How the Mediterranean Diet can benefit our health (and tastebuds)
|The Mediterranean Sea at its best - Levanto, Liguria|
In 2010 UNESCO recognized the Mediterranean diet as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity: the tribute was credited on account of its healthiness and eco-compatibility as well as for its role in the prevention of severe diseases and pathologies (e.g. obesity, arteriosclerosis, cancer, diabetes 2…).
A dish of good durum wheat pasta served with EVO, tomato and basil leaves, a portion of fresh sea bass with diced raw seasonal vegetables, a serving of quality fruits... – this is what it takes to create a healthy and tasty menu.
Moreover, the protection of typical products and produce is one of the most effective tools to promote the terroir, its ancient crafts (an evergreen for young people, too) and its agricultural identities endangered by global economies.
Fifty years ago, American scientist Ancel Keys (1904-2004), who lived in Pollica (Cilento) with his wife Margaret for several years, developed the proposal of a dietetic model – the famous pyramid – which indirectly re-evaluated the ingenious frugality of our forefathers, who lived on nature’s gifts, vegetables, grains, olives, fruits, some eggs, a little meat and cheese.
However, as fats and sugars became cheaper in the 20th century, overeating started to increase, not to forget about the negative downsides of sedentary life such as overweight and constipation. Does progress always parallel wellbeing?
American food writer Fred Plotkin writes in his famous Italy for the Gourmet Traveler remarks on how “the combination of pasta, vegetables, fruit, oil, wine, herbs, bread, fish and small amounts of meat and cheese makes Ligurian food the ideal choice from the point of view of health as well as flavor”.
The sooner we will understand the “we are what we eat” and choose the Mediterranean diet as our life style, the sooner we will enjoy our meals as gourmet experiences to be lived responsibly and serenely. The best New Year's resolution for 2018 - Year of Italian Food in the World!