Woman’s World Special Edition – Mediterranean Cooking (2019)
English | 134 pages | pdf | 138.98 MB
Welcome to YOUR NEWHEALTHY LIFE!
Mediterranean cooking is inspired by the eating habits in Greece, Spain and the southern areas of Italy and France. Natural foods like fruits, veggies, nuts, legumes, whole grains and olive oil are central to the cuisine in these areas. The colorful dishes are flavored with fresh, aromatic herbs and garlic, and wine consumption is welcome (yay!). Since the focus is on whole foods, most of the recipes are simple to prepare. To help you keep up with your busy schedule, we included the FAST! icon on recipes that prep in 30 minutes or less. So start today—there’s no better time to start eating well and enjoying meals with those you love.
Cheers to health & happiness,
THE MEDITERRANEAN TEAM
IS is not longer a secret that people who eat a Mediterranean diet share many commonalities including a longer life expectancy, healthier hearts and lower rates of chronic disease. The positive effects of the diet are far reaching and include lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, better blood glucose (sugar) control, better weight management, reduced risk of depression, as well as a lower incidence of some cancers, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
The Mediterranean diet is centered on real, minimally processed foods such as whole grains, plenty of plant foods such as fruit and vegetables, as well as seafood and fish, yogurt, pulses, seeds and nuts. There is no need to give up your favorite foods, as the Mediterranean diet includes many of them, such as red wine, extra virgin olive oil, butter and bread. Ultimately, balance and enjoyment are at the core of the Mediterranean approach to food.
Cutting out fat isn’t encouraged on a Mediterranean diet. When it comes to good nutrition, not all fats are created equal. Research suggests that including healthy fats as
part of a balanced diet can actually promote better health outcomes and may be the reason why people who follow a Mediterranean diet have healthier hearts than those who eat a traditional Western diet.
Healthy fats including extra virgin olive oil, nuts and seeds, oily fish and dairy foods like yogurt are all included on the Mediterranean menu. Extra virgin olive oil is the primary source of fat in the Mediterranean diet—and not just because it tastes great. Olive oil is a good source of monounsaturated fat, which has been linked with lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and heart disease and better weight management. Olive oil also contains linoleic acid, a type of omega-6 fatty acid, which is good news for your heart. Whenever possible, opt for olive oil as your primary source of fat. In particular, choose “extra virgin” and “virgin” options, as these are the least processed and contain the highest levels of beneficial polyphenols, the protective compound found in plants.
Instead of cutting out fat altogether on the Mediterranean diet, you simply swap sources of saturated and trans fats for foods with more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Choose foods like avocado, nuts, seeds, oily fish, dairy and extra virgin olive oil rather than filling up on too much red meat or deep-fried and processed options.
Seafood and fish also feature heavily in the Mediterranean kitchen, offering a healthier and more sustainable alternative to red meat. Oily fish, such as sardines, herring, tuna,
salmon and mackerel are all good sources of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, a polyunsaturated fat which research suggests can help boost brain function, including memory, concentration and mood.
While small amounts of meat can be eaten in the diet, seafood and fish are at the heart of the Mediterranean diet, along with plant-based sources of protein such as pulses, nuts and seeds. Aim to eat fish or seafood at least twice a week and ideally eat a small serving of red meat only two to three times a week.
The Mediterranean diet also features plenty of unrefined whole grains and other fiber-rich foods such as vegetables and fruit. This plant-based focus is a great way to get lots of fiber into your diet, fueling your body with naturally slow-burning energy sources. A diet high in fiber is linked to better weight management and digestion, improved cholesterol levels, reduced risk of some diseases including bowel cancer, as well as more stable moods. Get inspiration from the Mediterranean way of eating and choose whole grains such as oats, brown and black rice, quinoa, freekeh and barley over more refined options. Adding legumes or pulses into your diet is also a great way to up your fiber intake—and stay fuller longer.
Many of the Mediterranean-style dishes are naturally bright and colorful, thanks to the importance placed on fresh, seasonal produce. Fruit and vegetables naturally contain plenty of antioxidants and polyphenols, which can help combat free radical damage, helping to slow the signs of aging and reduce the risk of inflammatory disease. Filling up on five to ten servings of vegetables a day is a great way to get more antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, minerals and fiber into your diet. But it’s not just the type of foods consumed in the Mediterranean that makes it so good for you. It is the way in which the food is eaten, with special importance placed on mealtime enjoyment.
Most Mediterranean dishes are designed to be shared with family and friends. This family-style approach to eating food around the table helps develop a sense of community and connection that is essential to well-being and happiness. Sharing foods around the table also helps foster a healthy relationship with food magazine where the focus is on enjoyment and satiation, rather than restriction or control. Eating at the table is a simple step that can promote more mindfulness into mealtimes. Another benefit of eating family-style shared plates is that it encourages a diet of variety. Variety is at the core of the Mediterranean diet. Eating a diet that includes a wide range of ingredients, in an array of colors, is a simple way to help your body get a healthy mix of essential vitamins and minerals. You can get more variety in your diet by “eating the rainbow,” choosing mostly plant foods and trying new
ingredients, particularly as the seasons change. Naturally, you’ll fill up on more nutrient-rich foods helping your body to thrive. The Mediterranean diet is easy to follow because there are no food rules or lists of banned foods. Instead of counting calories, a Mediterranean approach can help you take care of your body by simply tuning into your appetite, eating when hungry and filling up on plenty of the good stuff. Ultimately, the Mediterranean diet is an enjoyable, easy-to-adopt way of eating to help you live a longer, healthier and happier life filled with energy, balance and shared experiences eating together.
Lyndi Cohen, The Nude Nutritionist
Accredited Practicing Dietitian & Nutritionist