Is the Mediterranean Dessert an integral part of the Mediterranean Diet?

February 24, 2014

When you check the definition of dessert you will find out that it is typically but not a must, a sweet course which concludes any meal process. It is true that most of us cannot follow any diet which does not include some form of sweets. Once you taste sweets it is impossible or unachievable to live without them. We need to be honest that some people do have the will and they can do it. But when you think about it, are sweets really that bad for our health? Are there sweets which can be healthy and contribute positively to our health? Do we need sweets? It is true that the Mediterranean Diet, probably the world’s oldest and healthiest diet, had and still has included in the meal plan, among other foods, the Mediterranean Desserts.

If we take a look at the Mediterranean Diet pyramid, we will observe that the recommended type of dessert that should be taken on a daily basis is the fresh fruit. Fresh fruits and especially fruits of the season should be consumed daily. Other type of desserts, such as sweets, should be consumed rarer and not more than a few times per week. There are many types of Mediterranean Diet desserts from the different Mediterranean countries which are really tasty and a temptation most of us cannot resist. The Best Mediterranean Diet Desserts have been mentioned in a relevant article post some time on our web site.

So what would it be for dessert? The orthodox followers of the Mediterranean Diet would give the following replies:

Fruits: Fruits can be eaten most likely fresh and in season. Fruits in season taste better and have a natural smell, even though nowadays you may find any kind of fresh fruits anytime of the year since international trade and air transport have enabled the quick and safe transfer of foods from all over the world to any place in the world. The benefits of the fresh fruits are many and well known and each kind of fruit has different positive effect on our health since the contents of vitamins of different fruits varies. We have written many articles about the beneficial impact of fruits on our health and wellbeing. If you cannot have fresh fruits, for whatever reason, then the next best thing to a fresh fruit is a dried fruit.

Dried Fruits: There are many fruits which can be dried and kept for a long time at our homes and be used as a kind of dessert alone or in combination with other fruits, nuts or honey. Some commonly used dried fruits are figs, plums (prunes) and grapes (raisins).  Some other not so common dried fruits are: apple, apricot, cherry, mango and pear. Of course we should note that not all dried fruits are equal. Even though all have their healthy properties there are some which may offer more to our body than others. One should be careful and stay away from fruits which processed or have certain kinds of additives, or coated with sugar. As it is the case with fresh fruits, dried fruits are a great source of dietary fiber and certain types of antioxidants.

What if however you need that sweet dessert to which would satisfy your sweet craving? Are there any healthy Mediterranean Diet desserts that you can enjoy? The answer to this question is yes. There are Mediterranean Desserts, Mediterranean sweets, which satisfy all the requirements of the Mediterranean Diet as long as they eaten in moderation and they are prepared according to the Mediterranean diet traditions. You may find many traditional Mediterranean dessert recipes which are easy to follow and the outcome of which will be an excellent and healthy sweet dessert.

Mediterranean Diet Desserts - Tiramisu

Sweets: There are many kinds of sweets in the Mediterranean Diet which resulted from the various cuisines which make up the Mediterranean Diet. The Mediterranean desserts vary in flavor, color and taste but for sure they can satisfy the most demanding and selective Mediterranean Diet follower. A certain Mediterranean dessert family is the sweet fruit family or the ‘’Glyko’’ as it is called in Greek and it is a traditional dessert in Greece and Cyprus. Glyko is a fruit preserve. Basically is the transformation of fruits into sweet desserts which can be stored for years and served at every occasion. If you get the chance we recommend that you try the ‘’king of Glyko’’ is the walnut sweet and you will be pleasantly surprised as you would never have imagined that there could be such a dessert!  If you are worried about the calories the sweets in the category have about 100 calories per serving and in order to burn these calories you need to have a nice quick walk for about 20 minutes! We all know that physical exercise is part of the Mediterranean Diet, right?

Another large category of Mediterranean desserts are the Middle Eastern sweets like Baklava, Kataifi and Galaktopourekko.  These kinds of desserts are traditional desserts of the Mediterranean countries like: Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Egypt, Morocco and Algeria.

If you are looking for the Traditional Italian desserts to satisfy you sweet craving you will find a lot. Some of the most popular or most well-known Mediterranean Desserts of Italian origin are: Tiramisu, Cassata Siciliana, Panna Cotta, Baba and Tartufo di Pizzo.

As a conclusion we can definitely say that the Dessert is part of the Mediterranean diet and there are numerous Mediterranean Diet desserts one can choose from, depending on the mood he or she is and depending on the type of meal he or she had. Do not forget that fruits are and should be considered as desserts since they are a kind of food which follows the course of a meal. So whatever your preferences are we sure that by following the Mediterranean diet you will not be deprived of any kind of desserts you may love and to the contrary the Mediterranean cuisine has a lot to offer given the numerous ethnic variations of the Mediterranean people.

Andrea Aurelio
About the author

Andrea Aurelio adopted the Mediterranean diet and the Mediterranean way of living after evaluating a series of diets and realizing that the Mediterranean diet is a proven diet and the best way to adopt a healthy lifestyle. You can connect with him on Google+, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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