We love the Mediterranean diet for so many reasons. It is delicious, easy to prepare, allows moderate alcohol consumption and best of all is scientifically proven to help people live longer, healthier lives.
The Mediterranean diet is not about strict regimes, 'super foods' or banned ingredients. It is instead about an enjoyable way of life and delicious, balanced food.
How the Mediterranean Diet fits with 'living a younger life'
It's not necessary to move to rural Spain, Italy or Greece to benefit from eating the Mediterranean way. All you need to do is eat food that fits within the Mediterranean diet guidelines. To achieve maximum years off your Life Age you should eat:
- 4 tbs Olive oil per day and avoid butter, cream & margarine
- 2 or more vegetable servings (200g) per day
- 3 or more servings of fruit per day
- 3 or more servings of wholegrain per day
- 3 or more servings of beans & pulses per week (150g)
- avoid sweet or carbonated drinks
- choose white meat and avoid read meat
- 3 or more servings fish & shellfish per week
- 2 or more sofrito sauce based meals per week
- 3 servings (10g) nuts per week
- less than 3 servings of sweets, cookies, confectionary or cakes per week
- two alcohol units or less per day (with ideally some days alcohol free each week)
A description of the Mediterranean Lifestyle and why it keeps you young
We like Ancel Keys romantic description of the typical Cretan paesan lifestyle and all the benefits it brings....
"He is a shepherd or small farmer, a beekeeper or fisherman, or a tender of olives or vines. He walks to work daily and labours in the soft light of his Greek isle, midst the droning of crickets and the bray of distant donkeys, in the peace of his land. … His midday, main meal is of aubergine, with large livery mushrooms, crisp vegetables, and country bread dipped in the nectar that is golden Cretan olive oil. Once a week there is a bit of lamb, naturally spiced from grazing in thyme-filled pastures. Once a week there is chicken. Twice a week there is fish fresh from the sea. Other meals are hot dishes of legumes seasoned with meats and condiments. The main dish is followed by a tangy salad, then by dates, Turkish sweets, nuts, or succulent fresh fruits. A sharp local wine completes this varied and savoury cuisine. This living pattern, repeated six days a week, is climaxed by a happy Saturday evening. The ritual family dinner is followed by relaxing fellowship with peers. Festivity builds to a passionate midnight dance under the brilliant moon in the field circle where the grain of the region is winnowed. … He is handsome, rugged, kindly—and virile. His is the lowest heart-attack risk, the lowest death rate, and the greatest life expectancy in the Western world"