There are many directions to go with regard to nutrition. With a ton of information coming at us day-by-day, it’s never been more confusing to make sense out of which path to follow. The annual rankings for best overall diets from US News & World Report, a credible source, recently announced a tie for first place in 2018 between the Mediterranean Diet and DASH Diet.
A health and nutrition expert panel came to their decision after carefully considering 40 diets and ranking them for characteristics such as how easy they are to follow, how safe they are, and whether they are effective in helping those who wish to lose weight in these efforts – short and long term. Of the recommended diets, Mediterranean nutrition wins top honors with its bonus of health benefits. Here is an in-depth look at a variety of science-based aspects of Mediterranean nutrition along with the Mediterranean Food Pyramid.
The Mediterranean Sea and Nearby Countries
To talk about Mediterranean nutrition, it’s a good idea to get out a world map first. This is because the traditional foods that are staples of this delicious cuisine originated in the geographical area surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. Here’s a map that shows the Mediterranean countries. Here are 5 fun facts:
- Throughout ancient history, the Mediterranean Sea provided routes for trade, colonization and war, and provided food for numerous communities throughout the ages.
- The Mediterranean Sea is bordered on the north by Europe, the east by Asia, and in the south by Africa.
- The Mediterranean Sea is approximately 2,300 miles in length, has a maximum depth of 16,900 ft, and covers 969,100 square miles.
- The typical Mediterranean climate is hot, with dry summers and mild, rainy winters.
- Major crops of the Mediterranean region include olives, vegetables, grapes, oranges, lemons, figs, wheat and cork.
Get Started with Mediterranean Nutrition in Your Kitchen
It’s not hard to set yourself up to taste the great flavors of Mediterranean nutrition and to improve your health. Try this 7-step plan for set-up and then give it a good try of 3-6 months. After these months, you might be ready to jump into Mediterranean nutrition for a long, long time.
7 Steps to Mediterranean Nutrition
- Get a world map that shows Mediterranean countries and put it up in your kitchen
- Start a list of common Mediterranean foods that you want to try
- Get going with a short list of Mediterranean recipes you want to make such as these:
- Roasted Eggplant with Onions, Tomatoes, and Olive Oil
- Stewed Eggplant with Onions, Tomatoes, Olive Oil, and Cinnamon
- Easy Squid Stew
- Easy Vegetarian Pizza
- Parmesan and Cashew Crusted Salmon
- Begin planning your weekly meals and shopping list to include Mediterranean foods and recipes
- Take time to pick out a great bottle of extra virgin olive oil. On the label, look for terms like extra virgin and first cold pressed. Also, check the best-by-date to make sure your bottle is very fresh
- Call a friend and invite her/him to have dinner with you, Mediterranean-style, so you can cook something delicious
- Talk up your new Mediterranean nutrition effort with work friends and those close to you. Bring them on-board when you can!
What recipe will you try in your new Mediterranean kitchen?