Mediterranean Diet Is More of a Lifestyle

Tagine with Mediterranean Food

The Mediterranean diet is not just a diet, but is a lifestyle.  Many medical professionals are recommending a Mediterranean diet because it offers an appealing, sustainable heart-healthy diet. It is not a diet comprised of what one can't eat.  Instead, it provides a wide variety of beautiful, satisfying foods, and its tradition of small amounts of high quality meats and fish with large amounts of beautiful, crisp, vibrant vegetables, combined with healthy fats like olive oil, makes an appealing offering. 

Mediterranean diets are full of fruits and vegetables, nuts, healthy whole grains, beans, and seeds.  Dairy and eggs are included in small portions. A glass or two of red wine per day is part of this diet as well, but water is the daily beverage staple.

Getting started with this type of diet might be daunting, particularly if cooking is not within one's skill set.  However, this type of diet relies on food that is fresh and relatively whole.  It is cooked with simple techniques, and meant to preserve the flavor and quality of the original produce.  A simple regional cookbook and a good familiarity with the local produce stand or farmer's market and fishmonger can set a brave beginner along a journey that very likely will result in a love affair.

Italians, the Tuscans in particular, have been famous since medieval times for their use of vegetables , both in variety and quality.  Choosing dishes from this region makes taking on a Mediterranean diet easier, and the cuisine is divine.  It does not resemble the food that is generally identified as Italian in the US, although there are elements that are recognizable. 

Moroccan cuisine offers savory tagines that are both veggie heavy and hearty.  Greek and Turkish foods offer grilled meats that tempt the palate, and yogurt sauces and salads that refresh. North African cuisine in general offers spice combinations that are tantalizing.


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