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Monday, October 4, 2021

Why Switching to a Mediterranean Diet and Lifestyle can change the way you look at Food

 The Mediterranean diet not only makes you more aware of what you put in your mouth, it connects you with the environment.

 Research over the years shows many health benefits of the Meditterrean diet but equally important,  this plant-based diet is also environmentally friendly.

The people of the Mediterranean region follow a dietary pattern, not a diet based on individual foods. Look at the choice of diets available today; almost all of them are full of constraints and restrictions. The Mediterranean diet on the contrary, lets you choose.

 More importantly, the Mediterranean diet offers a healthy lifestyle, food made with local ingredients, food that’s easy and practical to prepare. You can understand why it was again voted as the world’s best overall diet, best for diabetes, and a healthy heart.

And what’s good for humans is also good for the planet. Let’s see why:

A Mediterranean diet includes lots of vegetables  

Eating Less Meat and More Vegetables  

A weekly shopping list for a Mediterranean diet includes lots of seasonal fresh vegetables and fruit and very little meat.  Ideal vegetables include zucchini, avocados, tomatoes, melon; all are mostly grown locally, all low in fat, and rich in fibre. When you aim for fresh and local, it means you’re cutting out expensive junk food.

Does it seem like a poor man's diet?

Not really. The Mediterranean diet includes fish, poultry dairy products in moderation with very little red meat. These habits can reduce heart disease and other medical conditions brought on by the Western lifestyle.

Let’s face it, meat is expensive, and climate change is making food less accessible. According to researchers in Minnesota and Oxford,  red meat is 35 times more damaging to the environment than a bowl of vegetables.

Include Extra virgin olive oil every day in your diet

Olive oil, the primary source of fat in Mediterranean cuisine, is chockful of healthy nutrients, include it in your salads, on bread, and you can even cook with extra virgin olive oil.

Olive oil producers today are aware of their role in protecting the earth, doing their utmost to respect the soil. Marije Passos, an organic olive oil producer from Portugal, is a fine example. She says, “We have an all-natural approach, using only the climate, animals, and plants to fertilize and maintain our groves.”

Saving the planet doesn't only include work on the estate, as Marije explains:

“With a refillable organic painted glass bottle, our recyclable Bag-in-Box, and low-emission logistics, we hope to set a positive example for current and future generations to make a more positive environmental impact."

 Appreciating Family Life and Food

The Mediterranean diet is a family affair. It's not about the family eating at different times but about family gatherings where they plan food menus together, appreciate those who supply the food, and share the cooking.

The family meal is a nursery of democracy, observes  Michael Pollen, the American food writer.

He is right. Getting the family involved makes our children less reliant on convenience food. It gets them interested in sustainable practices for food production, to learn about how global climate impacts the planet.

With resources getting shorter and shorter worldwide and food availability precarious, shouldn’t we should aim for a simple, fresh, wholesome eating pattern and lifestyle?

 If we’re after a healthy body and a beautiful planet then it’s time to make a move.


A Mediterranean lifestyle means more family involvement 


 Photo credit: Matilde Langevin/ Splash

                      Alice Alech

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