Surely you already know that we love gastronomic ephemeris. If you remember our gastronomic calendar of 2023, every November 13 is celebrated the Mediterranean Diet Day, a date that commemorates this habit of life since in 2010 UNESCO recognized the Mediterranean Diet as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. And the fact is that this diet includes some eating habits, as well as some customs that are very beneficial for our health. But, as if that were not enough, the recipes that are made in the Mediterranean area are those that leave their mark. Therefore, we also want to join this celebration and commemorate the Mediterranean Diet Day in style, will you join us?
Before we begin, what is the Mediterranean Diet?
Although it has the word diet in its name, it encompasses much more than the food of the Mediterranean countries. We could define it as the set of habits, customs, foods and recipes that, for centuries, have been carried out in all Mediterranean countries. It includes ingredients and foods, ways of cooking and tradition, customs and habits, as well as human activities. In other words, the Mediterranean Diet is a lifestyle rather than a food habit.
The countries that have shaped it are Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt and Syria. And, although each of them has its own elaborations, typical products and traditional recipes, they all have in common that they are governed by the Mediterranean Diet. A diet based on fruits and vegetables, fresh, organic and quality food. In which also highlights the consumption of legumes, fish, meat and dairy products.
Celebrate the Mediterranean Diet Day knowing its principles and characteristics.
If, as we said, it is not simply a diet, but a way of life, we must first understand what food means in these countries. For, while there are places where food is consumed for mere survival, where fast food that you can take on the street to not waste time on it prevails; in Mediterranean countries it is quite the opposite. Perhaps the climate, customs and habits have shaped the way we understand food in these countries. For it goes beyond that moment when you have to stop to eat to continue your day. Food is synonymous with family and loved ones, it is about socializing, enjoying recipes and company sitting down, in a leisurely, quiet way… And, of course, it is synonymous with celebration. That is why no matter how long it takes to prepare it, everything is little when it comes to enjoy with your loved ones.
But, in addition to this vision of meals, the Mediterranean diet also includes an active lifestyle. Where exercise is the base of the pyramid. At the same time it prioritizes fresh, organic, local and, of course, seasonal foods. All this makes this diet, besides being the favorite of many for the benefits it brings to our health, is also a habit to follow because it is very respectful of the environment.
That is why UNESCO, in 2010, named it Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity; and why it has its own day in the calendar.
What foods are included in the Mediterranean Diet?
As there are so many countries that make up the Mediterranean Diet, in each one we find foods and ingredients typical of each culture and area. However, broadly speaking, we can see some of the most characteristic foods of this diet. Take good note of the following ingredients to celebrate the Mediterranean Diet Day by including it in your next weekly menu:
- Use of extra virgin olive oil as the main source of fat. Unlike other cultures where the most used fats are butter and animal fats, the Mediterranean diet uses olive oil. A symbol of this diet. In addition, it is a very healthy fat, which has a multitude of properties and benefits for our organism; which makes it a fundamental part of our diet.
That is why, although Mediterranean countries consume more fat than, for example, the United States, they have a lower incidence of cardiovascular diseases. This is due to the quality of the fat consumed in Mediterranean countries.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a fundamental pillar in Mediterranean cuisine.
- In addition to lifestyle habits, customs and the famous liquid gold, at the base of the Mediterranean Diet pyramid we find cereals. This diet recommends between one and two servings of cereals at each main meal. These would be bread, pasta, rice… But with special emphasis on whole grains. Avoiding always refined cereals, since they lose properties.
- It is very important the consumption of fruits and vegetables, being the recommended amount between one and two fruits, and two or more vegetables in each main meal. In addition, the Mediterranean Diet advises us to have a variety of fruits and vegetables. For which we can help us depending on the season. It is also important to consume them both cooked and raw.
- In addition to fruits and vegetables, it is of special importance the consumption of legumes. A very satiating and healthy food. We can emphasize the use of aromatic herbs and spices, which make dishes have more flavor and aroma and do not require excessive use of salt.
- Fish and white meats, as well as eggs and dairy products are also important in this diet.
- And finally, what we have to eliminate completely from our diet if we want to follow a Mediterranean diet are processed foods. At the same time we must greatly reduce the consumption of sugars. So taking this pledge is a great way to celebrate Mediterranean Diet Day.
Key foods of the Mediterranean Diet
Vegetables, nuts and dried fruits and nuts
Spices and aromatic herbs
Seafood and fish
Celebrate the Mediterranean Diet Day, every November 13th.
Being such a healthy diet and having so many benefits, and also encompassing healthy, sustainable and environmentally friendly lifestyle habits, the Mediterranean Diet was named Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. In addition, the 13th of November was established to make it known and promote it around the world.
This date was originally established by Italy, Greece and Morocco. But more and more countries are encouraged to celebrate this day. In many places you can find markets dedicated to this diet, group activities, such as hiking, bike rides, and, of course, tasting of products and typical dishes of the Mediterranean diet.
But, as if the Mediterranean Diet Day was not enough, we also find the Mediterranean Diet Week, which coincides with the last week of September. An initiative of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, all with the aim of promoting this way of life.
And here we finish celebrating the Mediterranean Diet Day. If you liked it and you want to celebrate it too, remember to leave us your comments, ideas, tips … We love to read you! And don’t forget that you can follow us on social networks to keep up to date with all our publications. You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.