The Mediterranean is well-known for the fresh, beautiful flavours that can be found in their various dishes, and is fast gaining popularity around the world for the plethora of health benefits that are associated with the diet. So in preparation for our upcoming Mediterranean Cuisine short course, Le Cordon Bleu London is providing you with this quick guide to the much-loved region’s diverse and healthy cuisine.
The foundations of Mediterranean cuisine lie in its holistic approach to eating. Instead of focusing on eliminating individual components such as carbs or sugar, the Mediterranean diet encourages a more balanced outlook, incorporating a range of items from all of the different food groups as follows:
- Daily – The Mediterranean diet is very rich in vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, potatoes, legumes, olive oil, nuts, and seeds, and these are the primary components that are incorporated into the cuisine on a daily basis.
- A few times a week – Fish, eggs, cheese, yoghurt and poultry are included in the diet in moderation, being eaten only a few times a week.
- A few times a month – Red meat is eaten in small quantities in the Mediterranean as it is higher in fat in comparison to poultry. Also, sweets and desserts are not completely avoided but are only consumed a few times a month.
There are many health benefits associated with Mediterranean cuisine as each component of the diet provides an ample source of essential vitamins and nutrients which are as follows:
- Fruit and vegetables – High in fire, antioxidants and vitamin C.
- Wholegrains legumes – A good source of carbohydrates, protein, fibre and vitamins.
- Olive oil – A healthy mono-unsaturated fat.
- Nuts and seeds – High in protein, fibre, vitamins and another source of unsaturated fats.
- Fish – A low-in-fat source of protein, with oily fish containing omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A and D.
- Meat – High in protein vitamin and minerals but with red meat having a higher fat content than white meat.
- Dairy – A good source of calcium, protein and vitamins A and B12 but high in saturated fats.
Because Mediterranean cuisine provides a good source of all of the nutrients listed above, the diet has been associated with reducing the risk of heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, bowel problems and cancer.
A true Mediterranean lifestyle also includes the freedom to enjoy a glass of red wine with your meal once a day! The popular alcoholic beverage also boasts numerous health benefits such as protection against heart disease due to its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory qualities.
So why don’t you try living the Mediterranean way by taking our Mediterranean Cuisine short-course so that you can learn how to recreate the authentic cuisine at home, and enjoy your dishes with a well-deserved glass of red!