WHAT IS THE MEDITERRANEAN LIFE STYLE?
MEDITERRANEAN DIET, MUCH MORE THAN A DIET PLAN
The Mediterranean, a sea of culture
The Mediterranean Sea is a border sea between different cultures, and has historically been an important link between East and West, as a means of commerce and communication between civilizations.
The Mediterranean lifestyle includes the way of eating and living shared by all the people living in the region of the Mediterranean Sea.
The Mediterranean mood and Mediterranean cultural traditions have been passed between generations for centuries until the present time.
Landscape of Mediterranean coast in Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain.
The Mediterranean style largely inherited the love for nature and the environment that instilled the Greeks and the Romans took from them.
The Mediterranean climate and mood invites popular rides and the relationship with the environment.
Wheat field landscape with Montserrat mountains at the background, located in the littoral Serralada in Catalonia, Spain.
The Mediterranean style, a studied mood
Several studies have evaluated the importance of the Mediterranean lifestyle that accompanies one of the healthiest and most complete food models.
The Mediterranean lifestyle has been widely studied, and has been called Mediterranean way.
The first references about the Mediterranean lifestyle date from 1948, in a book of Leland G. Allbaugh, about the life of the inhabitants of the island of Crete (Crete: A Case Study of an Underdeveloped Area).
However, the study that highlights the benefits of the Mediterranean diet is the “Study of seven countries.”
This is an epidemiological study conducted by the American Ancel Keys, in the period from 1958 to 1964, which investigated the dietary habits of seven countries: the U.S., Japan, Finland, Holland, Yugoslavia, Italy and Greece.
The results showed the benefits of the Mediterranean diet and the Mediterranean lifestyle as positive health factors, especially for cardiovascular health.
In the Mediterranean lifestyle, which in the study refers to as Mediterranean way, the wisdom lies in the popular knowledge of how to combine the foods, which bases predominantly in the abundance of vegetables and fish, olive oil and grease, and a way of physically active life.
The habits of today’s society, driven by stress and governed by large cities and industry, is far from the love to nature and the wisdom that shaped the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid.
Photo of olive oil. The Mediterranean diet is rich in vegetables, using the olive oil in dressings and spices.
In that direction, health organizations try to recover healthy habits of the Mediterranean diet, which include:
– Abundance of fruit and vegetables in the diet: it is recommended, at least, 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day. For example, in one day, you can take: 1 salad, 1 serving of vegetables and 3 fruits. These foods provide us with few calories, fiber, vitamins and phytochemicals. Besides the benefits of fiber, we obtain necessary nutrients for healthy organism.
– A varied diet: Mediterranean culture is rich in diversity of food, amount of cultural variety that has influenced the region since ancient times. It is a living example of the richness of multiculturalism. Each plant food has different properties (See: Medicinal properties of vegetables).
– An active lifestyle: walking at least an hour a day has been shown to have beneficial health effects, for example, to stabilize blood pressure, help treat depression, to combat stress and to preserve the memory.
– Consumption of fish: fish protein food is a staple in the Mediterranean diet. Fish consumption has some benefits over meat and eggs, as its iodine content and, in the case of oily fish, the intake of essential fatty acids like Omega 3. In a balanced diet, fish is consumed 2-4 times a week or more.
More information about Mediterranean diet.