The Mediterranean diet concept is that of a healthy diet consisting of vegetables, fruit, cereals, legumes and nuts that are low in saturated fats. It also includes low consumption of dairy products, seafood, poultry, red meat and small to moderate quantities of wine. The Mediterranean diet is one of the most studied dietary patterns.
Mediterranean diet is best recognized as a guide to good health. The diet does not introduce a new diet program that makes one to cut on various food products. Instead, it encourages “wise” choices of food that hold the key to a balanced diet. The people who practice a Mediterranean diet consume vegetables, fruit, cereals, nuts, potatoes and bread in large quantities with small to moderate amounts of yogurt, milk, cheese and wine on a daily basis.
With this came a series of cookbooks to lead a healthy diet. The Mediterranean diet cookbook is a compilation of information on the three continents of the Mediterranean region, their recipes and relished food. These books provide various methods of food preparation such as appetizers, salads, desserts and main course meals. These methods are practiced by the population in the Mediterranean region.
The Mediterranean diet is considered to be the most suitable form of healthy diet. Researchers have proved that the secret of healthy living of people in the Mediterranean region can be attributed to their balanced diet and active life style. Studies have also shown that this diet not only lowers chronic heart diseases but also improves life expectancy.
Researchers have identified the traditional Mediterranean as a healthy diet compared diets rich in animal fats and products. Americans and Europeans consume poultry, eggs and red meat cooked in animal fat such as butter or margarine that are a rich source of saturated fat. The intake of such food with little or no fiber, deficient in essential vitamins, minerals and nutrition vital to the human body.
The food consumed on a day-to-day basis contains cereals, vegetables, bread, beans, potatoes, leafy vegetables and other plant products. Interestingly, nuts rich in essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals are also included in the daily diet. The diet does not encourage too much processing of food, as it can deprive the nutritious value of the food. For instance, over cooked vegetables are only good as roughage(it contains fibers), as it loses essential vitamins in the cooking process.
Mediterranean cuisines are known for their wonderful taste and time saving cooking practices. The recipes widely make use of olive oil in cooking, garnishing and salad dressing. It is a low saturated fat that acts as an antioxidant too. Dairy products like milk, yogurt and cheese are added flavors used in a very low amount. For instance, cheese is used only for flavor and not excessively as a cooking base.
Studies have been ongoing for years to find the secret of good health enjoyed by people living in the Mediterranean region. The Mediterranean region is a cluster of more than twenty states. Each state has its own culture, tradition, customs, practices and food habits. In spite of these differences, every state was found to make use of olive oil and red wine, ate a diet of more plant food rather than animal and enjoyed an active life style.
There are many differences in culture, ethnic background, religion, economy and agricultural production result in different diets but these may have some common things and that contributes in making Mediterranean diet. Some of the common and essential products are rich amount of fruits and vegetables, good amount of bread, cereals, beans, nuts, potatoes and seeds.
Over the course of the past thirty years, a significant amount of research has been undertaken to consider the possibility that the Mediterranean diet might be useful in lowering the incidence of certain types of diseases. A number of significant studies have been undertaken in this regard, including research that has included an analysis of the dining habits in people in different countries around the world over time.
With the tremendous array of diet plans, programs, supplements and aids on the market, it can seem nearly impossible to select a diet plan that can and will best meet your needs now and into the future. More importantly, it can be hard to discern if one or another of these various diet schemes actually is a healthy course to pursue. In many instances, fad diets really are not based on the fundamentals of healthy living.
Those who have fallen victim to gall stones realize how painful they can be. With around 639,000 people being hospitalized per year with gallstones, many studies are being conducted to help find a cause and cure. The Mediterranean diet is rich in nuts, vegetable oil, and fish. Though gallstones are not always diet-related, consuming these foods can help to reduce the risk of gall stones or eliminate them altogether for some according to recent studies.
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