May was International Mediterranean Diet Month and the perfect time to explore the secrets of a diet-lifestyle that is connected to many health benefits including increased quality of life and lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. In our work and travels, we found many people were mixed up about what is the REAL Mediterranean-style diet. Fix the mix-up with our 6-point checklist.
Tasty Italian food such as pizza, pasta (which we love to enjoy from time to time as well) is not the real pattern of a healthy Mediterranean-style diet. The healthy Mediterranean diet is the traditional eating pattern of those who live along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. It is a culturally diverse region with over 20 countries including Italy, Greece, Spain, France, and North African countries. This classic Mediterranean-style of eating was one of the three approaches for healthy eating recommended by the latest USDA Dietary Guidelines. Here is our 6-point checklist to recognize a Healthy Mediterranean-style diet that is based on nutrient dense, quality food.
- Plant based, using vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes.
- Olive oil (which is high in monounsaturated fat) is a key ingredient
- Moderate fish / meat consumption
- Flavour boost from lemon, garlic, herbs, cheese, yogurt
- Wine with meals in low to moderate amounts
- Food and meals are enjoyed in the company of family, friends or community
Interested in learning more about the Mediterranean-style diet? Contact us for tips from our culinary travels and recipe collections. For starters try this “Memories of Italy” healthy snack: sliced pears topped with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese chunks and walnuts, drizzled with aged traditional balsamic vinegar (not the popular store variety).