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Jakarta Post

Mediterranean diet: More than just eating

  • Hans David Tampubolon

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, January 4 2017   /  12:43 am
Italian chef Gino Campagna (Courtesy of chefginocampagna.webs.com)" width="780" height="520" border="0">Italian chef Gino Campagna (Courtesy of chefginocampagna.webs.com)

The Mediterranean diet has always been one of the most popular eating lifestyles for those who want to be in shape.

A modern nutritional recommendation inspired by the eating lifestyle of the people who live in Greece, southern Italy, Spain and other countries on the Mediterranean, this eating habit has its own diet pyramid to follow.

It focuses on a proportionally high consumption of olive oil, legumes, unrefined cereals, fruits and vegetables, a moderate to high consumption of protein in the form of fish meat and plant-based protein sources, a moderate consumption of dairy products, a moderate wine consumption and a low consumption of red and white meat.

A large amount of scientific research and studies have also shown that people who follow the Mediterranean diet have lower risks of getting life-threatening illnesses, such as heart disease, and they tend to appear younger.

 The term “diet” might confuse people who consider it as merely a change in eating habits. A recent seminar at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura (IIC) in Menteng, Central Jakarta, revealed that the Mediterranean diet went beyond ingredients, meals and eating habits. It, instead, involves a broader perspective on culture and lifestyle.

 Italian chef Gino Campagna, who spoke during the seminar, said that for the last 15 years he had been trying to raise the food IQ in the United States, a country in which he has been living for 25 years.

 “I want them [American families] to understand that food is not a medicine that simply affects your body, but there is more to it. My approach is a whole holistic approach. I like to see food as cultural and so forth,” Campagna said.

 Campagna said that having a Mediterranean diet did not only mean eating Mediterranean foods, but it was a whole process from the beginning, from how the ingredients were harvested, to the way they were cooked and how they were presented as a meal in social gatherings that often involve social interactions.

 This means that in order to live the Mediterranean diet lifestyle and reap the most health benefits from it, people must not forget the active social lifestyle aspects of it.

 To provide a brief picture of how the people in Mediterranean countries do a proper Mediterranean diet, Campagna described his childhood years in Parma, which is known as the food capital of the world, famous for its parmesan cheese and ham.

La Frittata, an Italian omelet. (JP/Hans David Tampubolon)

Italian chef Gino Campagna (Courtesy of chefginocampagna.webs.com)The Mediterranean diet has always been one of the most popular eating lifestyles for those who want to be in shape.A modern nutritional recommendation inspired by the eating lifestyle of the people who live in Greece, southern Italy, Spain and other countries on the Mediterranean, this eating habit has its own diet pyramid to follow.It focuses on a proportionally high consumption of olive oil, legumes, unrefined cereals, fruits and vegetables, a moderate to high consumption of protein in the form of fish meat and plant-based protein sources, a moderate consumption of dairy products, a moderate wine consumption and a low consumption of red and white meat.A large amount of scientific research and studies have also shown that people who follow the Mediterranean diet have lower risks of getting life-threatening illnesses, such...