The Mediterranean Diet is the nutritional model typical of the Mediterranean countries. It is based on the prevalent consumption of carbohydrates, which are largely represented by cereals and derivatives such as pasta and bread, together with vegetables, fruits and extra-virgin olive oil. Milk and dairy products also play an important role, necessary to ensure nutritional completeness, in addition to meat and fish, to be consumed in moderate amounts.
It is known that this dietary model contributes to protecting health, curing and preventing overweight and many metabolic, cardiovascular and degenerative diseases. Its validity has been universally recognized, so that in 2010 the Mediterranean Diet has been proclaimed by UNESCO as a "Heritage of Humanity", because it’s considered a worldwide excellence.
My method of treatment is based on a new concept of Mediterranean Diet, open to selected dietary solutions, typical of other cultures, which integrate perfectly with this and increase their therapeutic potential.
The introduction of some distinctive dishes of other ethnicities enhances, from a scientific point of view, the typical features of the Mediterranean Diet and acts in synergy with it, in the prevention and treatment of overweight and metabolic problems.
In the food plan coexist typical foods of the Mediterranean Diet and those of other ethnicities, considering the tastes and preferences of each person; This mixture is particularly appreciated because it enriches the diet variety and taste with different flavours, giving a touch of innovation.
Below I describe the properties of the main food solutions that can be adopted, divided into macro-geographic areas.
Some fish typical of these seas are particularly rich in omega 3 fatty acids and polyunsaturated fats that are useful for lowering cholesterol levels in the blood, to counter free radicals and cellular ageing; they are also a precious source of vitamins and mineral salts.
An important source of vegetable proteins comes from quinoa and amaranth, two foods included in the biological pseudo-cereal family, cultivated mainly in South America.
Quinoa has a high content of alpha-linoleic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid, which helps to maintain a balanced lipid profile and prevents cardiovascular diseases.
Amaranth gives a good calcium intake and its phytosterols content helps to reduce total cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
There are various dishes offered by this geographic area, starting with yoghurt-based, nutritional completed and beneficial for the body. A generally pleasing solution for its freshness and simplicity of preparation is tabbouleh, of Arab origin, prepared with bulgur, tomatoes, onions, parsley, mint, lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil.
We still find chickpea preparations such as hummus and falafel, rich in vegetable proteins, fibre, omega 3 fatty acids and vitamins B.
In this geographical area, there are several preparations that have as a main ingredient a legume, soya. They are foods rich in vegetable proteins such as burgers, cutlets or rissoles, with low cholesterol intake, to be used as meat and fish substitutes.
Typical of this area is also miso, a very ancient seasoning, obtained by the fermentation of yellow soybeans and sea salt, particularly rich in enzymes and probiotics that make it useful for the intestine. Miso is commonly used to season hot first courses such as soups or risottos, to flavour second courses of meat and fish.