The Mediterranean diet is considered proper nutrition model and the basis for good health and quality of life. It includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, dairy products (mainly cheese and yogurt), fish, few meat, red wine and of course plenty of extra virgin olive oil. The global recognition of its value took place in 2010, when UNESCO – on the initiative of some Mediterranean countries including Greece – included the Mediterranean diet on the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
All this is just theory regarding our country, as in practice, Greece is the country with the highest obesity rates in the European Union! And this happens because we changed eating habits, adopting the modern western diet model, which is rich in processed foods and fat, but low in nutritional value. If to the harmful eating habits we add the lack of regular physical exercise, we realize that in the end we destroy by ourselves the most precious thing that we have, our health!
A major survey of the Medical School of Athens University and the Harvard Public Health School, published in the New England Journal of Medicine journal, confirms that the Mediterranean diet prolongs life and protects against heart diseases and cancer. Another study by the University of Oxford has proved that especially the olive oil reduces the risk of colon cancer.
Additionally, the Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of atherosclerosis, prevents the decline of brain function, memory loss and diseases associated with aging (Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s disease, etc.), and also contributes to the control of our body weight.
It is worth mentioning the famous heart surgeon Christiaan Barnard, who in his book “50 ways to a healthy heart” had devoted an entire chapter especially on the traditional Greek diet, which he featured as healthy because it contains olive oil, wine, legumes and vegetables, and among other things he mentioned that Crete is the region with the lowest rate of heart disease, fact that he attributed it to healthy eating.
Researches have repeatedly “spoken” about how good is for us our own neglected Greek food model, with our nice fresh fruits and vegetables, delicious traditional food, good red wine and extra virgin olive oil. It is up to us to put back on our table all these treasures that the Greek nature generously offers us.
We will for sure have hard times in order to resist the usual temptations that we daily find in front of us and and give us pleasure, but at least let us make a start, by limiting what we know that it’s harmful. Gradually or at once for the most determined, the Mediterranean diet should be the rule that we will faithfully follow. Our body will be grateful to us even if it cannot “say” it… However, it will repay us many times, by giving us health, strength, agility and beauty! It is really worth to make this change in our daily lives, don’t you think?
Stay on your Mediterranean diet …it’s good for you!