The Mediterranean diet is principally a plant based diet . Everyday the “mediterranean way” consists of:
vegetables (at least 300-400 g a day)
fruit (at least 4 pieces or 400 g a day)
legumes and pulses
grains, pasta and/or bread (mostly wholemeal and unrefined)
an abuntant us of olive oil and nuts
an abundant use of herbs and spices
water (more than 2 liters per day)
wine during meals ( maximum 2 glasses per day )
Fats in the Mediterranean Diet The Mediterranean Diet isn’t a low fat diet, it’s a diet with a lot of fats. The Mediterranean diet is high in good sources of fats, and for this reason it is the goal standard for a healthy diet . Fats, in modern times, are a sort of nutritional obsession. The Mediterranean Diet shows that it’s not how much fat but above all what kind of fat you eat that is important. We need fats to live, but we need to eat good sources of fat to thrive.
Fats in the Mediterranean Diet Fat in foods, comes in two broad categories: those that are good for the health, and those that are bad. Essentially, bad fats are ones that are solid at room temperature : animal fat, butter, stick margarine and lard. The good fats , by contrast, are liquid at room temperature , but get thick when cold, like olive oil. Infact what fatty acids can do to your cell functions, and how they influence arterial function, general inflammation and health are more important than the calories contained in fat.
The Science of Fats Fats may be either solid or liquid at room temperature , depending on their structure and composition. Although the words "oils", "fats", and "lipids" are all used to refer to fats, "oils" is usually used to refer to fats that are liquids at normal room temperature, while "fats" is usually used to refer to fats that are solids at normal room temperature. "Lipids" is used to refer to both liquid and solid fats, along with other related substances. The word "oil" is used for any substance that does not mix with water.
The Science of Fats Examples of edible animal fats are lard (pig fat), fish oil, and butter. They are obtained from fats in milk, meat and under the skin of the animal. Examples of edible plant fats are nuts, sunflower oil, coconut, extra virgin olive oil, and other vegetable oils. Saturated fats can stack themselves in a closely packed arrangement, so they can freeze easily and are typically solid at room temperature
Proportions of fatty acids are given as a percentage of the total fatty-acid content. SATURATED AND UNSATURATED FATTY ACIDS IN FOODS AND COOKING FATS Fat or Oil Saturated Fatty Acids Monounsaturated Fatty Acids Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Butter 62 29 4 Beef 50 42 4 Lamb 47 42 4 Pork 40 45 11 Chicken 30 45 21 Coconut oil 86 6 2 Palm kernel oil 81 11 2 Palm oil 49 37 9 Cocoa butter 60 35 2
The Importance of Fats for Health Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble, meaning they can only be digested, absorbed, and transported in conjunction with fats . Fats are also sources of essential fatty acids, an important dietary requirement. Essential fatty acids, or EFAs, are fatty acids that cannot be constructed by the organism from other components by any known chemical pathways, and therefore must be obtained from diet.
The Importance of Fats for Health There are two families of EFAs: ω-3 (or omega-3 or n−3) and ω-6 (omega-6, n−6). Fats from each of these families are essential, as the body can convert one omega-3 to another omega-3, for example, but cannot create an omega-3 from omega-6 or saturated fats. They are vital for brain structure and function. The Essential Fatty Acids also break down into prostaglandins that control inflammation in the body.
The Importance of Fats for Health Fats play a vital role in maintaining healthy skin and hair, insulating body organs against shock, maintaining body temperature, and promoting healthy cell function. Fats also serve as energy stores for the body, containing 9 calories per gram of fat. During digestion, fats are broken down in the body by enzymes called lipases produced in the pancreas. Fats are the most important source of energy for human metabolism.
The Importance of Fats for Health Every cell in the body contains fats in the cell membrane. Cell membranes are largely made up of unsatuarated fats as these give the cells flexibility. Fats play a vital role in hormonal activity. Fats are vital for hormone balance as some hormones are made from fats, particularly the sterols such as cholesterol. Adrenalin, noradrenalin, oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone are all examples of fat-dependent hormones. This is why low-fat diets are not recommended and also why so many women who diet have hormone imbalances
The Importance of Fats for Health MONOUNSATURATED AND POLYUNSATURATED FATS Foods containing monounsaturated fats lower Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, while possibly raising High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol In children, consumption of monounsaturated fats is associated with healthier serum lipid profiles. Polyunsaturated fats improve arterial and brain function, and will help keep up satiety levels.
The effect of bad fats TRANS FATS Trans fat contains cross-linked hydrogen bonds, which make it stable for long periods of time at room temperature. Eating trans fat leads to abnormalities in cholesterol (decreasing the good HDL and increasing the bad LDL), increases inflammation and damages to arterial cells ( trans fat was originally designed for candle wax, but the market died with electricity). Trans fats increase the risk of coronary heart disease
The effect of bad fats TRANS FATS A study published in Archives of Neurology in February 2003 suggested that the intake of both trans fats and saturated fats promotes the development of Alzheimer disease. Trans fat may increase weight gain and abdominal fat, despite a similar caloric intake. The World Health Organization has tried to balance public health goals with a practical level of trans fat consumption, recommending in 2003 that trans fats be limited to less than 1% of overall energy intake.
Typical sources of trans fat Food Grams of trans fat in a Typical serving Fastfood french fries 4,7 – 6,1 Breaded fish burgers 5,6 Breaded chicken nuggets 5,0 Pies 3,9 Danish or sweet rolls 3,3 Pancakes 3,1 Frozen french fries 2,8 Doughnuts 2,7 Vegetable shortening 2,7 Crackers and enchiladas 2,1 Stick margarine 0,9 – 2,5
The effect of bad fats SATURATED FATS Diets high in saturated fat have been correlated with an increased incidence of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. Some studies have suggested that diets high in saturated fat increase the risk of heart disease and stroke An increase in cholesterol levels has been observed in humans with an increase in saturated fat intake .
The effect of bad fats SATURATED FATS There is one theorized association between saturated fatty acid intake and increased breast cancer risk . Saturated fatty acids are associated with prostate cancer . A prospective study of data from the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study correlated saturated fat intake with cancer of the small intestine.
The Olive The Olive ( Olea europaea ) is a species of a small tree in the Oleaceae family, native to the coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean (areas of southeastern Europe, western Asia and northern Africa) as well as northern Iran at the south end of the Caspian Sea. Its fruit, also called the olive, is of major agricultural importance in the Mediterranean region as the source of olive oil. Olive oil is a fruit oil obtained from the olive.
The Olive HISTORY Olives have been produced in Lebanon, Jordan and Israel/Palestine from prehistoric times . By 2000 BC, olive oil was being exported to Egypt and Phoenicia; records of the Mesopotamian Third dynasty of Ur empire (2.000 BC), indicate olive oil as one of the exports from the region presently known as Syria. Clearly some form of the olive press was in use by that time; descriptions of such presses are to be found in ancient Greece.
The Olive HISTORY Over 5,000 years ago oil was being extracted from olives in the Eastern Mediterranean but at the time of the Iliad (dated between the 6th and the 8th c. BC), olive oil was a luxury import (there is no mention of cultivation) for ancient Greece. In the centuries that followed, olive presses became common, from the Atlantic shore of North Africa to Persia and from the Po Valley to the settlements along the Nile. In the first centuries of the Common Era, olive oil became a staple in the Roman diet.
The Olive HISTORY Olive trees were planted in the entire Mediterranean basin during the evolution of the Roman republic and empire. According to the historian Pliny, Italy had "excellent olive oil at reasonable prices" by the first century AD, "the best in the Mediterranean", he maintained, a claim probably disputed by many ancient olive growers. Thus olive oil was very common in Hellene and Latin cuisine. Today Greece has by far the largest per capita consumption of olive oil worldwide, over 26 liters per year; Spain and Italy, around 14 l; Tunisia, Portugal and Lebanon, around 8 l. Northern Europe and North America consume far less, around 0.7 l, but the consumption of olive oil outside its home territory has been rising steadily
The Olive Oil PRODUCERS Over 750 million olive trees are cultivated worldwide, 95% of which are in the Mediterranean region. Most global production comes from Southern Europe, North Africa and the Near East. World olive oil production in 2006-2007 was around 3 million tonnes, of which Spain contributed 40% to 45%. Regarding European production, 93% comes from Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece.
The Olive Oil THE INTERNATIONAL OLIVE OIL COUNCIL The wholesale manufacture and marketing of olive oil is regulated by the International Olive Oil Council IOOC , an organisation based in Madrid, exercising quality control and defining the production and nomenclature of the different kinds of oil. Extra virgin olive oil has to conform to a strict definition and be passed by a team of qualified tasters.
Extra-virgin olive oil ( EVOO ) comes from virgin oil production only, contains no more than 0.8% acidity, and is judged to have a superior taste. Extra Virgin olive oil accounts for less than 10% of oil in many producing countries . Used on salads, added at the table to soups and stews and for dipping. Extra-virgin olive oils from different regions of Italy have disparate characteristics: light and delicate in Liguria, heavier and more pungent in Calabria and robust and well-flavoured in Tuscany.
Olive-pomace oil is refined pomace olive production oil possibly blended with some virgin production oil. It is fit for consumption, but may not be described simply as olive oil . Olive-pomace oil is rarely sold at retail; it is often used for certain kinds of cooking in restaurants .
Lampante oil is olive oil not suitable as food; lampante comes from olive oil's long-standing use in oil-burning lamps. Lampante oil is mostly used in the industrial market.
Refined olive oil is the olive oil obtained from virgin olive oils by refining methods that do not lead to alterations in chemical structure. It has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 0.3% and its other characteristics correspond to those fixed for this category in this standard. This is obtained by refining virgin olive oils with a high acidity level and/or organoleptic defects that are eliminated after refining. Over 50% of the oil produced in the Mediterranean area is of such poor quality that it must be refined to produce an edible product. Note that no solvents have been used to extract the oil but it has been refined with the use of physical filters. An obsolete equivalent is "pure olive oil".
Olive oil vendors choose the wording on their labels very carefully.
"100% Pure Olive Oil" is often the lowest quality available in a retail store: better grades would have "virgin" on the label.
"Made from refined olive oils" means that the taste and acidity were chemically controlled .
"Light olive oil" means refined olive oil, with the same calories but less flavour . All olive oil has 120 kcal/tbsp. (34 kJ/ml).
"From hand-picked olives" implies that the oil is of better quality , since producers harvesting olives by mechanical methods are inclined to leave olives to over-ripen in order to increase yield.
"First cold press" is generally a purely commercial wording with no factual meaning. It suggests that the oil in bottles with this label is the "first oil that came from the first press" of the olives and that no heat is used. This is incorrect.
"Cold" is ambiguous, however a certain exception is made for the European regulation requiring the processing temperature to be below 27 °C in order to be named "cold pressed". In Calabria (Italy) olives are harvested in October. In regions like Tuscany or Liguria, olives are picked in November and often ground at night which means that the olives are not subject to high temperatures. Olives pressed in warm regions like Southern Italy or Northern Africa may be pressed at significantly higher temperatures. While it is important that the pressing temperatures be as low as possible (generally below 35 °C) there is no international reliable definition of "cold pressed".
Furthermore there is no "second" press of virgin oil, so the term "first press" means only that the oil was produced in a press vs. other possible methods.
The label may indicate that the oil was bottled or packed in a stated country. This does not necessarily mean that the oil was produced there . The origin of the oil may sometimes be marked elsewhere on the label; it may be a mixture of oils from more than one country.
Olive Oil Nutritional Facts There is a large body of clinical data to show that consumption of olive oil can provide heart health benefits such as favourable effects on cholesterol regulation and LDL cholesterol oxidation , and that it exerts antiinflamatory, antithrombotic, antihypertensive as well as vasodilatory effects both in animals and in humans . Olive oil contains the monounsaturated fat oleic acid , having antioxidants such as vitamin E and carotenoids . It is these properties that are thought to contribute to the health benefits of olive oil
Olive Oil Nutritional Facts Olive oil is rich in energy. 100 g of olive oil have 885 Kcal with a lot of monounsatured fats 73 g/100 g. For vitamins it is rich in Vitamin E and Vitamin K . Extra virgin or virgin olive oil is the best olive oil, it has more monounsaturated fat than olive oil . These types of olive oil contain more antioxidants and polyphenols, leading to a healthier heart and lower "bad" cholesterol.
The Smoke Point The smoke point generally refers to the temperature at which a cooking fat or oil begins to break down to glycerol and free fatty acids. The smoke point also marks the beginning of both flavor and nutritional degradation . Therefore, it is a key consideration when selecting a fat for frying, with the smoke point of the specific oil dictating its maximum usable temperature and therefore its possible applications. For instance, since deep frying is a very high temperature process, it requires a fat with a high smoke point. When extra-virgin olive oil is heated above 350 °F (177 °C), the unrefined particles within the oil get burned. This leads to deteriorated taste and possible toxicity due to the creation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
The Nutritional Value of Nuts Nuts are very nutritional. After pure fats (oil), they’re the richest foods that we eat, averaging around 600 calories (Kcal) per 100 g ; by comparison, fatty beef averages 200 calories, and dry starchy grains 350. Nuts can be 50% or more fat, 10-25% protein, and are a good source of several vitamins, minerals and fiber. Notable among the vitamins is the antioxidant vitamin E, especially concentrated in hazelnuts and almonds, and folic acid, which is important for cardiovascular health .
The Nutritional Value of Nuts Most nut fats are made up primarily of monounsatured fatty acids, and have more polynusaturated than saturated fats. And nuts seed coats are rich in antioxidant phenolic compounds. This cluster of characteristics – a favorable balance of fats, copious antioxidants, and folic acid – may explain why epidemiological surveys have found nut composition to be associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.
The following table gives the major components of nuts and seeds by percentage of the seed’s edible weight. Chestnuts and coconut meat are generally sold fresh and so have a realtively high water content. Composition of Nuts and Seeds Nut or Seed Water Protein Fats Carbohydrates Almond 5 19 54 20 Brazil 5 14 67 11 Cashew 5 17 46 29 Chestnut 52 3 2 42 Coconut (meat) 51 4 35 9 Flaxseed 9 20 34 36 Hazelnut 6 13 62 17 Macadamia 3 8 72 15 Peanut 6 26 48 19
Composition of Nuts and Seeds Nut or Seed Water Protein Fats Carbohydrates Pecan 5 8 68 18 Pine nut 6 31 47 12 Pistachio 5 20 54 19 Poppy seed 7 18 45 24 Sesame seed 5 18 50 24 Sunflower 5 24 47 20 Walnut, black 3 21 59 15 Walnut, English 4 15 64 16
WALNUT Walnut, noce , fruit of Juglans regia . Walnuts come from trees native to southwestern Asia, eastern Asia, and the Americas. There are many different kinds of walnut in Italy – the large noce di Sorrento , from Campania, famous for the quality of its walnuts, the medium-sized premice or cinciallegra , used mostly for oil, and the noce di Benevento, noce Feltrina, albina, di montagna, vellana, regina, malecia, Putignao, lobrecina and cardella . This ancient tree is widespread throughout Italy, valued for its wood, and its oil, which was both medicinal and a substitute for olive oil.
Agliata is the universally popular sauce made with shelled and skinned walnuts pounded with garlic and spices (cloves, pepper, fennel), basil, and breadcrumbs, thinned with fresh verjuice , to have with roast meat. Scappi’s version of a walnut sauce uses a slightly smaller quantity of almonds as well, both carefully peeled, and the garlic is parboiled for a milder effect. Nosella is prepared in the same way, but with a higher proportion of walnuts, then cooked in some more broth, and seasoned with mild spices, saffron, and chopped rosemary, mint and marjoram – good with frogs, snails, and fish poached in water. WALNUT
In Liguria today, a walnut sauce, tocco de noxe , is made with skinned walnut kernels pounded with soaked white breadcrumbs and garlic in a mortar, then mixed grated parmesan, olive oil, a little chopped marjoram and some ricotta; it is served with pasta and in particular pansotti . Walnuts are often served as dessert, as they were in Roman times, when they were also enjoyed at wedding ceremonies. WALNUT
NUTRITIONAL PROPERTIES Walnuts are very nutritional. They are high in calories, 689 Kcal/100 gr, with a lot of polyunsaturated fats 40,66 g/100 g. Walnuts are exceptionally rich in the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Regarding minerals, walnuts are rich in potassium, phosphorus, copper and zinc. Regarding vitamins, walnuts are rich in Vitamin A and folic acid. WALNUT
Recipe Walnuts are largely used in the Mediterranean Diet. A typical Mediterranean healthy recipe is “Lentil and Walnut Salad” (pp 80-81 Mediterranean Diet Cookbook), where the main ingredients are lentils, walnuts, scallions, red pepper, parsley, extra-virgin olive oil and mustard. WALNUT
Recipe Another is, U Spaghett’anatalina , or “Neapolitan Christmas Eve Spaghetti with Walnuts” (pages 208-209 Mediterranean Diet Cookbook), where Sorrento walnuts are toasted, chopped and mixed for the sauce with extra-virgin olive oil, garlic and anchovies. WALNUT
Almond, Prunus amygdalus, Prunus dulcis, mandorla, is common all over the Mediterranean area. Almonds are the world’s largest tree-nut crop. The fruit belongs to the same family as apricots, peaches and cherries, but in this case we eat the seed, not the fruit. Almonds come from western Asia and had been domesticated by the Bronze Age. California is now the largest producer. ALMOND
Almonds, eaten fresh, taste very soft and delicate. Usually almonds are dried, and with this process, the final flavor is stronger. In origin, they were widely used in the cuisines of the Middle East, and the Arab presence in Spain and southern Italy left a lasting heritage of confectionary and sauces based on ground almonds. Some survive in the cubbaita of Sicily. Skinned almonds were often an important ingredient in the aristocratic biancomangiare, an ambiguous dish of pounded and sweetened chicken breasts. ALMOND
In Sicily, shelled and skinned almonds, were ground by hand and worked with sugar and white egg into a fine paste ( pasta di mandorle or marzapane) that was the basis of many specialities. The Marzipan can be flavoured with lemon zest or cinnamon. Even, Leonardo da Vinci, made marzipan sculptures for the Milanese court of Ludovico Sforza in 1470. In Tuscany, almonds are used to make cantucci , Prato’s speciality biscuits , and the typical panforte di Siena where almonds are combined with other nuts, dried fruits, spices and honey. ALMOND
NUTRITIONAL PROPERTIES Almonds are very nutritional. They are high in calories, 604 Kcal/100 g, with a lot of monounsaturated fats 45 g/100 g. Regarding minerals, almonds are rich in potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium , copper and sulphur. Regarding vitamins, almonds are rich in Vitamin E. ALMOND
Recipe A healthy Mediterranean Diet recipe is “Catalan Chickpeas with Tomatoes and Toasted Almonds” (pages 256-257 Mediterranean Diet Cookbook) where chickpeas, toasted almonds, ripe tomatoes, extra-virgin olive oil, onion, toasted saffron, garlic and parsley are the main ingredients to this wonderful meal. ALMOND
Recipe Another healthy Mediterranean Diet recipe is “Grilled Shrimp with Almonds” (page 393 Mediterranean Diet Cookbook) where grilled shrimps, are served with a sauce based on toasted and grounded almonds, ripe tomatoes, extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, parsley, lemon juice and vinegar. ALMOND
Pine nuts, pinoli, are the seeds of Pinus pinea, the Mediterranean stone pine, indigenous to the Mediterranean area and present in southern and central Italy since prehistoric times. Where pine trees are presents, pine nuts are used in abundance, but elsewhere they are expensive, and their ephemeral aroma can quickly turn to rancidity. The flavour is brought out by toasting or lightly colouring them in oil; the Romans used them in sauces for braised meats, with pepper, cumin, celery seed, lovage, thyme, honey, vinegar and olive oil, added to the dish half an hour before serving. PINE NUTS
Latini was using pine nuts in ice cream in 17 th -century Naples, and this delicate but strong flavour has recently been revived by artisan ice cream-makers. In Liguria, to make a sauce for fish, pine nuts are pounded in a mortar with garlic, anchovies, capers, and parsley, which are mixed with hard-boiled egg yolks, then slowly worked with olive oil. Another Ligurian speciality is funghi porcini, boletus mushrooms, sliced and sautéed in extra-virgin olive oil, then finished with a little finely chopped onion, plenty of pine nuts and rosemary heated in butter to bring out their aromas PINE NUTS
NUTRITIONAL PROPERTIES Pine nuts are very nutritional. They are high in calories, 596 Kcal/100 g, with a lot of monounsaturated fats 42g/100 g. Regarding minerals, pine nuts are rich in potassium, and phosphorus. Regarding vitamins, pine nuts are rich in Vitamin E. PINE NUTS
A healthy recipe “ Ligurian Spinach with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts” (page 335 Mediterranean Diet Cookbook) is one of the best examples of a healthy dish where different plant food like leaves (spinach), fruit (raisins), seeds (pine nuts) and roots (garlic and onions) are blended with extra-virgin olive oil PINE NUTS
A healthy recipe “ Trenette al Pesto” (page 206 - 207 Mediterranean Diet Cookbook) is a typical example of healthy pasta. In this case, the pasta trenette is seasoned with pesto, a sauce made from fresh basil leaves, extra-virgin olive oil, pine nuts, garlic and pecorino toscano. PINE NUTS
Pistachio, pistacchio, is the nut of the tree Pistachia vera, a plant native to the Mediterranean area. Along with almonds, they have been found at the sites of Middle Eastern settlements during 7000 BC. Pistachios have a pleasant, distinct flavour, which makes them an ideal nut for using in stuffings or in sweets and ice cream. PISTACHIOS
NUTRITIONAL PROPERTIES Pistachios are very nutritional. They are high in calories, 608 Kcal/100 gr, with a lot of fats 56,1 gr/100 gr. Regarding minerals, pistachios are rich in potassium, calcium, and phosphorus. Regarding vitamins, pistachios are rich in Vitamin A. PISTACHIOS
Recipe A stuffing for sole is made of cooked flesh from another fish, pounded with capers, anchovies, basil and pistachios; this is placed on one fillet, it is covered with the others, the whole thing is coated in extra-virgin olive oil and breadcrumbs, baked in the oven and served warm. PISTACHIOS
Hazelnut, nocciola, is the nut to the tree Corylus avellana, native to the temperate Eurasia and was widely exploited in prehistoric times for its nuts. In Europe Italy, Turkey and Spain are the main producers; in the United States, nearly all hazelnuts are produced in Oregon. It is found wild in Italy but over 10 varieties are now cultivated , mainly in Campania, Liguria, Piedmont and Sicily. These nuts can be used, along with almonds and walnuts, in many sweet things like biscotti, torrone, gianduia and ice cream (it makes one of the most delicious nut-based ices). HAZELNUTS
The ancient Romans ate hazelnuts, for dessert with wine. They are the main ingredient of the Apician recipe where a fowl is roasted, covered and frequently basted with a sauce of pounded hazelnuts mixed with herbs, pepper, saffron, fish sauce, red wine, wine vinegar, honey and olive oil; this forms a savoury crust over the tender bird, with the liquid juices mingling with those in the bottom of the pan. The same sauce was used by Romans to cook other birds, boar and mullet. HAZELNUTS
NUTRITIONAL PROPERTIES Hazelnuts are very nutritional. They are high in calories, 655 Kcal/100 gr, with a lot of fats 64,1 gr/100 gr in the majority monounsaturated 38,62 gr/100 gr. Regarding minerals, hazelnuts are rich in potassium, calcium, and phosphorus. Regarding vitamins, hazelnuts are rich in Vitamin A, and Folic Acid. HAZELNUTS
Picada is a sauce where hazelnuts are used with rustic bread, extra-virgin olive oil, saffron and garlic (page 216 Mediterranean Diet CookBook, in this case picada is a part of the recipe “Spanish Cassola with Pasta and Pork”). For picada, roast the hazelnuts on a tray in the oven until they are golden. Fry the rustic-style bread, crusts removed in extra-virgin olive oil, until it is golden on both sides. Toast the saffron. Break up the bread and combine in a mortar with the nuts, saffron, garlic, parsley and pimenton. Adding another tablespoon of olive oil if it seems necessary. HAZELNUTS
Peanut is a popular nut but it isn’t popular in the Mediterranean area or in the Mediterranean Diet. It is important to remember, that, this nut is not a nut, but the seed of a small leguminous bush, Arachis hypogaea. The peanut was domesticated in South America, probably Brazil, around 2000 BC, and was an important crop in Peru before the times of the Incas. In the 16 th century, the Portuguese took it to Africa, India, Asia and Europe, and it soon became a major source of cooking oil in China. Today India and China with United States are the largest peanut producers. The high smoke point of peanut oil makes it good for deep frying PEANUT
NUTRITIONAL PROPERTIES Peanuts are different to other nuts; they aren’t nuts. They are high in calories, 598 Kcal/100 g, with less of fats 50 g/100 g and more protein 29 g/100 g than nuts. Regarding minerals, peanuts are rich in potassium, phosphorus and zinc. Regarding vitamins, peanuts are rich in Folic Acid and Niacin. PEANUT
These seeds, also known as linseeds, come from the same plant that provides the fiber for linen. The seeds are pressed to make the oil. It’s just as healthy for humans, especially thanks to phytoestrogens called lignans. Walnuts, walnut oil, flaxseed and flaxseed oil are rich in a type of fat called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which our body can turn it in omega-3. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce the risk of hearth attack and stroke. It is possible to eat flaxseeds ground (we can’t digest the whole flaxseeds) over cereal or yoghurt, or flaxseed oil in salads; don’t cook flaxseed oil or “good” fat will turn to bad. FLAXSEED
NUTRITIONAL PROPERTIES Flaxseeds are rich in Alpha-linolenic acid. Regarding minerals, flaxseeds are rich in magnesium. Regarding vitamins, flaxseeds are rich in Vitamin B6, Folate and Vitamin E. FLAXSEED
Percentage of Omega-3, Omega 6, and Omega-9 Fatty Acids In Some Salad Cooking Oils Oil Omega-3 Alpha- Linolinic Acid Omega-6 Linolenic Acid Proportion of Omega-6 to Omega-3 Omega-9 Oleic Acid Flaxseed 53% 13% 1 to 4 20% Canola 9% 20% 2 to 1 56% Soy 7% 51% 7 to 1 23% Olive 1% 9% 9 to 1 72% Corn 1% 54% 54 to 1 27% Peanut ≤ 1% 32% 32 to 1 45% Safflower ≤ 1% 75% 75 to 1 14%