On the average, people in the Mediterranean countries live longer, healthier lives than anywhere else in Europe or North America. A major factor is the Mediterranean diet, a diet that continues to surprise nutritionists with its healthful properties.
It’s nice to know that in today’s “let’s-ﬁnd-a-new-food-hack” culture, there’s a common sense approach based on real-life testing on humans spanning dozens of countries and ﬁfty millennia.
The Mediterranean diet in 87 words or less
The countries surrounding the Mediterranean have rich traditional cuisines that differ from country to country, but share certain central traits that make them both tasty and healthy. The main components are:
- Healthy fats such as olive oil, nuts and avocados with monounsaturated fats that lower LDL cholesterol and aid the uptake of fat soluble vitamins E, A, D and K.
- Daily consumption of fruits and vegetables (the average consumption in Greece is a whopping 2 kilos per day per person!)
- Plenty of seafood.
- Moderate consumption of dairy products, some from goat’s milk which is more easily digested than milk from cows. Very little cream or butter.
- Moderate consumption of red meat.
- Seasoning. In addition to the healing properties of garlic and onion, a bit of spice has another important function: it lowers the amount of salt and fat necessary to boost ﬂavour.
- More red wine than beer. While alcohol on its own has questionable health properties, the antioxidants and tannin in red wine have been linked to lower rates of heart disease.
The two most important components are taste… and company.
Because of its history and diversity, Mediterranean cuisine offers endless wonderful
recipes that prove what’s good is good for you. Taste may seem like a luxury, but exquisite ﬂavour is the best incentive in the world to eat right. Mediterranean food is a safe space where you can reconnect with what’s important in life.
And best of all, Mediterranean food always comes with the best serving suggestions: “Serve accompanied by wine and friends…”