Tip 17: Understanding the Mediterranean Diet
So what’s in a Mediterranean diet? It’s kind of what you’d expect if you’ve travelled along the Mediterranean coast.
The Mediterranean diet contains lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, olive oil, fish, yogurt, cheese, eggs, wine, nuts, seeds, legumes and even some whole grains. Think of whole grains that your great-grandmother might have had access to, not breakfast cereals that claim to be whole grain. Expect to see more homemade pasta, potatoes, and couscous than processed carbohydrates. They eat smaller meals throughout the day and dessert is in the form of fresh fruit rather than a pint of Häagen Dazs.
In addition, the data from the studies validating this diet often come from the food consumed 20 to 30 years ago. Not quite caveman food, but still far different than the processed, packaged, and shelf-life-stable for the next 3 centuries “food” found in abundance today. It seems our megafood businesses may have learned how to feed the world but they still haven’t learned how to nourish the world.
Instead, think seasonal and locally grown.
Q. If I can have a glass of wine every day, can I just save up and have 7 glasses on Friday?
Q. I carry a Pizza Hut Visa Rewards card, does that count?
Q. If I’m in Cinque Terre, can I go to McDonald’s?
A. No. And if you are in Sicily, there is no McDonalds, because the local male teenagers to which the fast food firm relied on to market their product, found it frankly disgusting, for obvious reasons, and was an insult to their mother’s cooking.
On another topic, one of the only benefits of the fall of the Icelandic krona is that it forced the closure of Iceland’s three McDonalds.
Q. Do I have to be in a Mediterranean country to eat this way?
Copyright ©2011 Charles Poliquin