The Mediterranean diet seen by the chef

The diet of the regions surrounding the Mediterranean Sea is the mediterranean dietfrom Greek etymology “way of life”. It focuses on the correct choice of foods, their use in the kitchen, working and cooking methods and processes. The caloric aspect is placed in the background.

In the 1950s, Ancel Keys, a well-known American nutritionist, noticed that people in the Mediterranean Sea were less susceptible to certain diseases than Americans. His research was reported in the book “Eat well and stay well. The Mediterranean Way” with the results of the famous “Seven Countries Study” which observed for several years the diet and health conditions of approximately 12,000 people residing in different countries of the globe.

mediterranean diet

Keys’ hypothesis was thus confirmed. The Mediterranean diet has been proposed to the whole world as the perfect diet, ideal for reducing the incidence of “wellness diseases”.

What are the pillars of the Mediterranean diet?

Increased vegetable protein consumption: legumes, tubers and cereals are valid alternatives to refined carbohydrate foods. Excellent cooked over low heat with raw olive oil at the end of cooking.

Reduction or elimination of saturated fats: olive oil is the example of the whole way of life of the Mediterranean populations. Unsaturated vegetable fat, easily digestible and used in the preparation of vegetables, vegetables and fish dishes.

Calorie moderation: by replacing certain foods of animal origin with plants and fish, thelowering of the requirement daily calories with a noticeable improvement in satiety.

Introduction of dietary fiber: prefer flours and complete products such as rice, barley, millet. Spelled husked with the presence of bran to facilitate and promote the increase in complex carbohydrates. For example, the pasteurization process for the preparation of tomato paste increases the antioxidant properties making prepared pasta an excellent ally of our health. Dietary fiber prevents overeating, the desire to eat without measure and, therefore, the increase of ailments and diseases.

mediterranean dietThe “healthy” diet

Reduced cholesterol intake: white meats, blue and poor fish, oil (compared to butter, lard and lard). Goat and cow cheeses are the recommended foods not to promote arterial cholesterol. The flowers and leaves of thyme, rosemary, oregano, chives, sage can also be used…

Using lemon thyme or lavender in a classic pastry cream considerably flavors the preparation. How to brown fish over low heat with lemongrass or lemongrass or eggs with sage (an old combination) or wild fennel in pork. Less salt, better if marinated whole from Cervia or Trapani, in preparations with aromatic herbs, better if chopped.

Confectionery & pastry: it should be noted that the southern part of our peninsula, as well as North Africa and Spain, are abundant in white sugar or sucrose compared to the rest of Europe. It is better to use brown sugar cane and otherwise unrefined, with a slight decrease percentages: there are many natural sweeteners such as stevia, barley malt, Canadian maple, molasses or honey, corn or rice syrup, amasake (very common in the East), lemon juice grape or agave.

Added to a meal not too light rich in meat, saturated fats and few vegetables, a very sweet pastry does not favor digestion regular in terms of heaviness and timing. Fruits are a wonder for a healthy, balanced and healthy diet. Seasonal fruits accompany steamed shellfish or citrus fruits used for marinated meat or fish.

Mediterranean Diet and Wine: Friends or Foes?

Red wine: no less important, red wine consumed in small quantities (1 or 2 glasses per day) contributes tosubstance use antioxidants; even in the kitchen, the use of wine is increasingly limited to traditional local recipes.

mediterranean diet

The assembly of risotto with wine is also a trend that is running out of steam. Always in vogue, cooking pears in red wine and cinnamon. Or apples in white wine and sugar, wine jellies, brandies or balsamic vinegar. Even today, they also produce wine ice cream, siphon mousse or sorbets that are inspired by Spanish sangria.

Why choose the Mediterranean diet?

In conclusion, the Mediterranean diet is rich in functional foodsis easily assimilated and nutrientwithout “junk food”.

In confirmation of this thesis, the Intergovernmental Committee of Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), on November 17, 2010, included the Mediterranean diet in the prestigious list of 166 elements as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

A prestigious recognition, preparatory and fundamental for the development of food because it demonstrates the importance of the Mediterranean art of living throughout the world. It is mainly women who disclose these culinary methods and the knowledge of rites, gestures and celebrations in the preservation of ancient techniques. The Mediterranean diet is added as a third Italian element after the Sicilian Opera dei Pupi and the Canto a tenore sardo.

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