Nowadays there are increased rates of overweight people. These rates are increasing steadily. And if we even consider childhood obesity, then things are particularly worrying. The issue is not only the aesthetics but health above all. It is not a coincidence that the rates of various obesity-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and so on are particularly high.
We have reduced exercise in our daily lives while increasing our sedentary lives and poor nutrition. But what can be considered a “bad” or “good” diet? A burger can be particularly tasty, but it is extremely difficult to consider it a “good diet”, at least if we consider how we prepare and serve such a dish, all the ingredients.
We do not do this article to scold anyone, nor to shake a finger. Everyone’s life, as we always say, is clearly a personal affair. We are neither doctors nor specialists… But the point is that the thing is that we are starting to lose the limits and the most important thing is that we are the example of our children! If my child constantly watches me on TV to eat chips, it is proven that he will do the same thing, he will adopt the same habit.
We are determined to quit these bad habits. Our way is to start doing more exercise (no matter how hard it sounds to you) and to incorporate the Mediterranean diet into our program.
Why Mediterranean diet?
Mediterranean diet is full of nutrients and covers the nutritional needs of people of all ages. The basic principle of Mediterranean Nutrition is the triptych: Balance – Measure – Variety. It is important at every main and intermediate meal to consume the foods set out in the Mediterranean diet pyramid so that our daily diet is nutritious and balanced.
As its name implies, it comes from Mediterranean countries (Greece, southern Italy, France and Spain). In 2013 UNESCO added Mediterranean diet to the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Greece, Cyprus, Italy (beneficiary), France, Morocco, Spain, Portugal and Croatia because “Mediterranean diet includes one skills, knowledge, rituals, symbols and traditions related to cultivation, harvesting, fishing, livestock breeding, maintenance, processing, cooking, and in particular the supply and consumption of food”.
The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthy eating patterns recommended by the American Guidelines for Health Promotion and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases. It is also recognized by the World Health Organization as a healthy and sustainable model of nutrition and as an intangible cultural good by the “United National Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization”.
The Mediterranean diet is based on a pyramid model. The Mediterranean diet pyramid is divided into three levels based on the frequency of food consumption. At the base there are the foods we have to use on a daily basis. Next up is the weekly diet stage and finally the monthly section is at the top of the pyramid.
The pyramid contains all the food groups needed for our body. Specifically, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, cereals (especially whole grains) and their products (bread, pasta, rice, etc.), and olive oil as the main fat are the foods that are at the base of the pyramid and should be consumed daily. Poultry, fish, legumes, eggs and potatoes are on the second scale of the pyramid. And on top is red meat, which should normally be eaten twice a month most.
Fruits and vegetables
Let’s look at each food group in more detail. Fruits and vegetables have a lot of fiber, helping to reduce fat and hunger, while helping the bowel function and helping the body hydrate. According to Clinical Dietitian – Nutritionist Dim. Grigorakis, vegetables can be incorporated into our diet in the form of low-fat foods, such as okra (which helps to improve vision and the immune system, are effective in constipation), peas (ideal food for people with high arterial values).
Pressure, is an ally against high cholesterol, as it has an increased content of plant sterols), green beans (characterized by their high fiber content, which helps in the problem of constipation Community, reduce blood cholesterol and the absorption of fatty acids contribute to the prevention of colon cancer, protects against cardiovascular disease and effectively regulates body weight, and finally, increased blood clotting ability and iron absorption). Also, artichokes in the form of aliens fight free radicals in the body thus protecting them from various forms of cancer (skin, gall bladder, prostate, liver, etc.). They also improve the symptoms of gastrointestinal problems, such as abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea or constipation.
Pulses are an excellent human food, rich in nutrients, fiber and protein. Proteins that contain legumes, although lower in biological value than meat, are far superior to all other vegetable foods. They help not only in good bowel function but also in lowering cholesterol levels, in preventing heart disease and in many forms of cancer.
Olive oil has been shown to protect against coronary heart disease and reduce “bad” cholesterol levels while increasing “good” cholesterol levels.
Dairy products give us calcium, which is necessary not only for stronger bones during body growth, but also for maintaining bone mass during adulthood.
It is necessary to eat fish, which is helpful to the health of the bones, the eyes of the heart and the vessels.
Also important are poultry providing the body with high nutritional proteins, iron and vitamins that help the nervous system. Fish and poultry are recommended to be consumed 2 to 4 times a week.
Red meat should be eaten a few times a month, as it contains high nutritional proteins, iron, zinc and important vitamins, but also contains saturated fatty acids with adverse health effects.
In addition, fruits and vegetables can alter the risk of cancer through their antioxidant or anti-inflammatory effects, while red wine in small quantities (1-2 glasses a day) has proven beneficial in the cardiovascular system and helps “good” cholesterol (HDL).
As mentioned above, the Mediterranean Pyramid contains 3 levels depending on the frequency of consumption of the particular foods. At its core are foods that should be consumed daily and in significant quantities, while on top are those that should be eaten rarely and in small quantities.
2-3 servings of dairy products
5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables
6-11 portions of starchy foods (whole grains / pasta, brown rice, multigrain bread)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
30 grams of unsalted nuts
2-3 times legumes or olives
2 times fish
1-2 times poultry
0-1 times red meat (= about 2 offers / month)
The Mediterranean diet is one of the best, easiest and healthiest ways to eat. This also applies in cases where we want to lose weight in the most correct and healthy way possible. It lacks nothing from all food groups. All we need to do is put a program in our diet.
It is important to note that it is the experts are the ones to advise and manage a condition or eating disorder in any case, and in no way do we intend to replace them.
We would like to point out that our sources come from the publication of the well-known Clinical Dietitian – Nutritionist Dimitris Grigorakis at https://www.palirria.com, https://www.cnn.gr, www.mayoclinic.org, http: //www.geofood.gr/ and https://en.wikipedia.org