The Mediterranean Diet, which is so beloved by many, is a bit like the prom king among diets.
“Best diet” loves to sing its praises, and the research community continues to crown it with superlative after SUPERLATIVE.
The best diet to improve your heart health
This will lower your chance of suffering a stroke.
Mediterranean lifestyles will lower blood pressure
All you need to do is eat as if you were living on the Greek coast: fresh fish, plenty of vegetables, olive oil, and fine wine.
I am a dietitian who supports the benefits of all those items.
The Mediterranean Diet has one problem: It’s too exclusive.
Or, at the very least, the Mediterranean Diet perception is unique–one that focuses mainly on Greece and Spain, Italy, and France.
However, there are also 18 other nations in the Mediterranean. But their food, flavors, cultures, and cuisines are not often included in the “best” “diet.”
Many countries in Northern Africa are located along the Mediterranean Sea. These include Egypt, Tunisia, and Tunisia. The same applies to the Middle Eastern countries of Turkey and Israel as well as Syria, Lebanon, Syria, and Syria. Although there is some overlap in the food of many of these cultures, the Mediterranean Diet’s gold medal will often be given to the countries that have the most common flavorings and seasonings.
Although the Mediterranean Diet is romanticized, it is not inclusive.
Maya Feller M.S.N., C.D.N. is a Brooklyn-based dietitian.
Feller states that the Mediterranean Diet truly covers 22 countries in the Mediterranean Sea. It has unique flavor profiles, seasonings, and herbs. They are food with lots of heat and spice, and then sweet and spicy. There is no single “diet” that covers the entire Mediterranean region. The spice-laden Moroccan dishes bear little to no resemblance with the lemon-and-caper-laced southern Italian cuisine. Mediterranean cuisine is all about what these cuisines share in common: more vegetables, fruits, beans, lentils, whole grains, and more seafood than meat, as well as olive oil that is heart-healthy. The extraordinary flavors are made possible by simple preparation methods and high-quality ingredients.
All of this reminded me of a conversation that I had with Turkish colleagues over cups of Turkish Tea, called Cay. “This is the Turkish equivalent of coffee, which is served at sunrise and sunset, at weddings as well as funerals and work meetings,” says Merve Doran of Oleamea Olive Oil. This is a great example: in Italy and Spain espresso is the preferred choice, while in Tunisia it’s mint tea. It’s Cay in Turkey. There are many differences in the food, beverages, and flavor combinations. Each of these foods and beverages has its own health benefits.
Much of this is lost when it comes down to the U.S. Mediterranean Diet. While there is nothing wrong with the traditional foods that are emphasized – vegetables, seafood, pasta, olive oil, etc. – it’s important to recognize the diversity of American cuisines and enjoy them.
Shana Spence M.S., R.D.N. C.D.N. says, “I think that the most important thing for people to realize is that every country has dishes but they are prepared in a different way or may look different.” The Nutrition Tea. I find that people think mostly of roasted vegetables, which are fine, and delicious. But sauces, salsas, and soups are all great options. All dishes that contain vegetables also provide nutrients.
Accept the true Mediterranean Diet. A cookbook with recipes from North Africa and the Middle East is a great option if you are a passionate cook. You might eat out often; if so, you should consider different restaurants that feature unique flavors, influences, and foods from many cultures.
You can experiment with new flavors, spices, and preparation techniques to make these your own. Enjoy the health and flavor benefits. All of this can be enjoyed while sipping Italian red wine with some Israeli burnt eggplant, Syrian pita, and hummus, all drizzled in Turkish olive oil.