Mediterranean Diet Cookbook For Dummies

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National Nutrition Month ay Mediterranea Diet Cookbook for Dummies - Toby Amidor Nutrition

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Out of Stock. Sorry, this item is now out of stock. Click below to be told when it is back. Notify Me. That picture is a good start. The Mediterranean diet is a way of life — one where you eat lots of fresh food and slow down. More technically, the Mediterranean diet is a modern set of guidelines inspired by traditional diet patterns of southern Italy, the Greek island of Crete, and other parts of Greece. A more rural lifestyle is a common thread among all these regions.

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Research shows that following a traditional Mediterranean diet significantly reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer. The key word here is traditional. The Mediterranean region is changing, with faster-paced lifestyles and more modern conveniences. These changes bring with them an increased prevalence of heart disease and cancer. For the purposes of this book, when you think of a Mediterranean lifestyle and dietary patterns, the focus is on the traditional habits seen at least 50 years ago in the regions we note here.

For instance, if you visited northern Italy in a recent trip, you may not have experienced any of the dietary patterns we promote in this book. Although diet is a big component of the health benefits experienced in the Mediterranean, all the lifestyle patterns combined, including physical activity and relaxation, may provide insight into the health benefits found in this region.

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This chapter serves as your jumping-off point into the Mediterranean diet and breaks down the Mediterranean dietary patterns and lifestyle choices that you can use as strategies for your own healthy lifestyle. The Mediterranean Sea is actually part of the Atlantic Ocean; a total of 21 countries have a coastline on the Mediterranean. However, only a few truly epitomize the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle that we discuss in this book. Having a decent understanding of these countries and their cooking styles can help you have a better appreciation for this way of life.

The recipes in this book are inspired by Mediterranean cooking — specifically, the areas of southern Italy, Greece, Morocco, and Spain. Although you may see some of the same ingredients in many recipes, the flavors used in different countries or regions create entirely different dishes. Table lists some of the countries in the Mediterranean that are part of this lifestyle and the associated flavors and cooking styles commonly used in those areas.

Mediterranean Diet Cookbook For Dummies

Instead, they depended on what was farmed and fished locally, making culinary specialties by using everything on hand. The following sections highlight where people in the Mediterranean get their food and why these strategies are so important. In addition to creating travel-worthy beaches, a moderate climate of wet winters and hot summers makes many of the areas along the Mediterranean ideal for agriculture.

As a result, people living in the Mediterranean area can grow their own food in gardens and small farms, and many do so. A few areas have this type of climate similar to the climate of southern coastal California , which makes growing specialized foods like olives and fig trees easier, thus providing ingredients for some of the signature recipes from this region. Many people in the Mediterranean also abundantly use fresh herbs, spices, onions, and garlic to provide big flavor to their cooking. Table is a partial list of common foods grown on the Mediterranean coast; it can give you a glimpse of what fresh ingredients the recipes in Part III and IV use.

Eating in-season food makes an impact for the following reasons:. Seasonal abundance makes you cook more creatively. If you have an abundant amount of, say, green beans, you want to utilize them in any way possible.


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Finding different, tasty ways to prepare green beans as a side dish or as part of an entree requires more of a thought process, and more care goes into the food itself. You eat an increased variety of produce throughout the year. Relying on produce available year-round at the grocery store means you can easily get stuck in a rut of eating the same standbys throughout the year.

More variety in produce means more variety of health-promoting nutrients that help you prevent disease. Although eating a few different types of fruits and vegetables throughout the year is better than nothing, getting a wide variety is the ultimate goal for good health. We cover how you can adopt more of these ideas in Chapter 5. People in the Mediterranean area rely on the nearby sea as a food source.

Fish appear in many common traditional recipes, providing an abundance of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. You can add seafood to a few weekly meals and reap the same benefits. The least expensive seafood in the Mediterranean region includes sardines, anchovies, mackerel, squid, and octopus. Mid-priced fish and shellfish include tuna, trout, clams, and mussels.

For a pricey, special-occasion meal, options include lobster and red mullet. During the s, before the area was over-fished, a variety of seafood was available in the Mediterranean.

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Unfortunately, fish stocks today are significantly low in the Mediterranean due to overfishing, and many important species, such as tuna, are threatened. Living a healthy lifestyle means you have to look at all aspects of your life. Along with the food plan is a way of life that includes regular physical activity and time for rest, community, and fun; for the folks on the Mediterranean coast, this combination seems to have created that ever-elusive life balance.

Mediterranean Diet Cookbook For Dummies

To tie all the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle concepts together, Oldways Preservation and Exchange Trust came up with the Mediterranean Food Guide Pyramid based on the dietary traditions of Crete, other parts of Greece, and southern Italy around , when chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer were low.

As you can see in Figure , the focus is on eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, and seafood; eating less meat; and choosing healthy fats such as olive oil. Note also the importance of fun activities, time shared with family and friends, and a passion for life. The following sections examine each aspect so that you can find it, too.

How can that be? Not all fats are created equal. People in the Mediterranean consume more of the healthier types of fats monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids and less of the omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids and saturated fats other cultures tend to overload on. Instead of focusing on total fat intake, these folks maintain a healthier ratio of these different groups of fats than you see in the United States; they consume about 35 percent of their total daily calories from fat, but less than 8 percent of their calories come from saturated fats.

According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the average intake of saturated fats in the United States is 11 percent of daily calories.

You can find out more about the details of this fat ratio in Chapter 2. To start rebalancing your fat ratio, limit your use of fats such as butter and lard in cooking and use more olive oils or avocadoes for spreads.