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The Mediterranean Diet
A figure-friendly, heart-healthy, disease-preventing eating plan.
mediterranean
What is the "Mediterranean Diet" ?
The Mediterranean diet is not a weight-loss plan; it simply refers to the way in which people traditionally eat in the Mediterranean region. On November 17, 2010, UNESCO recognized this diet pattern as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Spain, Greece, Italy and Morocco.The Mediterranean diet incorporates the basics of healthy eating — plus a splash of olive oil and perhaps a glass of red wine — among other components characterizing the traditional cooking style of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.

The common Mediterranean dietary pattern has the following characteristics:
• high intake of bread and other cereals, mainly whole grain
• high intake of fruits and vegetables, potatoes, beans, nuts and seeds
high consumption of virgin olive oil
• moderate consumption of dairy products.
• low to moderate consumption of eggs and poultry
• very low intake of red meat
very low intake of sweets (organic honey is the main sweetener)

Importantly, followers of the Mediterranean diet avoid synthetic foods such as artificial hydrogenated products and their derivates, and anything containing saturated or trans fat, which is responsible for increasing bad cholesterol (LDL) and reducing good cholesterol (HDL). Salt is sparsely used and instead replaced by herbs and spices.

The diet also recognizes the importance of enjoying meals with family and friends, and getting plenty of exercise on a regular basis.

Why should I adopt the diet?

The Mediterranean diet is not only a great way to obtain and maintain a healthy weight; it has also been linked with the prevention of many health diseases, primarily stroke and heart attack, but also lung disease, asthma, allergies, Parkinson, Alzheimer and bone ageing. In fact, people with Mediterranean eating habits tend to have normal blood pressure, insulin and cholesterol levels. Recently, the diet has also been associated with low incidences of many types of cancer. This is most likely due to the fact that it is an excellent source of anti-oxidants.

Consequently, it is widely believed that people who follow a Mediterranean diet can expect a healthier, happier and longer life.

How do I start?

The diet is easy to implement, because it provides the body with sufficient energy and all of the necessary nutrients. Whether you are trying to lose weight or simply adopt a healthier lifestyle, you will not get incessant cravings on a Mediterranean diet. In fact,
many people who switch to this style of eating say they'll never eat any other way.

Start by banning artificial processed foods and going for natural, organic options instead. Use the Oldways organization’s Mediterranean diet pyramid as a guideline to the portions of food that you should be eating daily, weekly and monthly. Finally,
exercise on a regular basis, drink plenty of water and help yourself to a glass of wine at dinner. Your body will thank you!

chart Alce Nero Organic products that fit into a Mediterranean diet consist of:

• Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• Spaghetti Whole Meal
• Spelt and Kamut
• Tomato Sauce with Basil, Chilli, Vegetables or Eggplant
• Chunky Tomato Purée plain or with basil
• Pesto Basil Sauce
• Strawberry, Cherry, Plum, Peach and Apricot Jams
• Acacia and Wild Flower Honey

What about my kids?

The Mediterranean diet is a way of life and because old habits die hard, it is best to implement the diet from an early age. It is completely suited to, even recommended for children. Feed your kids as much fresh and natural ingredients as possible, minimize their intake of artificial and processed food, and make sure that they sit down to eat their meals at the same time each day.

Disclaimer: This article does not replace the advice of your physician or nutritionist. Speak to a health professional
before undertaking any drastic changes to your diet.

Sources:
http://www.mediterraneandiet.com/
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/mediterranean-diet/CL00011

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