How to follow a true Mediterranean diet | Pakhamhos

How to follow a true Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet has an important cultural aspect, for that reason there are slight variations of food between the different countries where it is followed

Who has not heard about the Mediterranean diet? Everyone knows that it is healthy and is based on the consumption of typical Mediterranean foods. However, the studies on adherence to the Mediterranean diet show that a good part of the population, especially the youngest ones, has diverted their eating pattern towards a diet characterized by industrial products, fast food, precooked foods, pastries or snacks and with a insufficient consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes and vegetables. This article explains, in a simple way, what the Mediterranean diet is and how to follow it.

What is the Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet concept is simple: consumption of fresh, local and seasonal products, prepared with the traditional culinary techniques of each country or region and adapting to the rhythm of traditional life, the climate and the geographical environment. Therefore, it has an important cultural component, as well as the food itself. The Mediterranean diet is not just a diet, it is a lifestyle.

It is important to remember its multicultural aspect. Bread with olive oil in Spain, pasta with mushrooms (funghi) in Italy or couscous in North Africa are just one example of the fact that no two Mediterranean diets are the same, although the basis is the same: fresh, local, seasonal , adapted to each culture, to its traditional lifestyle and its environment.

Mediterranean diet and health

The first relationship between the Mediterranean diet and health was established by Ancel Keys (1904-2004) and his famous Study of the Seven Countries, by demonstrating for the first time the relationship between diet and the risk of cardiovascular disease. Recently, it was declared Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

Currently, the main research being carried out on the health effects of the Mediterranean diet is the Predimed study, in which several research groups participate and where its effectiveness in reducing cardiovascular risk has been demonstrated. Its benefits come from the usual consumption of heart-healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, fish or virgin olive oil or extra virgin olive oil.

Unfortunately, many of the foods located at the top of the pyramid are taken in excess. The recommended rations are ignored and the food that is in the base is displaced and reduced. This brings us closer to the pattern of the Western diet, characterized by a lower consumption of healthy fats (virgin olive oil, nuts, fish, etc.) and a higher intake of less desirable fats (animal fats, palm oil, trans fats , etc.). The frequent consumption of pastries, soft drinks and sweets can also be related to the western pattern.

It must be remembered that the recommended weekly rations for white meat (rabbit, chicken, etc.) are two; for red meat (beef, lamb, etc.) are less than two; and for processed meats (sausages, cold meats, hamburgers, etc.), one or none. We must point out that these recommendations are general, since you can follow a Mediterranean pattern without consuming a group of foods such as meats.

Mediterranean diet and social aspect

In the pyramid of the Mediterranean diet, a novel aspect stands out. It is about the concept that the Mediterranean diet is a lifestyle that includes coexistence, physical activity, good rest, adequate hours, enough time to cook, eat in company, with tranquility and outdoors when there is an opportunity.

Several factors have influenced the abandonment of some typical Mediterranean customs such as the incorporation of women into the labor market, working hours, globalization or the boom of processed foods. These causes, among others, have led to an important change in habits in most households where less time is spent on the purchase of fresh food and home cooking.

Simple tips to follow a Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet is not a specific food, but a way of understanding food, consuming daily fresh, local, seasonal foods with a focus on vegetables, fruits, vegetables, legumes, cereals and nuts.

Monitor the schedules and pace of life, since the Mediterranean lifestyle is incompatible with many current schedules. It takes time to cook and eat (if possible, in company).

To drink? Water. If you drink wine, just a small glass a day, lunch or dinner. Virgin olive oil or extra virgin olive oil is a source of health. You can not miss.
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