Mediterranean Diet – Diets. How to lose weight
The Mediterranean is not only countries whose sights can easily illustrate more than one collection of myths, it is not only divine beaches and cote d’azur, it is also a historical region that has its own collection of dietary habits and principles that are recognized by modern scientists as an ideal example of a balanced diet.
It would seem that so many different countries surround the Mediterranean Sea, what can be in common in the traditions of their inhabitants’ nutrition? Indeed, due to differences in religion and culture, the culinary preferences of the inhabitants of the Mediterranean differ, but the menus of countries such as Greece, Spain, Italy, France, Israel, Morocco and many others have a lot in common. It is not for nothing that the inhabitants of the Mediterranean basin are distinguished by a healthy lifestyle! Their daily diet consists of fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, olive and rapeseed oils, fish, whole grains, pasta and wines.
In the 50s of the last century, American nutritionists Anselmi and Margaret Keyes began to systematize the dietary rules of Italians, Spaniards and Greeks, which resulted in the “Mediterranean diet”. This nutritional system is designed for long-term use and in the long term promises a slender figure, an improvement in the condition of the gastrointestinal tract, a decrease in blood cholesterol levels and maintenance of the cardiovascular system.
The Mediterranean diet suggests not giving up foods that are prohibited in many other food systems, such as dairy products, pasta, bread and wine. These products, in combination with vegetables and fruits, perfectly satisfy the feeling of hunger, which cannot but please those who, during a diet, try to calm the constantly rumbling stomach, and with it obsessive thoughts about food.
As with all balanced food systems, the Mediterranean diet combines fats, proteins and carbohydrates. The total amount of fat in food is approximately 30%, which is supplied to the body mainly in the form of olive and rapeseed oil. Cheese, eggs and fish are offered as protein foods, but large quantities of meat will have to be abandoned, but you can eat foods rich in complex carbohydrates and fiber. It is allowed to drink wine, but always in moderation and only with meals, while it is advised to refrain from strong alcoholic drinks.
This diet, based on the experience of the inhabitants of the Mediterranean, offers a different approach to the daily diet. Namely, carbohydrate foods are consumed in the morning, and protein foods in the evening. The rational grain of such a distribution lies in the fact that for the whole day the flour manages to be absorbed, and the energy is consumed, that is, the bread or cake that you ate for breakfast will not be deposited in the form of extra pounds. For lunch and dinner, it is recommended to serve any vegetables except potatoes, homemade pasta or rice. Do not forget about olives, olives and herbs, without which no dish is complete in Mediterranean cuisine.
Secrets of the Mediterranean diet
So, it’s time to talk about the main ingredients of the Mediterranean diet used in cooking!
Vegetables. They can be eaten in any form without fear of gaining extra pounds. Ideally, you should eat about a pound of vegetables a day. Pay special attention to tomatoes, olives, olives, garlic and all kinds of greens, their constant use helps to lower cholesterol, prevent cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
Fruits. They are recommended to finish the meal, that is, to eat at least three servings a day. As a dessert, you can choose grapes, pears, apples, peaches, plums or persimmons, which preserves youthful skin and is a natural lifting! It is believed that the vitamins and trace elements contained in fruits make such desserts especially beneficial for female beauty.
Dairy products. Yoghurts and cheeses with a low percentage of fat, such as mozzarella or feta, are quite actively used. In the Mediterranean diet, they are present both as a separate dish and as a dressing in salads and vegetable snacks.
Seafood. Sardines, mackerel, trout, tuna, lobster, squid, mussels and scallops are the staple of Mediterranean cuisine. The fish is cooked in olive oil and served with a fresh vegetable salad or rice. But if flour, eggs or a large amount of fat are added to seafood, then the dish is considered spoiled!
Cereals. Bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, quality breakfast cereals or durum wheat pasta are good sources of complex carbohydrates, fiber, B vitamins and magnesium. It is necessary to choose products made from good flour, and use them only for breakfast, then they are perfectly absorbed by the body and do not affect the figure in any way.
Olive oil. Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil is rich in monounsaturated oils that reduce artery-clogging cholesterol and increase the body’s defenses. Olive oil is used for frying and as a dressing for soups and salads.
Wine. In the Mediterranean diet, wine has a special place – it is believed that it is dry grape wine that can replace food and vitamin supplements due to the content of many sugars, vitamins and minerals that have significant biological activity.
Impact on health
Many medical studies conducted among the inhabitants of the Mediterranean countries have found that they are less at risk of cardiovascular disease because their food helps to lower blood cholesterol levels. Rarely have cancer because the emphasis is on complex carbohydrates, are less likely to suffer from overweight, high blood pressure and diabetes, thanks to high levels of monounsaturated fats, which help control blood sugar levels. Compliance with the principles of the Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, which is primarily due to the abundant consumption of fresh vegetables and fruits, meals from cereals and a moderate amount of meat and fish.
Studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet has a positive effect on the health of people who use it, namely: it reduces the amount of “bad” cholesterol, strengthens the immune system, reduces the risk of Parkinson’s disease, increases life expectancy, increases resistance to chronic diseases, the body copes with depression more easily and stress.
Mediterranean diet dishes
The Mediterranean diet includes the cuisines of almost every Mediterranean country, so there is a great variety of dishes to offer, but we decided to focus on a few that, in our opinion, deserve special attention.
Squid in red wine
700 gr. squid,
6 tbsp. l. olive oil,
1 large onion
2 cloves of garlic
500 gr. peeled tomatoes,
0.5 glasses of red wine
3 tsp finely chopped parsley,
bread with cut crusts
0.5 tsp Sahara,
2.5 cm cinnamon sticks,
Rinse, peel and pat the squid thoroughly. In a large skillet, heat some of the olive oil, add the onion and garlic, and cook until they are translucent. Add squid rings and simmer until golden brown. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, sugar, cinnamon and pour in wine. Leave the lid on and simmer over low heat until the squid is tender. Sprinkle the finished dish with parsley. Slice the bread into triangles. Heat oil in a skillet and toast bread slices on both sides until golden brown. Serve the squid on plates, placing croutons at the edges of the dish.
Pasta with fish and tomato sauce
450 g of pasta
800 gr. canned tomatoes,
3 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp butter,
1 tbsp olive oil
350 g fish with white meat,
ground black pepper.
Heat the olive oil and butter in a skillet together and sauté the onion until translucent, then add the garlic and fry for another 1-2 minutes. Place canned tomatoes in a skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add parsley, salt and pepper. Add fish, previously peeled and cut into 5 cm pieces, and cook for about 20 minutes, until the pieces are cooked into the sauce. Make a pasta and mix it with half of the cooked sauce. Divide into bowls and pour over a large spoonful of sauce for each serving. Sprinkle with parsley on top and serve.
Cheese bread (tyropsomo)
250 gr. hard wheat flour,
250 gr. crumbled feta cheese,
5 gr. dry yeast,
½ tsp honey,
100 ml olive oil
½ tsp dried oregano;
½ tsp salt
Add flour to a large bowl and season with salt. Make a depression in the flour, pour the yeast into it and pour in the honey diluted in warm water. Mix everything and put in a warm place for 15 minutes. Add warm water to keep the dough soft but not sticky. Knead the dough for at least 10 minutes, then put the dough back in the bowl, tighten with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place until the dough rises. Take a baking sheet, brush with olive oil and lay out the dough, pressing with your hands so that it covers the entire surface of the baking sheet. Sprinkle crumbled feta cheese evenly over the top, then press down on the cheese with your fingers. Sprinkle with oregano. Grease the edges of the dough well with olive oil, pour the remaining oil over the feta. Place the baking sheet in a warm place for 30 minutes. Then place in an oven preheated to 250 ° C and bake for about half an hour until golden brown.
Beauty, health, good mood and slimness are indispensable companions of the Mediterranean diet. Do you think that you are on the way with them? Then start changing your eating habits right now, and maybe you will have a chance to conquer the azure shores of the Mediterranean Sea!