… a way of life!
The very word DIET is open to interpretation.
A Latin meaning has it as daily food allowance; in classical Greek diaita means way of living!
Last week in its Health section, The New York Times reported on a remarkable new study of the Mediterranean Diet conducted in Spain and published in the highly respected New England Journal of Medicine:
About 30 percent of heart attacks, strokes and deaths from heart disease can be prevented in people at high risk if they switch to a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil, nuts, beans, fish, fruits and vegetables, and even drink wine with meals, a large and rigorous new study has found.
Nice to hear about the virtues of red wine! Also dark chocolate gets a nod!
(A square of 90% cacao chocolate and a dried fig make a nice finish to lunch and dinner!)
In the UK, my cookbook is subtitled, Delicious Dishes for Diabetics–a Mediterranean Way of Eating. (The American publisher changed the subtitle!)
The benefits of a diet based on olive oil, garlic and tomatoes have been debated–and some American heart specialists insist the vegan diet is superior–no animal products whatsoever. But not everyone wants to follow that way of eating.
Our friend John in Washington D.C. who builds dry stone walls and massive earth dikes and stoneworks is relishing the Paleo diet which involves eating large helpings of red meat–even at breakfast!
Each to his own.
I suspect most people, at some point in their lives, willingly go on a diet--to lose weight, for medical reasons or for a general clean out–to feel better.
In the early eighties, I remember astonishing my dinner hostess in London by bringing my own dinner with me–a three pound bag of raw onions–which I proceeded to cook and eat at the table while all the other guests sensibly and politely ate her lovingly prepared meal.
It amazes now me that I could have been so obsessed that I lost all sense of manners!
I can’t remember how long I stuck with the onion diet; I hope I gave it up the following morning, from shame!
The faddishness of diets is well known.
There are always many to choose from and they are usually embarked on with gusto–missionary zeal even–which has a tendency to fade….The Mediterranean Diet certainly has staying power!
Mark Bitman of The New York Times says of the Mediterranean Diet:
This is real food, delicious food, mostly easy-to-make food. You can eat this way without guilt and be happy and healthy.
The study is receiving–by and large–a good reaction:
“Really impressive,” said Rachel Johnson, a professor of nutrition at the University of Vermont and a spokeswoman for the American Heart Association.
EXPLANATION of the Food Pyramid