The Mediterranean diet is back in the spotlight! This week we had new research published that once again confirms what hundreds of previous studies have shown: that the Mediterranean diet is good for you. In one study researchers have found that a Mediterranean style diet can protect kidney function, while a second study showed that it provides better blood sugar control in people with diabetes.
If you are not sure where to start, I have singled out 10 foods typically used in the Mediterranean-Greek diet that you should add to your diet now, along with some traditional and not so traditional ways of using them. These ingredients are all great sources of beneficial nutrients and will put you well on your way to adapting your current diet to a Mediterranean one. Read more »
When you look at this photo which is from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it makes you feel good. Truthfully, it looks healthy, fresh, good for you. It is titled: Fresh vegetable cups prepared for the National School Lunch Program at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Virginia.
There is only one problem. Read more »
A new study from English researchers published in the British Medical Journal Open, showed that people who consumed 5 or more servings of fruit and vegetables experienced a higher level of mental well-being. According to researchers, high mental well-being is more than the absence of symptoms or illness; it is a state in which people feel good and function well. Optimism, happiness, self-esteem, resilience and good relationships with others are all part of this state. Read more »
Obviously I believe that tomatoes are one of the best foods we have. In the Greek kitchen tomatoes transform even the most boring vegetable into a delicious meal. But even plain, good, in-season tomatoes are wonderful with a sprinkle of salt or with some cheese or with a drizzle of olive oil.
We know that they are a good source of vitamin C, have very few calories and also have an antioxidant called lycopene that appears to protect from prostate cancer.
And now a new British study showed that men who consume 10 servings of tomatoes a week had an 18% less chance of developing prostate cancer. Read more »
Every country has it own rules and considerations when it comes to food and Greece is no different. Generally, when you visit another country it is good to eat as the locals do, to know what to expect and to gain as close as you can an authentic eating experience.
1. Don’t expect your waiter to be your friend. By this I do not mean that Greek waiters are not friendly, many of them are, but you will not get the typical American greeting “Hi my name is so and so and I’ll be your server for tonight, can I get you some margaritas to start out?” No you will not have any of that. If they are really busy, they’ll probably bring out the basics (bread, forks, knives, menu etc.), and expect you to quickly give them your order when they come back to your table. Read more »
What do Greeks eat everyday in one form or another? Tomatoes. In the summer tomato and in the winter other tomato products such as tomato paste or tomato sauce. We add tomatoes to food almost as often as we add olive oil.
Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin C, they have very few calories and most importantly they are source of the antioxidant lycopene. This antioxidant has been shown to protect from some types of cancer but also protect the heart. According to researchers from the University of Cambridge lycopene stabilized the function of the endothelium. The endothelium is a group of cells that line the inside of our blood vessels. When these cells are not functioning properly, it may lead to atherosclerosis-hardening of the arteries. The researchers found that lycopene improved the widening of the blood vessels by 53 percent, wide blood vessels is a good thing whereas narrowing of blood vessels can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Read more »
Well, this is not really surprising, considering that the Mediterranean diet is associated with a normal weight in adults. In this study, presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Bulgaria, Swedish researchers from the University of Gothenburg looked at weight and diet of 9000 children in 8 European countries including Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Spain and Sweden and found that children who followed a Mediterranean style diet were 15 percent less likely to be overweight or obese. Read more »
The World Congress on Acute Heart Failure is currently taking place here in Athens, Greece and two studies were presented by cardiologists Dimitra Papadimitriou and Alexios Samentzas showing that there has been an increase in hospital admissions during the crisis for heart attacks and atrial fibrillation (the most common type of heart arrhythmia-irregular heart rate ). The researchers compared a period before the crisis and the period when the financial crisis began until to 2012. The results showed that there has been an increase in heart attacks, but it was statistically significant only for women. The heart attack increase was also noticed for people under the age of 45, but again only statistically significant for women. The second study measuring arrhythmias, also showed that there was an increase in hospital admissions, again mainly for women. Read more »
When I first started this site, one of the reasons I began writing here was to clarify the misconceptions and misunderstandings involving the Mediterranean diet. But first let me make a few things clear:
I did not “discover” the Mediterranean diet during a summer vacation to Italy and Greece.
I did not “discover” the Mediterranean diet in the pages of a magazine or on TV
I did not “discover” the Mediterranean diet in a classroom during my studies in Nutrition.
I was raised on the Mediterranean Diet. Read more »