Quite often we are read about the Mediterranean breakfast and then in the next magazine or at the next blog we come across the Mediterranean Diet breakfast and we are trying to understand the difference. Is there are difference? Yes and No. It all depends which way you look at it. We will try to analyse the two and give you the real benefits of the Mediterranean Diet breakfast. In the older times there was no actual difference between the two.
In strict terms Mediterranean breakfast is the breakfast Mediterranean people have during their everyday lives and it may or may not be healthy. We should not think that a breakfast taken in the Mediterranean basin is always healthy and nutritional. It may happen to be that people eat sausages and bacon and eggs every day and they may be living in Italy or Spain. Does this make it a healthy breakfast? No, definitely not. It is however a Mediterranean breakfast because sausage is a delicacy produce of many Mediterranean countries but they are in the ‘’less often’’ category of the Med diet pyramid. Also eggs are part of the Mediterranean diet and in the Mediterranean Diet pyramid they can be found in the ‘’moderate to weekly’’ section of the pyramid. So as you may have already inferred eating eggs and bacon or sausages is not healthy at all, but if you have them rarely, say once or twice a month, then there should be no problem.
The Mediterranean Diet breakfast however is something totally different. It is the breakfast which is consumed in the morning by the people who follow the Mediterranean Diet and may live at any part of the world, from California to Australia and from Chile to China. So what can a Mediterranean diet breakfast be? It can consist of fruits and vegetables, nuts, whole grain cereals and bread, olives, tomatoes. It can be, on a less frequent period, yogurt and other dairy products and it can even be eggs and sausages but this can only be once or twice a month. You should balance your breakfast, eat various foods and follow the Mediterranean Diet pyramid so as to determine the consumption frequency. We definitely support the preparation of a weekly or even a monthly eating plan which will enable you to monitor what you and your family eats and ensure that a balance dietary plan is followed. Preparing a dietary plan is easy and it can be a family affair combined with fun! Remember that if you involve your family into this then they are more likely to follow the Med diet.
Breakfast should be the richest meal of the day. It is the meal which will keep you going the whole day and will wake up your body and mind so that you will cope for the rest of the day. However, richest does not mean heaviest meal of the day. Breakfast should not make you uncomfortable and should not impose on your stomach requiring heavy activities for digestion. You need the blood for the rest of your body and your brain. A good breakfast should be rich in fibers and fibers are contained in fruits and whole grain products. You may also include dried fruits and nuts in your cereal breakfast. A good breakfast should consist of foods which are low in fats. So you need to avoid red meats and bacon! A good Mediterranean diet breakfast may be rich in omega-3 fatty acids which means it may consist, in full or in part, with seafood like smoked salmon.
A good Mediterranean diet breakfast should take into account the dietary habits and needs of the family, the season and the geographical location of the person having it. A healthy and nutritional breakfast should satisfy the needs of the family members. Old people have different needs than kids and people suffering from chronic diseases like Diabetes should consume the right foods. People suffering from a cold or flu may choose a breakfast richer in Vitamin C and thus include in their breakfast Citrus fruits and citrus juices. A Mediterranean diet breakfast is always adjusted based on the season. Since a rich Mediterranean diet breakfast consists of fruits and vegetables, we use the fruits and vegetables which are in season to prepare our breakfast. Using fruits and vegetables which are in season makes sense since they are fresh and cheaper than any other alternatives. Choosing seasonal fruits and vegetables enables you to have the desired variation in our daily diet and create the right stimulations. In addition your body has different needs during the winter than in the summer so seasonal foods enable your body to adjust to the different environmental conditions. Geographical locations impose the use of different ingredients, spices and herbs for the preparation of your breakfast. You should try to use as much local produce as possible. For instance, when you are in Spain you may use Mato cheese for your breakfast while when in Turkey you are most likely to use the Beyaz Peynir white cheese.
There are literally thousands of Mediterranean Diet breakfast recipes which can satisfy any taste and any need. There simple and fast breakfast recipes and there are the more complex and time consuming ones which are there to satisfy the most demanding Med diet followers. You may have a simple Greek Yogurt breakfast with dried fruits and nuts which are available in your kitchen or you may want to have a goat cheese filled crepe with walnuts and honey. Whichever way you look at it, it should be a balanced breakfast which will fill you up and give you the right energy to keep you going till the whole day.
The Mediterranean Diet breakfast should be your biggest and richest meal of the day and it should be a truly Mediterranean breakfast! It should not be the same breakfast day in and day out and should consist of fresh produce, rich in fiber, which are in season. Follow these simple rules combined with a 30-40 mins physical exercise and you will have a healthy body and mind since a physical exercise part of the Mediterranean Diet.