UNESCO RECOGNIZED THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET IN 2013 AS AN INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE OF PORTUGAL, SPAIN, ITALY, CROATIA, GREECE, CYPRUS AND MOROCCO.
Based on an intake of healthy ingredients like seasonal fruit and vegetables, fish and seafood, extra virgin olive oil, cereal and legumes it is not surprising that it is one of the most recommended diets all around the world.
Mediterranean diet is a diet low in red meat, sugar and saturated fat, the bad mix that is one of the main causes of cardiovascular disease and cancer now days. All the foods that have undergone minimal processing and are fresh are the preferred. Although red meat is very popular in some parts of Mediterranean countries, like lamb in Greece, Croatia and some islands in Italy, the key is in its preparation, quality and quantity of red meat eaten a month etc. It was a subject of many studies as some scientist saw that the amount of red meat and fat eaten in some Mediterranean countries was the same as in the United states or Northern Europe, but the cardiovascular diseases were less frequent in Mediterranean countries. It is called the Mediterranean style diet paradox and French paradox.
When on Mediterranean Diet it is recommended to eat 3 main meals a day and two snacks and if it is possible to eat every day at the same time. You should also pay attention on your calorie intake during the day.
Breakfast – 20% of your daily calorie intake should come from breakfast. It is the most important meal of the day and it should never be skipped. Example of a healthy Mediterranean breakfast is one cup of milk,
two/three rusks with marmalade or honey, a fruit and a cup of coffee.
Morning snack between breakfast and lunch should make 5 percent of your daily calorie intake. You can eat a low fat yogurt and a fruit. It is better to eat a Greek yogurt or a simple white yogurt rather that fruit yogurt or with other added ingredients because they are high in sugar. If you like fruit yogurt that you can add some fresh fruit yourself in a Greek yogurt which is a much healthier solution.
Lunch – 35-40% of your daily calorie intake should come from lunch. For example: 80 grams of whole wheat pasta with fresh tomatoes basil and a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil, salad with fresh tomatoes, feta cheese, black olives, walnuts, arugula and valerian. See our recipe page.
Evening snack – it makes 5% of your daily calorie intake. You can eat a fresh fruit with a pack of crackers or tea without sugar.
Dinner – It should make 30-35% of your daily calorie intake. Remember to eat smaller meals for dinner so you can have a good sleep without having digestion problems. It is always recommended to go to sleep at least after 2 or 3 hours have passed from you last meal, not referring to siesta, a famous power nap after
lunch in Spain. For example: you can eat grilled fish with fresh salad or boiled or grilled vegetables.