health and beauty, mankind invents and practices a wide variety of diets. Many of them are, to put it mildly, not quite healthy or even harmful to health, but the Mediterranean diet is an exception. In essence, the Mediterranean diet is a balanced, healthy diet, according to which you will provide your body with everything it needs - it has no contraindications and it is definitely not harmful to health.

But I emphasize again that the Mediterranean diet is not the norm slimming diet - It should be seen as a guide to healthy eating. By following this and eating more than you need, you will also gain weight and vice versa - taking into account the calorie deficit - you will lose weight.

 

So what's so special about the Mediterranean diet?

It was observed that the people of the Mediterranean are less likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease and their life expectancy variesFor example, the people of Crete had the longest life expectancy in the world in the 1950s and 1960s. Diet and lifestyle were found to be prerequisites for longevity.

The Mediterranean diet differs from country to country (Italy, Greece, Spain…) and therefore has different definitions. But in general:

  • Vegetables and fruits make up about 60% of the total amount eaten (vitamins, trace elements, antioxidants, fiber);
  • No fat is used - only cold-pressed olive oil (around 80 liters of olive oil are consumed per capita per year in Crete);
  • Salt is used little - it is replaced by various spices - for example, if pepper or hot red pepper (chilli, etc.) is added to the food, they make the taste receptors more sensitive to salt, so it can be used less;
  • Cereals are soaked before cooking (some of the starch is removed with water);
  • Seafood is used as a meat substitute (fish is eaten at least twice a week);
  • Meals are more frequent - 4-5 times a day;
  • 1.5-2 liters of water per day - as a mandatory part of the diet;
  • Wine in small quantities with food.

Respectively - a lot of vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, beans, cereals, grains, fish and seafood, unsaturated fats (olive oil), lean meats, whole grains, naturally low-fat dairy products, water and herbal teas.

 

How to bring your eating habits closer to the Mediterranean diet?

Start with:

  • Dish with / around vegetables, beans and whole grains;
  • Eat fish at least twice a week;
  • Use olive oil instead of margarine, butter or fat when cooking;
  • Serve fresh fruit for dessert.

The Mediterranean diet also means being physically active and sharing meals with your loved ones - it's a family approach. Enjoy your meals!

 

In conclusion

Nutrition is an interesting thing - most people don't think much about it because there is no immediate effect - health problems appear after several years. In today's menu, most products are industrially processed - they contain preservatives, emulsifiers, dyes - many of these additives are completely synthesized, which our body does not recognize (or form compounds in our body that the body does not recognize) - and if they do not, they cannot. to recycle and eliminate the harmful - it takes years and we start to see doctors, which in many cases would not have been done if we had not polluted our body with all kinds of Sū… for several years.

75%-85% chronic diseases are also associated with lifestyle (including eating habits) and cannot be explained by genetic predisposition.

A well-balanced Mediterranean diet, which uses almost exclusively fresh products, is recommended first and foremost to improve our health and well-being.

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