With more than 20 countries bordering the Mediterranean sea, and about half of them claiming the paternity of Mediterranean diet, it is really difficult to decide what is and what is not part of the diet plan that most nutrition scientists and professionals swear upon.
In territorial terms all twenty countries can call their cuisines Mediterranean. Moroccan cuisine can be called Mediterranean as much as Spanish cuisine or even Turkish cuisine. In order to understand what consists of classic Mediterranean diet we have to look back when the term was first used in the 1960’s when we were first introduced to the Mediterranean diet Pyramid which was based on the diets of Greece and southern Italy.
What is mediteranian diet?
Traditional Mediterranean diet includes a generous portion of fresh produce, grains, and legumes as well as some healthful fats. According to the World Health Organization, a typical guideline to Mediterranean Diet is the following:
- a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and grains
- healthful fats, such as nuts, seeds, and olive oil
- moderate amounts of dairy, eggs and fish
- Small portions of white meat and red meat
- wine in moderation
Social and cultural factors closely associated with the traditional Mediterranean diet, including shared eating practices, post-meal siestas (afternoon naps) and lengthy meal times, are also thought to contribute to the attributed positive health effects recorded in the Mediterranean region.
In other words, the diet that carries all the nutritional benefits that we are looking for today is based upon the eating habits of mainly the Greek population and therefore it wouldn’t be inaccurate to say that Greek cuisine is the main ambassador of the true mediterranean diet.