Clinical studies have proven, time and time again, that the so-called Mediterranean Diet (basically the food your Lebanese mom makes) is the best thing to ward off heart disease, diabetes, and other diet-related diseases that plague the masses. Just last week, the US put out its yearly dietary recommendations and once again the Mediterranean diet was lauded as the best one. In fact, it can even cut heart disease by half.
Eating these types of foods will help you live a healthy and long life. For proof, simply look at the Lebanese politicians — some are well into their 80’s and are still kicking! Let’s take a look at what we do so well and why everyone should be copying us.
1. VOO (Virgin Olive Oil)
The most important element of the Mediterranean Diet is olive oil, and nobody drizzles olive oil on everything like the Lebanese do. No bread basket is complete without a jar of the stuff next to it. If you stab a Lebanese (not that you would ever have a reason to do that) they will probably bleed olive oil. Considered a gentle cure-all for centuries, many women will even moisturize their bodies with it.
2. Do you eat cheese? Wallaw, akid.
A moderate serving of cheese is a big part of the Med diet; and what can be better than cheese rolls? No mezze is complete without them. Opt for the grilled kind rather than the fried ones for optimal health advantages.
3. Fools for Foul
The US dietary guideline says that beans are one of the best and healthiest ways to get your protein intake. Lebanese cuisine has perfected the art of making tasty beans in the form of the simple yet super delicious foul.
4. Nuts: Nuts for Nuts
The Med diet leaves room for consuming nuts on a daily basis. I’ve travelled quite a bit and I’ve never seen bars as generous with nuts as they are here in Beirut. You might order one Almaza and casually end up consuming your own body weight in nuts by the end of the night.
5. Fruits and Veggies
Nobody needs to be told about the health benefits of fruits and vegetables, it’s obviously a no-brainer. Some restaurants in Lebanon really take this to heart though, especially the ones on the corniche where they often bring you a huge tomato and cucumbers before you even order.
One of the obvious advantages to living on the mediterranean is having a supply of fresh fish! Loaded with healthy fats and tons of nutrients, fish are an excellent source of protein in our diet.