Mediterranean Diet is considered as one, if not the one, of the healthiest diets in the world and those who follow the Mediterranean diet recipes produce healthy and tasty Mediterranean diet foods. Mediterranean Diet or Med Diet as it is called for short, is a way of living and has been a way of living or a lifestyle for thousands of years for all the Mediterranean people living around the Mediterranean Sea.
Mediterranean Diet is not a diet invented by someone and it is not a diet which is commercially exploited by professionals involved in weight loss or healthy eating. There are no health programs and no supplements to accompany this healthy diet.
Mediterranean diet is way of living or the lifestyle of the Mediterranean people and the way it was introduced into the USA, and later on to the rest of the world, was as the way of living of the people in Spain, Italy and Greece. It is based on the Mediterranean Diet pyramid which categorizes the foods in order of frequency which they should be eaten.
Basically the Mediterranean diet dictates the high or daily consumption of fruits, vegetables, olives and olive oil, legumes and whole grain cereals. Fish and dairy consumption should be done moderately while red meat and meat products should be consumed less frequently, a few times a month.
Mediterranean Diet Recipes
The Mediterranean cuisine is well known to the whole world as an umbrella of the national cuisines originating from the Mediterranean countries. Five out of the top cuisines of the world have their roots in the Mediterranean Sea and have Mediterranean diet components in their recipes. The top Mediterranean cuisines are: the Greek, Spanish, Lebanese, French and Italian cuisines.
The Mediterranean Diet recipes you will find around either from books, from the internet or from the Italian grandmother of your friend, have some basic common characteristics and common ingredients.
Mediterranean Diet recipes are both tasty and healthy and they embrace the Mediterranean diet. You can find literally thousands if not millions of Mediterranean diet recipes most of which are variations or fusions of the original culinary recipes of the Mediterranean people.
Hippocrates, the father of medicine believed that food is our medicine and medicine should be our food and that if we eat healthy foods we would be healthy since our body functions are a result of a series of chemical reactions which are affected by the input which is nothing else than the foods we eat.
It should be noted that the common characteristic of all Mediterranean Diet recipes is the simplicity of their preparation, the use of simple ingredients cooked slowly to produce foods with deep flavors.
Another characteristic of the Mediterranean diet is the fact that they cook foods using ingredients fruits and vegetables which are in season. It is documented and admitted by most chefs and cooks that the recipes which use fruits, vegetables and herbs in season produce foods of superior taste and flavor.
Basic Ingredients of the Mediterranean Diet Recipes
When one reads or follows a Mediterranean diet recipe so as to prepare a healthy Mediterranean Diet breakfast, meal or salad there are some ingredients which are used extensively or more frequently than others.
Olive oil: From Spain to Turkey and back to Algiers and Morocco Olive oil is found on every table whether they serve breakfast, lunch or dinner. Olive oil is also used in almost all recipes whether you are roasting a chicken or grilling vegetables. Olive oil is used when frying foods or for the preservation of foods. All studies show that the use of olive oil in our foods protects us from various heart and cardiovascular diseases.
Vegetables: Vegetables are used extensively in the Mediterranean diet cuisine and thus in all recipes, whether they are eaten raw in salads, cooked with meat or alone or combined with various cheeses. Vegetables are also used for the making of pies and there are many recipes around like the famous Greek Spinach pie.
Nuts: The Mediterranean Diet pyramid dictates the frequent use of nuts, almonds, walnuts and many others, and thus nuts in various forms, crashed, raw or cooked, are found in many recipes whether they are recipes of foods, salads or cakes.
Cheese: White cheese is the kind of cheese which is in the ‘’frequent use’’ category of the Mediterranean Diet pyramid and there are many white cheeses which have their origin from the Mediterranean countries. Such cheeses are: the Italian Mozzarella, the Greek feta, the Cypriot Halloumi, the Turkish Beyaz Peynir and the Spanish Mato. These cheeses are part of a great number of recipes varying from the Italian Pizza, the Grilled Halloumi cheese or the feta cheese in the Greek Salad.
Herbs and Spices: Herbs and Spices are used extensively in the Mediterranean dishes and they are used in the recipes to give flavour and taste and reduce the need of salt which is an enemy to our health. Some of the herbs used are basil, thyme, oregano, coriander, mint, onions and garlic.
Mediterranean diet recipes for weight loss
There are books which provide Mediterranean diet recipes which when incorporated in a complete diet plan they can result to weight loss. The diet plan is setup in such a way so that it will give you the capability to lose weight and stay healthy by adopting recipes from various Mediterranean cuisines and following the habits of the Mediterranean people.
There are so many Mediterranean diet recipes which cover the dietary needs and habits of any individual and at the same time keep him/her healthy and fit. At this point we need to state that Mediterranean diet is closely associated and paired with physical exercise and we need to adopt both, the diet and physical exercise if we are to have a healthy body and mind and at the same time stay fit.