The vibrant and rich culture of the
Mediterranean people is nowhere more evident than in their colorful
cuisine. Deep reds, bright oranges, luminous greens and vivid yellows -
they are present in every platter. Each dish is an epicurean union of
earth and sea; every meal unfolds a rainbow of colors and textures that
excites the senses.
Though it may reflect a culture of indulgence, true Mediterranean
cooking embodies a healthy lifestyle. In a nutshell, it is characterized
by: heavy use of vegetables, legumes, fruits and cereals;
moderate-to-high fish intake; small quantities of saturated fats; heavy
doses of monounsaturated fats like olive oil; low-to-moderate amounts of
dairy products (mostly feta cheese and yogurt); mineral use of meats;
and modest consumption of wine.
The Mediterranean diet has remained fairly consistent throughout the
years, but was relegated to the sidelines recently by fad diets.
Fortunately, a comeback is in the works. People who follow the
Mediterranean diet are more likely to live longer. It also supports the
age-old claim that the diet helps patients reduce their risks for heart
disease and diabetes. Mediterranean dietary patterns can reduce the risk
of cancer and re cardio protective. Because of its unquestionable health
benefits, American physicians have been learning the Mediterranean Food
Pyramid and how it can be incorporated into their practice.
You can treat your palate and still be good to your body with these
gastronomic delights that are, surprisingly, also kind to your heart.