Mediterranean Cooking Tips for Beginners


Olive Oil Pouring into Ceramic Spoon Holder

Mediterranean cooking is being heavily touted by the media as an excellent weight loss tool, and a healthy method of living, and for good reason.  Working one's way down the Mediterranean diet path doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing, but is a tasty road to travel.  Some tips make the method to this cuisine's madness a bit easier.

Healthy fat is the first key to Mediterranean cooking.  Replacing butter and animal fats such as butter or bacon fat with healthy fats such as olive oil reduces the cholesterol content of foods from the ground up.  Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat and is the basis, although not the only cooking oil that is in this category.  It is excellent in salad dressings, is a great replacement for butter when mixed with a little balsamic vinegar for serving on bread, and does a great job for the purposes of sauteing.   Other oils that really make the grade are macadamia nut oil, which makes an amazing mayonnaise, and avocado oil which makes great salad dressing. 

Getting 8 servings of green vegetables and fruit a day is important.  This is the key to carbohydrate portion control, and portion control in general.  Fruit for dessert, or fruit for breakfast can help to get those 8 servings in 3 meals.  Whole grains are key to lower-glycemic-index energy, and digestive health.  Fish is king for protein in the Mediterranean diet.  Poultry gets its market share as well, as do beans.  Red meat is rarely served, and is sometimes used as a seasoning.  Alcohol consumption in a Mediterranean diet is very moderate.  It is common to have a glass or two of red wine with a meal.  Medical science has shown that red wine in particular has heart benefits, keeping clogged arteries at bay.  Finally, Mediterranean meals are eaten slowly, and enjoyed with friends.

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