It’s in the news yet again that according to the latest research a Mediterranean diet is the best way to eat for our health. I certainly think that the principles are sound and it fits in with the way I eat and the message I put out in my recipe books.
Eating this way includes eating lots of vegetables and fruit, nuts and seeds, fish, olives and olive oil and limiting red meat and dairy produce especially saturated fat, butter and cream.
When I trained as a Nutritional Therapist in the 1980’s I was lucky to receive an amazing education and there isn’t anything that I was taught that hasn’t stood the test of time. We were told that if you get the wrong things out of the body and put the right things in, then the body has the best chance of healing itself. That including lots of vegetables in the diet helps the body to detoxify whereas eating lots of protein – especially meat (and red meat most of all) pushes toxicity back into the cells. We were taught that fat was essential for the body but not just any fat – the fat from fish, nuts and seeds and olive oil are good fats which are necessary for our health and that saturated fat from meat and dairy produce should always be limited.
We were also told that vegetables feed the good gut flora whereas sugar and processed carbohydrates feed the bad gut flora. So in many ways, as therapists, the basis of the diets we were putting clients on was the Mediterranean diet. And it worked. During my 17 years as a therapist I saw so many people regain their health on this type of regime. We are what we eat!
I was talking to a lady the other day who was bemoaning the fact that she didn’t have time to prepare healthy homemade food to take to work so I suggested she just put lots of bits in a container and took it to work with her along with a tin of sardines or tuna. In the box she could throw, tomatoes, a chunk of cucumber, radish, cauliflower florets, a stick of celery, red pepper, avocado, fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, olives and anything else she had to hand. She would then have food she could nibble on throughout the day and the basis for a healthy lunch. She couldn’t believe how simple it could be.