- Posted January 30, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Who taught you to love food?
Mediterranean Diet Recipes
For the newbie dieter, the Mediterranean diet is simply the cuisine enjoyed by countries in that particular part of Europe the Mediterranean sea passes through, namely Spain, Italy, France, Greece and parts of the Middle East. Think Italian pasta and pizza, Spanish paella, Greek moussaka and Middle Eastern falafels and distinct fresh flavors bursting with the aromas of the sea, farmlands and olive oil come to mind and palate.
Now wouldn’t a diet based on this wonderful cuisine its wide variety of food be a veritable paradise for someone trying to lose weight? Even better! Though it’s an actual recommended eating pattern, a number of experts advocate to incorporate it as part of an overall lifestyle rather than a regimented and time bound program.
It is also reassuring to note that this has been scientifically studied for many years in a large varied population in this part of the world and compared to groups in other parts of Europe, the United States and Japan. These studies show that this eating pattern contributed significantly to improved health – from improved brain function to prolonged longevity and low incidence of chronic diseases, form reduced incidence of health risks like obesity and high-blood pressure.
The diet in this region is marked by daily high consumption of fruits and vegetables, grains (unrefined cereals), beans, fish and olive oil in copious amounts. Olive oil could very well be one of the most healthy components of the diet containing high levels of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants that could be attributed to the reduction of the risk of coronary heart disease and improve good cholesterol levels. It also has anti-inflammatory and anti-hypertensive properties.
Meat, eggs and wine though consumed are done so in moderate to low amounts.If you notice, there isn’t a lot of fancy, hard to find ingredients. It’s the combination of these ingredients, taken in the right quantities, that makes it distinctly beneficial to the health. When trying to replicate the benefits of the Mediterranean diet at home, use the freshest ingredients possible and keep a lot of excellent quality olive oil. Though it’s more expensive that most oils, its health benefits makes it worth every drop.
One additional bonus when on this diet lifestyle, counting calories is certainly not an obsession. Though deep fat frying, dairy and meat is present in Mediterranean cuisine, it’s the reasonable amounts they are taken that keeps everything in the realm of healthy eating.