The Mediterranean Diet reflects the typical eating habits of the inhabitants of the Mediterranean. It is based on the simple preparation of delicious dishes thanks to the wide range of products produced in these countries.
At the same time, its recipes can be easily adapted to the personal taste preferences of each person.
The Greek version of the Mediterranean Diet consists of products produced in Greece and have shaped the eating habits of the Greeks from antiquity until today.
For the last fifty years, a unanimous international scientific view has emerged on the world stage that the traditional diet of the Mediterranean countries is healthier than the western or abundant diets.
This unanimity is credible because it is the result of the work of researchers from all over the world and is independent of units of industrial interest or of any country.
What exactly is the Mediterranean diet?
The Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits and vegetables and includes pasta, bread, cereals, rice and potatoes, poultry and fish, dairy products, some very little processed seasonal foods and minimal meat. But it also has two main ingredients: olive oil, which is the main source of fat, and wine.
The daily intake of dairy products is mainly in the form of cheese or yogurt.
The most common dessert is seasonal fruit.
Sweets are consumed a few times a week, while many times the place of sugar is taken by honey.
Red meat is almost forbidden and is consumed a few times a month and in small quantities, unlike the chicken and fish that are consumed every week.
Finally, wine consumption is very common (one or two glasses of wine every day).
The basic characteristics of the Mediterranean Diet are illustrated schematically with the corresponding Food Pyramid. It is a graphical representation of the various components of the diet in the form of a pyramid designed in January 1993 by a committee of academics and researchers in Massachusetts, USA.
The value of the Mediterranean diet
In the early 1960s, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a study to study the eating habits of people from 7 different countries (Greece, Italy, Yugoslavia, the Netherlands, Finland, USA and Japan). It lasted 30 years and was attended by about 13,000 people aged 40-59.
The results of this study showed that people living in the Mediterranean countries and especially in Greece, had the lowest mortality rates from cancer and coronary heart disease and had the highest life expectancy, compared to residents of other countries.
Scientists trying to discover the secret, came to the conclusion that their special and natural way of life (work in the countryside, increased physical activity), but also their simple and lean diet, which became known worldwide as the Mediterranean Diet, was the cause. of this phenomenon.
Recent major research by the University of Athens School of Medicine and the Harvard School of Public Health, published a year ago in the New England Journal of Medicine, confirms that the Mediterranean diet prolongs life and protects against heart disease and cancer.
What the Mediterranean Diet is good for
The Mediterranean Diet significantly reduces the possibility of cardiovascular disease and consequently coronary heart disease, since fat comes mainly from olive oil and fish.
Researchers from New Orleans have announced that the proper diet for people who have suffered a heart attack or other heart attack is the Mediterranean Diet.
The Mediterranean Diet reduces the risk of atherosclerosis because it lowers glucose, insulin and bad cholesterol.
Olive oil, a key component of the Mediterranean diet, has a beneficial effect on certain types of cancer, such as breast and prostate. A study from the University of Oxford shows that olive oil reduces the risk of colon cancer.
The positive effects of fat from olive oil and fish can be used to control body weight, provided that the total daily calorie intake is reduced.
The Mediterranean Diet protects against the decline of brain functions, memory loss and diseases associated with aging.
The Mediterranean Diet lowers blood pressure.
A recent study by the University of Dublin concluded that the Mediterranean Diet has positive effects on glucose and lipid metabolism in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Delicious and healthy Greek food
In Greece, each piece of land has a different microclimate, so the agricultural products produced differ from each other. But they all have something in common. They are extremely tasty.
Thus, Greece has exceptional food and beverages in terms of taste: olives, olive oil, cheeses, pastries, ouzo, wine, honey, vinegar, pasta, fruit juices, spices, fish.
These products create various exquisite foods. The Greek Mediterranean diet characterizes all regions of Greece and Greek cuisine includes mainly the combination of oil and vegetables, as a result of which it acquires the reputation of offering health and longevity.
After all, the famous heart surgeon Christian Barnard in his book “Fifty Ways for a Healthy Heart” had devoted an entire chapter to the Greek diet, which he described as healthy because it contains olive oil, wine, legumes and vegetables and said that Crete is the region with lower rate of heart disease due to a healthy diet.
Advantages of the Mediterranean diet
The benefits of the Mediterranean diet, its positive effects on health and longevity, the scientific unanimity, the constant references in the world press about it and the fame it has gained around the world have increased the demand for Mediterranean products in all countries.
Studies have shown that the benefits to the human health of the Mediterranean Diet come from the Mediterranean diet as a whole, and not from an individual component. What makes the Mediterranean diet so beneficial is the combination of foods and possibly the chemical interactions of their ingredients.
These products are selected brands, healthy agricultural products, or small processed foods from Greece and can support a complete proposal of a Mediterranean diet, from a food store to its customers. Includes olive oils, olives, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, fresh and dried, legumes, chicken, tomato sauces, vegetable salads and olive and tomato delicacies, wine and honey.