Why It's Good For Your Health And The Environment
The Mediterranean diet is a healthy and sustainable nutritional model, based on the consumption of food produced in the Mediterranean countries and combined according to traditional recipes based on seasonality, balanced and complete from a nutritional point of view through the combination of nutrients fundamental to the well-being of our organismThe Mediterranean diet, thanks to its variety and balance, is considered a preventive factor for various pathologies and disorders. That is why it is important to educate children about this type of diet so that it becomes a habit from an early age.What is the Mediterranean Diet?The Mediterranean diet (DM) is a dietary model based on biodiversity and shared by Mediterranean countries.Each nation has different local dishes and culinary traditions, but they are united by food choices unlike those typical of Northern Europe or North America.In fact, the Mediterranean diet is based on a wide variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables, grains and legumes, as well as fish, eggs, meat and the precious extra virgin olive oil (EVO).The abundance of fresh food makes it particularly easy to put together balanced dishes.The 'Healthy Plate' is an example of this: half composed of raw and/or cooked vegetables, the other half divided equally by a protein source of animal or vegetable origin and one of preferably whole-grain carbohydrates.
All seasoned with EVO, to taste you can add aromatic herbs that are abundant in the Mediterranean area and possibly dried fruits and seeds.When we talk about nutrition, we generally do not mean a diet of deprivation, but a range of healthy food choices that contribute to psychophysical well-being.The Mediterranean diet guarantees a correct intake of proteins, carbohydrates and fats, has a high intake of dietary fiber and a low glycemic index.55-60% of the Mediterranean diet includes the consumption of carbohydrates in the form of grains, preferably whole grains, and 10-15% from proteins (in turn divided into 60% animal and 40% vegetable), only 10% of this diet is represented by simple sugars (excluding fruits).Therefore, it is a type of diet suitable for any regime, be it normal, low-calorie or high-calorie.The benefits of the Mediterranean dietThe Mediterranean diet is an important preventive factor when it comes to certain chronic degenerative diseases whose incidence is increasing in our country, such as diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular and osteo-articular diseases and cancer.The increased incidence of these disorders is partly caused by a deviation from traditional Mediterranean eating habits.The hectic lifestyle that characterizes our society and our work rhythm often forces us to consume pre-packaged food or to resort to restaurants, bars and canteens more than we should.In addition, the increased availability of foods outside the traditional model can sometimes also lead to nutritional imbalances.The benefits of DM are mainly due to some of its components, such as monounsaturated fatty acids (especially oleic acid from olive oil), dietary fiber from vegetables, fruits, and legumes, and antioxidants that color fruits, vegetables, and red wine (such as bioflavonoids).Last but not least, the satisfaction of the palate that also makes the Mediterranean diet a valuable ally of the figure.The Mediterranean diet, which can draw on a wide variety of foods, helps to prepare many different and colorful dishes in all seasons, even quickly, without boredom setting in.Seasonality and sustainability: why they matterChoosing to buy fruits and vegetables in season has several advantages.
It provides food biodiversity that is important for everything our bodies need to stay healthy.This is because the fruits and vegetables consumed during their natural ripening period provide maximum levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are beneficial precisely at the time of year in which they grow; therefore it will also be tastier, more colorful and more fragrant.Last but not least, seasonal products are often cheaper.Seasonality is not only an advantage for us, but also respects the environment and ensures crop rotation and the production of different vegetables in each area, taking into account the biodiversity of the areas.Respecting seasonality is therefore a particularly important part of our food choices that we should never give up if possible.As we have said, an important part of the Mediterranean diet is represented by grains, legumes and vegetables, which require fewer natural resources and fewer greenhouse gases than foods of animal origin.A lower environmental impact is also due to the portion size of the Mediterranean tradition, which is generally moderate, and to the consumption of a lot of fresh and unprocessed (or at least with limited processing) foods.