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Eating in our time has gotten complicated. This is because people know supermarkets and food brands, but they don’t know what real food is. The secret to eating well isn’t in biochemistry, it isn’t in food labels or in doctors’ advice. The secret to eating well is in the knowledge of food. We need to understand all the different aspects of food to create a food culture. In food culture there are only three protagonists: the farmer who produces food with his work. The cook, who creates taste with his art. The innate necessity/pleasure to eat of all of us .
Without food humans can’t survive, without good food humans can’t thrive. Nowadays there is a revival of food culture. This food culture makes food quality and food production quality a basis for a new concept of well-being. This new food philosophy is a way of life, where food is the core of this way of thinking. This food consciousness connects food to agriculture, gastronomy, health, business, ecology, society, politics, history, science, religion, cooking and pleasure.
Cooking is the art of happiness. Its ultimate aim is to give us an honest pleasure to recover the meaning of the world.
Diet and nutrition Diet is the amount of food consumed by a person, it is what someone eats. Nutrition is the science which studies the relation between diet and health.
What is the Mediterranean diet? The Mediterranean diet is a modern nutritional recommendation inspired by the traditional dietary patterns of the poor coastal regions of southern Italy (cucina povera), Crete , and coastal Greece in the 1960s, discovered by researchers from the Rockefeller University. The common Italian definition for some of these dietary patterns is “Cucina povera” . “Cucina povera” has been around for thousands of years in Italy, and it’s a sort of rural subsistence diet.
In the Mediterranean diet the most important source of animal food is fish. The Mediterranean is a sea which is rich in fish, and to do things the “mediterranean way” we need to eat seafood frequently :
seafood (fish, shellfish, mollusc), recommended 4-6 times a week, at least twice weekly
The Mediterranean diet consists in a low intake of sweets, poultry and red meat, these types of foods are a sort of “special occasion food”.
Processed food and junk food are forbidden.
poultry, recommended 1 - 2 times per week
red meat, recommended 0 - 1 time a week
sweets, recommended 0 - 1 time per week
no junk food
Mediterranean diet rules In synthesis, the principal aspects of this diet include high olive oil consumption , high consumption of legumes , high consumption of unrefined cereals , high consumption of fruit , high consumption of vegetables , moderate consumption of dairy products (mostly as cheese and yoghurt), moderate to high consumption of fish , low consumption of meat and meat products and moderate wine consumption .
Is the Mediterranean diet the official diet in the Mediterranean area? Despite its name, the “Mediterranean diet” is not the official diet in the Mediterranean area, but its nutrition patterns are similar in all the Mediterranean nations. In Northern Italy or France, for instance, lard and butter are commonly used in cooking, and olive oil is reserved for dressing salads and cooked vegetables. In North Africa wine is traditionally avoided by Muslims. In both North Africa and the Levant, along with olive oil, sheep's tail fat and rendered butter are traditional staple fats.
Nobody knows for sure what the ideal diet is, but there are good reasons to believe that the Mediterranean diet may come closer to it than any other realistic diet.
Thanks to fruit it is high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals
Thanks to olive oil and nuts it is low in saturated fats and high in monosaturates
Thanks to whole grains and legumes it is high in complex carbohydrates with a low glycemic index
Thanks to seafood and greens it is high in omega-3 fatty acid
The health effects of the Mediterranean diet Food is more than the sum of its nutrients, and diet is more than the sum of different foods. In the Mediterranean Diet the synergic effect of food influences our health. The analysis of single nutrients does not take into consideration the important interactions between the components of a diet and, more importantly, because people do not eat isolated nutrients but foods.
The health effects of the Mediterranean diet A meta-analysis published in the British Medical Journal (September 12, 2008) showed that following the Mediterranean diet strictly reduced the risk of dying from cancer and cardiovascular disease as well as the risk of developing Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease . The findings report a 9%, and 6% reduction in overall cardiovascular, and cancer mortality respectively. Additionally a 13% reduction in the incidence of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases is to be expected provided strict adherence to the diet is observed.
The health effects of the Mediterranean diet These findings seem to be clinically relevant for public health, in particular for encouraging a Mediterranean-like dietary pattern for primary prevention of major chronic diseases.
Top 10 Foods contributing to Energy Intake in the U.S population Rank Food % of total energy 1 Regular soft drinks 7.1 2 Cake, sweet rolls, doughnuts, pastries 3.6 3 Hamburgers, cheeseburgers, meat loaf 3.1 4 Pizza 3.1 5 Potato chips, corn chips, popcorn 2.9 6 Rice 2.7 7 Rolls, buns, English muffins, bagels 2.7 8 Cheese or cheese spread 2.6 9 Beer 2.6 10 French fries, fried potatoes 2.2
Top 10 Food Groups Contributing to Energy Intake in the U.S population Rank Food % of total energy 1 Sweets, desserts 12.3 2 Beef, pork 10.1 3 Bread, rolls, crackers 8.7 4 Mixed dishes 8.2 5 Dairy products 7.3 6 Soft drinks 7.1 7 Vegetables 6.1 8 Chicken, fish 5.7 9 Alcoholic beverages 4.4 10 Fruit, juice 3.9
For the most part, these foods contain far more calories than can be justified by their nutritional values. In part, this is because they’re largely made from corn, in the form of extracted protein or oil; or refined wheat-white flour all processed to the point where they’re nutritionally worthless or even damaging. The USA is a victim of the industrialization of eating...