Med Diet

(ianrobo) #1

Been involved with someone over the Med Diet, yes they are a vegan so he thinks all the diet is veggies and they eat little meat.

Well I know a greek Cypriot at work and he confirmed there diet is mainly meat (of course thats why Keys lied about going there at Lent).

Been to Spain and mixture of fish and meat in most restaurants that locals use, very little processed food, go to their shops !!

France, well like Spain but cooked differently

Italy - yes loads of pasta etc but a lot of it with meat FFS

Yes they all use olive oil, all use cheese at some level but few are veggie.

Plenty of resources out there but is there a source I can trust to show the exact proportions of Macros for a typical med diet in each country ?

(one not written by a vegan !!)


Nina Tiecholz tried to do this in her book The Big Fat Surprise, and there’s really no scientific definition of the Mediterranean Diet despite people continuing to believe that it has a scientific basis - it’s more a matter of consensus.

(ianrobo) #3

well it seems some think it is all salads and maybe fish … it just is not and has healthy oils, it has cheese and it has meat and plenty of it !

(jketoscribe) #4

It always cracks me up when they try to claim the Med diet is “almost vegetarian”. I guess those animals you see everywhere in Mediterranean countries (pigs, goats, cattle, sheep, ducks and chickens) are there for decoration. These countries are known for their cheeses and dairy products, all full fat, and of course, preserved meat–can you even count the many ways Italians preserve pork??? Salamis aren’t for decoration, either. And they eat a lot of fish and seafood, too.

I was listening to the Splendid Table podcast with Lynn Rosetto Caspar and she reported on research that showed that most agrarian Italians harvested the olives and SOLD the olive oil as their major cash crop–they could not afford to cook with it the way we think people must do in the Mediterranean countries. They reserved the lard from butchered pigs for their everyday cooking. Olive oil was primarily a condiment unless you were very wealthy.

I take any kind of “Blue Zone” reports with a grain of salt. You keep hearing about the Okinawan diet and how that is “almost vegetarian” as well. I grew up there, and I can tell you first hand it is not true. They eat a LOT of vegetables, it’s very true, and they eat rice and buckwheat. But they are a tropical ISLAND so they eat fish and seafood (and sea vegetables full of sodium and iodine), and a LOT of pork (the saying goes that “Okinawans eat everything but the oink”), they eat chicken and beef, too. They are most assuredly omnivores. Many of the studies on the so-called Okinawan diet were in the 50’s and early 60’s, not that long after WWII when the fisheries and animal populations had not yet fully recovered.

I think all these people who study the Okinawans and claim their “almost vegetarian diet” is responsible for their longevity overlook a very big truth. The island was the site of some of the fiercest battles in the Pacific during WWII, it was DECIMATED. War and famine took out a large percentage of the population. The people that are living into their 90’s and 100’s were the healthiest of the healthy, the strongest of the strong and the smartest of the smart to have survived during that time. They passed on their genes to the next generation. But the diet is changing to a more westernized diet like everywhere else, and there are starting to be more and more fat and unhealthy Okinawans.

Many of the Mediterranean countries also suffered a lot during WWII, so it may very well be a similar story there.

(ianrobo) #5

thanks for that and very good, mind if I pinch it :slight_smile:

(David K) #6

For the record, my boss is from Italy and hardly touches vegetables. He says the big difference between Italy and the US is the portion size.

(ianrobo) #7

Of course when you have a lot of fat no need to eat tons of nutrient free crap


Please don’t confuse American italian cuisine with real italian cuisine. And, please don’t confuse restaurant fare in Italy (catering to tourists looking for a cheap meal) with what Italians eat in their home.

Lots of meat/fish/seafood/cheese/eggs is consumed by Italians. And depending on the region of Italy, there can be lots of greens, too. Like rapini, broccoli, black Tuscan kale, Swiss chard, spinach, artichoke, cabbage, escarole, endive, chicory, asparagus, etc. Northern parts usually less veg. And the northerners are known for heavy use of butter, cream and lard. They are also taught as a youngster to eat traditional foods, and snout to tail. Buying stewed intestines from a food cart out in the streets of Florence, for example, is common.

For pasta: There is a saying of “tre forchettate” or three forkfuls in English. As in, you get three forkfuls of spaghetti, and that’s it. The mountain of spaghetti, as you see in America, would serve an army in Italy.

Olive oil is remarkably good and of great quality. Cured meats the same. Unlike in America where they place “grass fed” and “pasture raised” on premium products, in Italy you see high quality foods, with stringent certification, like PDO, where complete supply chain quality is certified and name of product is protected (just like you cannot call any sparkling wine by the protected name Champagne).

The practice of continuously snacking throughout the day is unheard of. Drink big gulp cups of soft drinks is seen as vulgar and not appetizing. Mineral water is consumed more than soft drinks. And the mineral water has lots of magnesium, potassium, etc…electrolytes.

There is no dessert. Closest thing to dessert is serving cheese, nuts (usually in their shell) or seasonal fruit. But, this is not done every day. Actual sweet desserts, like tiramisu, is a rare treat served for special occasions. The gelato shops you see in Italy cater to tourists…not really Italians. They know that stuff is full of sugar.

I don’t know a single italian that eats breakfast. They take an espresso, and they are out the door. Will not eat until lunch time.

So, please. Do not confuse Italians with stereotypes created in America, or the food commerce that caters to the tourists (who don’t know what real authentic italian food really is, and who would be grossed out if they were served real italian food). For example, when I was growing up, we ate rabbit about 2 or 3 times per month. How many tourists would like to eat rabbit? Probably 1 in 1000.

(ianrobo) #9

Thank you that is how I expected it to be ! No way this countries have mainly a vegetable diet as all meals usually have some animal protein at its core !