Publication Date: November 16, 2014
The Mediterranean diet is credited with improving health, longevity and infusing our food with delicious flavors. The popular view of the Mediterranean diet is that it is lower in saturated fat, high in fruit, vegetables and grains; fish and other white meat, with much less red meat than the western diet. It includes healthy oils and nuts and seeds, moderate alcohol intake and it is the model that the USA DASH DIET is based upon. The way we have been taught to think about the Mediterranean diet is not completely accurate. While there is no argument that the diet is superior to the standard American diet or SAD as it is so often called, the Mediterranean people also people eat white pasta, white bread, white rice and a good amount of saturated fat and salt. And the diet is not one single diet preference. It spans the countries of Cyprus, Croatia, Spain, Greece, Italy, Morocco and Portugal and it involves much more than food. It is a lifestyle. I cannot put it any better than UNESCO who determined the basis of the Mediterranean diet on December 4th 2013.
“The Mediterranean diet involves a set of skills, knowledge, rituals, symbols and traditions concerning crops, harvesting, fishing, animal husbandry, conservation, processing, cooking, and particularly the sharing and consumption of food. Eating together is the foundation of the cultural identity and continuity of communities throughout the Mediterranean basin”.