Dietetics and Nutrition in the Mediterranean<br />By Dr. Alberto Fatticcioni<br />
Fats in the MediterraneanDiet<br />The MediterraneanDietisn’t a low fatdiet, it’s a dietwith a lotoffats. TheMediterraneandietis high in goodsourcesoffats, and forthisreasonitisthe goal standard fora healthydiet. <br />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.<br />We need fats to live, but we need to eat good sources of fat to thrive. <br />
Mediterraneandietrules<br />The Mediterraneandietisprincipally a plantbaseddiet. Everyday the “mediterranean way” consistsof: <br /><ul><li>vegetables (at least 300-400 g a day)
wine duringmeals ( maximum 2 glasses per day )</li></li></ul><li>Fats in the MediterraneanDiet<br />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.<br />
TypesofFats in Food<br />UnsaturatedFat<br /><ul><li>Monounsaturatedfat(Olive oil, nuts)
Trans fat(Margarine, junk food)</li></ul>Saturatedfat(Lard, butter, animalfat)<br />
The Science ofFats<br />Fatsmaybeeithersolid or liquid at room temperature, depending on theirstructure and composition. Although the words "oils", "fats", and "lipids" are allusedtorefertofats, "oils" isusuallyusedtorefertofatsthat are liquids at normalroom temperature, while "fats" isusuallyusedtorefertofatsthat are solids at normalroom temperature. "Lipids" isusedtorefertobothliquid and solidfats, alongwithotherrelatedsubstances. The word "oil" isusedforanysubstancethatdoesnot mix with water.<br />
The Science ofFats<br />Examplesofedibleanimalfatsare lard (pigfat), fish oil, and butter. They are obtainedfromfats in milk, meat and under the skinof the animal. <br />Examplesofedibleplantfatsare nuts, sunflower oil, coconut, extra virgin olive oil, and othervegetableoils. <br />Saturatedfatscan stackthemselves in a closelypackedarrangement, so they can freezeeasily and are typicallysolid at room temperature<br />
SATURATED AND UNSATURATED FATTY ACIDS IN FOODS AND COOKING FATS<br />Proportionsoffattyacids are givenas a percentageof the total fatty-acidcontent.<br />
The ImportanceofFatsforHealth<br />Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble, meaningthey can onlybedigested, absorbed, and transportedin conjunctionwithfats. Fats are alsosourcesofessentialfattyacids, animportantdietaryrequirement.<br />Essentialfattyacids, or EFAs, are fattyacidsthatcannotbeconstructedby the organismfromothercomponentsbyanyknownchemicalpathways, and thereforemustbeobtainedfromdiet. <br />
The ImportanceofFatsforHealth<br />There are twofamiliesofEFAs: ω-3 (or omega-3 or n−3) and ω-6 (omega-6, n−6). Fatsfromeachofthesefamilies are essential, as the body can convertone omega-3 toanother omega-3, forexample, butcannot create an omega-3 from omega-6 or saturatedfats. They are vitalforbrainstructure and function.<br />The EssentialFattyAcidsalso break down intoprostaglandinsthatcontrolinflammationin the body. <br />
The ImportanceofFatsforHealth<br />Fats play a vitalrole in maintaininghealthyskin and hair, insulating body organsagainst shock, maintaining body temperature, and promotinghealthycellfunction.<br />Fatsalso serve asenergystoresfor the body, containing 9 calories per gramoffat. Duringdigestion, fats are broken down in the body byenzymescalledlipasesproduced in the pancreas.<br />Fats are the mostimportant source ofenergyforhumanmetabolism.<br />
The ImportanceofFatsforHealth<br />Everycell in the body containsfats in the cell membrane. Cellmembranes are largelymade up ofunsatuaratedfatsasthesegive the cellsflexibility. <br />Fats play a vitalrole in hormonalactivity. Fats are vitalforhormonebalanceas some hormones are madefromfats, particularly the sterolssuchascholesterol. Adrenalin, noradrenalin, oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone are allexamplesoffat-dependenthormones. Thisiswhylow-fatdiets are notrecommended and alsowhy so many women whodiethavehormoneimbalances<br />
The ImportanceofFatsforHealth<br />MONOUNSATURATED AND POLYUNSATURATED FATS<br />FoodscontainingmonounsaturatedfatslowerLow-densitylipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, whilepossiblyraisingHigh-densitylipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol<br />In children, consumption of monounsaturated fatsis associated with healthier serum lipid profiles.<br />Polyunsaturated fats improve arterial and brain function, and will help keep up satiety levels.<br />
The effectof bad fats<br />TRANS FATS<br />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). <br />Trans fats increase the risk of coronary heart disease<br />
The effectof bad fats<br />TRANS FATS<br />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.<br />Trans fat may increase weight gain and abdominal fat, despite a similar caloric intake.<br />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.<br />
The effectof bad fats<br />SATURATED FATS<br />Diets high in saturated fat have been correlated with an increased incidence of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. <br />Some studies have suggested that diets high in saturated fat increase the risk of heart disease and stroke <br />An increase in cholesterol levels has been observed in humans with an increase in saturated fat intake.<br />
The effectof bad fats<br />SATURATED FATS<br />There is one theorized association between saturated fatty acid intake and increased breast cancer risk.<br />Saturated fatty acids are associated with prostate cancer .<br />A prospective study of data from the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study correlated saturated fat intake with cancer of the small intestine.<br />
The Olive <br />The Olive (Oleaeuropaea) is a species of a small tree in the Oleaceaefamily, 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. <br />Olive oil is a fruit oil obtained from the olive.<br />
The Olive <br />HISTORY <br />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. <br />
The Olive <br />HISTORY<br />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 andthe 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.<br />In the first centuries of the Common Era, olive oil became a staple in the Roman diet.<br />
The Olive <br />HISTORY<br />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<br />
The Olive Oil <br />PRODUCERS<br />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.<br />World olive oil production in 2006-2007 was around 3million tonnes, of which Spain contributed 40% to 45%. RegardingEuropean production, 93% comes from Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece.<br />
The “olive oil nation”: Spain, Italy, Greece<br />
The Olive Oil <br />THE INTERNATIONAL OLIVE OIL COUNCIL<br />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.<br />
The Olive Oil <br />THE INTERNATIONAL OLIVE OIL CLASSIFICATION<br /><ul><li>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. </li></li></ul><li>The Olive Oil <br />THE INTERNATIONAL OLIVE OIL CLASSIFICATION<br /><ul><li>Virgin olive oil comes from virgin oil production only, has an acidity less than 2%, and is judged to have a good taste.
Pure olive oil. Oils labeled as Pure olive oil or Olive oil are usually a blend of refined and virgin production oil.
Olive oil is a blend of virgin and refined production oil, of no more than 1.5% acidity. It commonly lacks a strong flavor.</li></li></ul><li>The Olive Oil <br />THE INTERNATIONAL OLIVE OIL CLASSIFICATION<br /><ul><li>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.</li></li></ul><li>The Olive Oil <br />THE INTERNATIONAL OLIVE OIL CLASSIFICATION<br /><ul><li>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".</li></li></ul><li>The Olive Oil <br />LABEL WORDING<br />Olive oil vendors choose the wording on their labels very carefully.<br /><ul><li>"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.</li></li></ul><li>The Olive Oil <br />LABEL WORDING<br /><ul><li>"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 harvestedin October. In regions like Tuscany or Liguria, olives are pickedin 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".</li></li></ul><li>The Olive Oil <br />LABEL WORDING<br /><ul><li> 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.</li></li></ul><li>Olive Oil Extraction<br />Olive oil is produced by grinding olives and extracting the oil by mechanical or chemical means. Green olives produce bitter oil, and overripe olives produce rancid oil. The process is generally:<br />The olives are ground into paste using large millstones (traditional method) or steel drums (modern method).<br />If ground with millstones, the olive paste generally stays under the stones for 30 to 40 minutes. A shorter grinding process may result in a more raw paste that produces less oil and has a less ripe taste, a longer process may increase oxidation of the paste and reduce the flavor. <br />
Olive Oil Extraction<br />2. After grinding, the olive paste is spread on fiber disks, which are stacked on top of each other in a column, then placed into the press. Pressure is then applied onto the column to separate the vegetal liquid from the paste. This liquid still contains a significant amount of water. Traditionally the oil was shed from the water by gravity (oil is less dense than water). This very slow separation process has been replaced by centrifugation, which is much faster and more accurate. The centrifuges have one exit for the (heavier) watery part and one for the oil. The separation in smaller oil mills is not always perfect, thus sometimes a small watery deposit containing organic particles can be found at the bottom of oil bottles. <br />
Olive Oil Extraction<br />3. In modern steel drum mills the grinding process takes about 20 minutes. After grinding, the paste is stirred slowly for another 20 to 30 minutes in a particular container. The paste is then pressed by centrifugation, the water is there after separated from the oil in a second centrifugation as described before.The oil produced by only physical (mechanical) means as described is called virgin oil. Extra virgin olive oil is virgin olive oil that satisfies specific high chemical and organoleptic criteria (low free acidity, no or very little organoleptic defects). <br />
Olive Oil Extraction<br />4. Sometimes the produced oil will be filtered to eliminate remaining solid particles that may reduce the shelf life of the product. Labels may indicate the fact that the oil has not been filtered, suggesting a different taste. Unfiltered fresh olive oil that has a slightly cloudy appearance is called cloudy olive oil. This form of olive that was popular only amongst olive oil small scale producers is now becoming "trendy", in line with consumer demand for more ecological and less-processed "green" products. <br />
Olive Oil Extraction<br />The remaining paste (pomace) still contains a small quantity (about 2-6%) of oil that cannot be extracted by further pressing, but only with chemical solvents. This is done in specialised chemical plants, not in the oil mills. The resulting oil is not "virgin" but "pomace oil". The term "first press", sometimes found on bottle labels, is technically meaningless, as there is no "second" press.<br />
Olive Oil NutritionalFacts<br />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. <br />Olive oil contains the monounsaturated fat oleic acid, having antioxidants such as vitamin E and carotenoids. <br />It is these properties that are thought to contribute to the health benefits of olive oil<br />
Olive Oil NutritionalFacts<br />Olive oil isrich in energy. 100 g of olive oil have 885 Kcal with a lotofmonounsaturedfats 73 g/100 g.<br />Forvitaminsitisrich in Vitamin E and Vitamin K.<br />Extra virgin or virgin olive oil is the best olive oil, it hasmore monounsaturated fat than olive oil. These types of olive oil contain more antioxidants and polyphenols, leading to a healthier heart and lower "bad" cholesterol.<br />
The Smoke Point<br />The smokepointgenerallyrefersto the temperature at which a cookingfat or oil beginsto break down toglycerol and free fattyacids. The smokepointalsomarks the beginningofbothflavor and nutritionaldegradation. Therefore, itis a key considerationwhenselecting a fatforfrying, with the smokepointof the specific oil dictatingitsmaximumusable temperature and thereforeitspossibleapplications. Forinstance, sincedeepfryingis a very high temperature process, itrequires a fatwith a high smokepoint. 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 <br />
DON’T SPOIL YOUR OIL<br />Olive oil is an excellent source of healthy fats and antioxidants. But cooking oil is a fragile food that turns rancid and loses antioxidants in a hurry if it’s not stored properly. Protect yours from these four influences to keep it fresh and nutritious.<br /><ul><li> Light: Oils spoil faster when kept in clear containers. Ceramic or tinted-glass bottles are better choices. A dark, dry cupboard is ideal for storing most cooking oils.
Heat: Make sure that the cupboard isn’t next to the stove. Storing oil in the refrigerator is another option if you live in a warm climate or don’t plan to use it promptly (nut oils turn rancid quickly, so they must be refrigerated). Some oils become thick and cloudy when chilled but reliquifywhen raised to room temperature.
Air: Oxygen and oil don’t mix, so make sure whatever container you choose has an airtight lid or cover.
Age: Even under the best conditions, cooking oils have a limited shelf life. Most taste best and retain more nutrients when used within one year of opening the original container.</li></li></ul><li>Nuts<br />
The NutritionalValueofNuts<br />Nuts are verynutritional. After pure fats (oil), they’re the richestfoodsthatweeat, averagingaround 600 calories (Kcal) per 100 g; bycomparison, fattybeefaverages 200 calories, and dry starchygrains 350. Nuts can be 50% or more fat, 10-25% protein, and are a good source ofseveralvitamins, mineralsand fiber. <br />Notableamong the vitaminsis the antioxidantvitamin E, especiallyconcentrated in hazelnuts and almonds, and folic acid, whichisimportantforcardiovascularhealth. <br />
The NutritionalValueofNuts<br />Mostnutfats are made up primarilyofmonounsaturedfattyacids, and have more polynusaturatedthansaturatedfats. And nutsseedcoats are rich in antioxidantphenoliccompounds. This cluster ofcharacteristics – a favorablebalanceoffats, copiousantioxidants, and folic acid – mayexplainwhyepidemiologicalsurveyshavefoundnutcompositiontobeassociatedwith a reducedriskofheartdisease.<br />
CompositionofNuts and Seeds<br />The followingtablegives the major componentsofnuts and seedsbypercentageof the seed’s edibleweight. Chestnuts and coconutmeat are generally sold fresh and so have a realtively high water content.<br />
WALNUT<br />Walnut, noce, fruit of Juglansregia. <br />Walnuts come from trees native to southwestern Asia, eastern Asia, and the Americas.<br />There are many different kinds of walnut in Italy – the large nocedi Sorrento, from Campania, famous for the quality of its walnuts, the medium-sized premice or cinciallegra, used mostly for oil, and the nocedi Benevento, noceFeltrina, albina, dimontagna, 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.<br />
WALNUT<br />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.<br />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.<br />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.<br />
WALNUT<br />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.<br />Walnuts are often served as dessert, as they were in Roman times, when they were also enjoyed at wedding ceremonies.<br />
WALNUT<br />NUTRITIONAL PROPERTIES<br />Walnuts are very nutritional. They are high in calories, 689 Kcal/100 gr, with a lot of polyunsaturated fats 40,66 g/100 g. <br />Walnuts are exceptionally rich in the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. <br />Regardingminerals, walnuts are rich in potassium, phosphorus, copper and zinc. <br />Regardingvitamins, walnuts are rich in Vitamin A and folic acid.<br />
WALNUT<br />Recipe<br />Walnuts are largely used in the Mediterranean Diet.<br />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.<br />
WALNUT<br />Recipe<br />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. <br />
ALMOND<br />Almond, Prunusamygdalus, Prunusdulcis, mandorla, is common all over the Mediterranean area. Almonds are the world’s largest tree-nut crop. The fruit belongs to the same family asapricots, peaches andcherries, but in this case we eat the seed, not the fruit. <br />Almonds come from western Asia and had been domesticated by the Bronze Age. California is now the largest producer. <br />
ALMOND<br />Almonds, eaten fresh, taste very soft and delicate. Usually almonds are dried, and with this process, the final flavor is stronger. <br />In origin, they werewidely 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 cubbaitaof Sicily.<br />Skinned almonds were often an important ingredient in the aristocratic biancomangiare, an ambiguous dish of pounded and sweetened chicken breasts.<br />
ALMOND<br />In Sicily, shelled and skinned almonds, were ground by hand and worked with sugar and white egg into a fine paste (pasta dimandorle or marzapane) that was the basis of many specialities. The Marzipan can be flavoured with lemon zest or cinnamon. <br />Even, Leonardo da Vinci, made marzipan sculptures for the Milanese court of Ludovico Sforza in 1470.<br />In Tuscany, almonds are used to makecantucci, Prato’s speciality biscuits, and the typicalpanfortedi Siena where almonds are combined with other nuts, dried fruits, spices and honey.<br />
ALMOND<br />NUTRITIONAL PROPERTIES<br />Almonds are very nutritional. They are high in calories, 604 Kcal/100 g, with a lot of monounsaturated fats 45 g/100 g. <br />Regardingminerals, almonds are rich in potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium , copper and sulphur.<br />Regardingvitamins, almonds are rich in Vitamin E.<br />
ALMOND<br />Recipe<br />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. <br />
ALMOND<br />Recipe<br />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. <br />
PINE NUTS<br />Pine nuts, pinoli, are the seeds of Pinuspinea, the Mediterranean stone pine, indigenous to the Mediterranean area and present in southern and central Italy since prehistoric times. <br />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.<br />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. <br />
PINE NUTS<br />Latini was using pine nuts in ice cream in 17th-century Naples, and this delicate but strong flavour has recently been revived by artisan ice cream-makers. <br />In Liguria, tomake a sauce for fish, pine nuts are pounded in a mortar with garlic, anchovies, capers, and parsley, which aremixed with hard-boiled egg yolks, then slowly worked with olive oil. <br />Another Ligurianspeciality 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 <br />
PINE NUTS<br />NUTRITIONAL PROPERTIES<br />Pine nuts are very nutritional. They are high in calories, 596 Kcal/100 g, with a lot of monounsaturated fats 42g/100 g. <br />Regardingminerals, pine nuts are rich in potassium, and phosphorus. <br />Regardingvitamins, pine nuts are rich in Vitamin E.<br />
PINE NUTS<br />A healthy recipe<br />“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<br />
PINE NUTS<br />A healthy recipe<br />“Trenette al Pesto” (page 206 - 207 Mediterranean Diet Cookbook) is atypical 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.<br />
PISTACHIOS<br />Pistachio, pistacchio, is the nut of the tree Pistachiavera, a plant native to the Mediterranean area. Along with almonds, they have been found at the sites of Middle Eastern settlements during 7000 BC. <br />Pistachios have a pleasant, distinct flavour, which makes them an ideal nut for using in stuffings or in sweets and ice cream. <br />
PISTACHIOS<br />NUTRITIONAL PROPERTIES<br />Pistachios are very nutritional. They are high in calories, 608 Kcal/100 gr, with a lot of fats 56,1 gr/100 gr. <br />Regardingminerals, pistachios are rich in potassium, calcium, and phosphorus. <br />Regardingvitamins, pistachios are rich in Vitamin A.<br />
PISTACHIOS<br />Recipe<br />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. <br />
HAZELNUTS<br />Hazelnut, nocciola, is the nut to the tree Corylusavellana, native to the temperate Eurasia and was widely exploited in prehistoric times for itsnuts. In Europe Italy, Turkey and Spain are the main producers; in the United States, nearly all hazelnuts are produced in Oregon. <br />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, gianduiaand ice cream (it makes one of the most delicious nut-based ices). <br />
HAZELNUTS<br />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 tocook other birds, boar and mullet. <br />
HAZELNUTS<br />NUTRITIONAL PROPERTIES<br />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. <br />Regardingminerals, hazelnuts are rich in potassium, calcium, and phosphorus. <br />Regardingvitamins, hazelnuts are rich in Vitamin A, and Folic Acid. <br />
HAZELNUTS<br />Picadais a sauce where hazelnuts are used with rusticbread, 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.<br />
PEANUT<br />Peanut is a popular nut but it isn’t popular in the Mediterranean area orin the Mediterranean Diet. <br />It is important to remember, that, this nut is not a nut, but the seed of a small leguminous bush, Arachishypogaea. 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 16th 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. <br />The high smoke point of peanut oil makes it good for deep frying<br />
PEANUT<br />NUTRITIONAL PROPERTIES<br />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. <br />Regardingminerals, peanuts are rich in potassium, phosphorus and zinc. <br />Regardingvitamins, peanuts are rich in Folic Acid and Niacin. <br />
FLAXSEED<br />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.<br />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.<br />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. <br />
FLAXSEED<br />NUTRITIONAL PROPERTIES<br />Flaxseeds are rich in Alpha-linolenic acid. <br />Regardingminerals, flaxseeds are rich in magnesium. <br />Regardingvitamins, flaxseeds are rich in Vitamin B6, Folate and Vitamin E. <br />
Percentageof Omega-3, Omega 6, and Omega-9 FattyAcids In Some SaladCookingOils<br />