Fresh foods, plenty of veggies and grains with small amount of meat, and lots of fun make up the Mediterranean diet.
Maybe one of the best books on the Mediterranean Diet is by Nancy Jenkins. She did not just put together a list of healthy recipes. But these are real Mediterranean dishes she has been preparing for years.
If you like to cook and maybe even experiment a little, you will find the recipes are made with real Mediterranean ingredients and with alternatives you can find in any grocery store.
This book is also full of history, each recipe come with plenty of history and stories from Nancy growing up and travels.
Foods that make up a Mediterranean Diet
Vegetables and grains make the largest part the Mediterranean diet, and you probably have heard olive oil is the major fat in the diet, but you'll see the daily menu includes yogurt, lemon juice, sea salt, wine and exercise.
Fats, Italian olive oil
Some call olive oil the liquid gold of the Mediterranean. Considered an unsaturated fat, the good kind of fat, also considered a good source of Vitamins e, a, b12, c and d.
Butter or animal fats are rarely used in Mediterranean diet.
Hydrogenated oils or margarine (trans fats) are considered to be very unhealthy fat and are thought to clog arteries and promote heart disease. These fats should not be used in any diet.
Cheese & yogurt should be less than 10% of your diet. They are considered a source of protein but also they are saturated fats, not the good kind. In American markets there are lots of choices of low fat or fat free yogurt and cheeses.
Exercise is considered the major component of the Mediterranean lifestyle. Regular daily activities are the base for the diet.
The diet does not include processed foods or trans fats (the worst of the bad fats).
One of the best things I like about the book: Nancy encourages you to try new recipes a experiment with new ingredients. I'm working on a new Tabbouleh recipe, hopefully I'll have it posted next week.
Happy cooking with the
Mediterranean Diet Cook Book.