The Mediterranean Diet

( 56 )

Overview

Scientists have discovered that traditional Mediterranean cuisine is one of the most healthful, nutritious diets in the world—one that can help everyone lose weight and enjoy lower rates of coronary heart disease and other chronic conditions, including diabetes and cancer. From tasty Moroccan vegetable stew to rosemary focaccia, from eggplant parmesan to lemon almond cake, The Mediterranean Diet offers a program that will make dieters ...

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Overview

Scientists have discovered that traditional Mediterranean cuisine is one of the most healthful, nutritious diets in the world—one that can help everyone lose weight and enjoy lower rates of coronary heart disease and other chronic conditions, including diabetes and cancer. From tasty Moroccan vegetable stew to rosemary focaccia, from eggplant parmesan to lemon almond cake, The Mediterranean Diet offers a program that will make dieters everywhere—and food lovers in general—rejoice.

  • Includes a 7-day eating plan chock full of savory meals
  • Essential in-depth nutritional information about each food category
  • A 3-day exercise plan
  • Luscious soup-to-nuts recipes designed to satisfy your individual tastes

Lose weight and worry with every delicious meal!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060578787
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/27/2004
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Revised and Updated Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 112,779
  • Product dimensions: 6.74 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Meet the Author

Marissa Cloutier, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian with a master of science degree in human nutrition and metabolism from Boston University. She is a food/nutrition instructor at Briarwood College, as well as a biology and anatomy/physiology instructor at Hillyer College. She was recently admitted into the Ph.D. program at the University of Connecticut in the field of nutrition. She is an expert co-author, with Eve Adamson and Deborah S. Romaine, of Beef Busters: Less Beef, Better Health!

Eve Adamson has authored or coauthored more than forty books, including The Mediterranean Diet. She lives with her family in Iowa City, where she cooks, gardens, and writes about food and holistic health.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One 

Mediterranean Magic

Imagine yourself sitting in a sun-drenched outdoor café on the banks of the Greek Mediterranean shore. The vast turquoise sea meets the brilliant blue sky, and everything around you seems influenced by sea and sky, from the aquamarine-painted tables and chairs of the café to the foamy-white buildings and small shops jutting out over the seawall where the Mediterranean laps and splashes. The warm sun on your shoulders and the cool sea breeze on your face enhance the spectacular view, as the fragrance of white flowers scaling a peach-colored trellis above your table mingles with the smells of salt and sea.You feel yourself relaxing into your chair as you are gently serenaded by the musical dialect around you. You recall your morning trek across the vast white beaches, and images of ancient Greece envelop you. You can almost envision Socrates walking along the shoreline with tall Greek ships sailing in the far distance, the ruins whole, the early blossoming of Western civilization. Poseidon, that great god of the sea, is smiling at you, amused to see how easily the stresses of daily life have suddenly melted away.

Ah, the magical Mediterranean. With all its glorious old-worldliness, you feel connected with history. You feel completely at peace. And just when you think it couldn't get any better, you are awakened from your relaxed bliss by a waiter who brings you a bowl of fragrant, lemony soup the color of the sun, followed by a steaming plate of sea bass infused with oregano, olive oil, and lemon, surrounded by colorful roasted vegetables grown on the rolling hills just behind you.

With each bite youare catapulted further into the heaven that surrounds you. You cannot help but savor every mouthful. You've never tasted food so fresh, so wholesome. You feel renewed, even healed, down to your very soul.Indeed, the sensual power of the Mediterranean cannot be ignored. Anyone who has traveled to this area cannot forget its beauty, its history, and its charm. Sun and sea, relaxed lifestyle, and miraculous food. These things are enough to draw anyone to the shores of the Mediterranean. Yet, the seductive Mediterranean climate, cuisine, and way of life aren't the only reasons to focus on this region's approach to eating. Study after study has revealed that people eating a traditional Mediterranean diet are generally healthier, longer-lived, and with a lower incidence of chronic diseases -- particularly coronary artery disease -- than people in other parts of the world.

The potential health benefits inherent in eating and living in the traditional Mediterranean way are the impetus for writing this book. Is it really possible to eat so well, savoring and relishing delicious food, and at the same time increase our wellness? In fact, it is possible, and also surprisingly easy to accomplish. We need only look to the Mediterranean lands of Greece, Italy, France, Spain, Turkey, North Africa, and the Middle East.

The Mediterranean Region

The Mediterranean region encompasses all the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, from the Strait of Gibraltar separating the rocky cliffs and crags of southern Spain and the seaport of Tangier in mountainous northern Morocco, to the Mediterranean's far western reaches along the shores of the Middle East. Between these extremes lies a broad sampling of European, Middle Eastern, and African countries, all Mediterranean yet each unique in culture and character: pastoral southern France with its orange groves, vineyards, and rolling hills; scenic Italy with its snowy peaks and sultry beaches; the former Yugoslavia with its dramatic coastline; the tiny yet sensationally mountainous Albania; historical Greece with its hazy, sea-infused ambience and its scattering of islands; geologically volatile Turkey; the Middle Eastern countries of Syria, Lebanon, and Israel, with their coastal planes backed by a sudden rise of mountains; and then, returning east, the northern ends of Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and back to Morocco, an African panoply of cliffs, peaks, ports, plateaus, and scorching sands.

Surely such a vast array of countries and cultures must dine on an equally vast assortment of foods. Although each country bordering the Mediterranean Sea does indeed have its unique culinary characteristics, the region maintains many common, and many more mutually influenced ingredients, recipes, and cooking techniques. Pasta may come in the form of ziti in Italy and couscous in Morocco, but it is still pasta. Not insignificantly, Mediterranean countries also share an attitude toward food and how it should be eaten.

The Evolution of a Shared Cuisine

The magnificent diet of the Mediterranean region has been evolving for thousands of years. The history of the region coupled with its distinct (though widely various) climate and the pervasive influence of the sea has shaped the choice of foods and the types of cooking so characteristic of traditional Mediterranean culture. Bread, olive oil, and wine -- which continue to play a significant role in the Mediterranean diet today -- accompanied meals in ancient times. The cultivated vegetables and other plant-based foods so central to the diet can be traced back to Neolithic times. According to archeological evidence and depictions and descriptions of food and meals in the art and literature of ancient Greek and Roman civilizations, ancient populations probably relied primarily on plant foods, with only occasional indulgence in meat and seafood.

More recent studies of the Mediterranean diet, from the 1950s and 1960s, reveal eating habits and preferences similar to the ancient diet: a primarily plant food–based diet that included minimal processing, whole grains, olive oil as the primary fat source, and animal products (with the exception of cheese in some areas and yogurt in some areas) consumed only a few times per month. The groundbreaking Rockefeller Foundation study of the Cretan diet around 1950 stated that “olives, cereal grains, pulses, wild greens and herbs, and fruits, together with limited quantities of goat meat and milk, game, and fish have remained the basic Cretan foods for forty centuries . . . no meal was complete without bread . . . [and] Olives and olive oil contributed heavily to the energy intake.” This study, originally undertaken to determine how the people of Greece could improve their diets after World War II, concluded that the diet couldn't get much better.

The Mediterranean Diet. Copyright © by Marissa Cloutier. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Read More Show Less

First Chapter

The Mediterranean Diet
Newly Revised and Updated

Chapter One 

Mediterranean Magic

Imagine yourself sitting in a sun-drenched outdoor café on the banks of the Greek Mediterranean shore. The vast turquoise sea meets the brilliant blue sky, and everything around you seems influenced by sea and sky, from the aquamarine-painted tables and chairs of the café to the foamy-white buildings and small shops jutting out over the seawall where the Mediterranean laps and splashes. The warm sun on your shoulders and the cool sea breeze on your face enhance the spectacular view, as the fragrance of white flowers scaling a peach-colored trellis above your table mingles with the smells of salt and sea.You feel yourself relaxing into your chair as you are gently serenaded by the musical dialect around you. You recall your morning trek across the vast white beaches, and images of ancient Greece envelop you. You can almost envision Socrates walking along the shoreline with tall Greek ships sailing in the far distance, the ruins whole, the early blossoming of Western civilization. Poseidon, that great god of the sea, is smiling at you, amused to see how easily the stresses of daily life have suddenly melted away.

Ah, the magical Mediterranean. With all its glorious old-worldliness, you feel connected with history. You feel completely at peace. And just when you think it couldn't get any better, you are awakened from your relaxed bliss by a waiter who brings you a bowl of fragrant, lemony soup the color of the sun, followed by a steaming plate of sea bass infused with oregano, olive oil, and lemon, surrounded by colorful roasted vegetables grown on the rolling hills just behind you.

With each bite you are catapulted further into the heaven that surrounds you. You cannot help but savor every mouthful. You've never tasted food so fresh, so wholesome. You feel renewed, even healed, down to your very soul.Indeed, the sensual power of the Mediterranean cannot be ignored. Anyone who has traveled to this area cannot forget its beauty, its history, and its charm. Sun and sea, relaxed lifestyle, and miraculous food. These things are enough to draw anyone to the shores of the Mediterranean. Yet, the seductive Mediterranean climate, cuisine, and way of life aren't the only reasons to focus on this region's approach to eating. Study after study has revealed that people eating a traditional Mediterranean diet are generally healthier, longer-lived, and with a lower incidence of chronic diseases -- particularly coronary artery disease -- than people in other parts of the world.

The potential health benefits inherent in eating and living in the traditional Mediterranean way are the impetus for writing this book. Is it really possible to eat so well, savoring and relishing delicious food, and at the same time increase our wellness? In fact, it is possible, and also surprisingly easy to accomplish. We need only look to the Mediterranean lands of Greece, Italy, France, Spain, Turkey, North Africa, and the Middle East.

The Mediterranean Region

The Mediterranean region encompasses all the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, from the Strait of Gibraltar separating the rocky cliffs and crags of southern Spain and the seaport of Tangier in mountainous northern Morocco, to the Mediterranean's far western reaches along the shores of the Middle East. Between these extremes lies a broad sampling of European, Middle Eastern, and African countries, all Mediterranean yet each unique in culture and character: pastoral southern France with its orange groves, vineyards, and rolling hills; scenic Italy with its snowy peaks and sultry beaches; the former Yugoslavia with its dramatic coastline; the tiny yet sensationally mountainous Albania; historical Greece with its hazy, sea-infused ambience and its scattering of islands; geologically volatile Turkey; the Middle Eastern countries of Syria, Lebanon, and Israel, with their coastal planes backed by a sudden rise of mountains; and then, returning east, the northern ends of Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and back to Morocco, an African panoply of cliffs, peaks, ports, plateaus, and scorching sands.

Surely such a vast array of countries and cultures must dine on an equally vast assortment of foods. Although each country bordering the Mediterranean Sea does indeed have its unique culinary characteristics, the region maintains many common, and many more mutually influenced ingredients, recipes, and cooking techniques. Pasta may come in the form of ziti in Italy and couscous in Morocco, but it is still pasta. Not insignificantly, Mediterranean countries also share an attitude toward food and how it should be eaten.

The Evolution of a Shared Cuisine

The magnificent diet of the Mediterranean region has been evolving for thousands of years. The history of the region coupled with its distinct (though widely various) climate and the pervasive influence of the sea has shaped the choice of foods and the types of cooking so characteristic of traditional Mediterranean culture. Bread, olive oil, and wine -- which continue to play a significant role in the Mediterranean diet today -- accompanied meals in ancient times. The cultivated vegetables and other plant-based foods so central to the diet can be traced back to Neolithic times. According to archeological evidence and depictions and descriptions of food and meals in the art and literature of ancient Greek and Roman civilizations, ancient populations probably relied primarily on plant foods, with only occasional indulgence in meat and seafood.

More recent studies of the Mediterranean diet, from the 1950s and 1960s, reveal eating habits and preferences similar to the ancient diet: a primarily plant food–based diet that included minimal processing, whole grains, olive oil as the primary fat source, and animal products (with the exception of cheese in some areas and yogurt in some areas) consumed only a few times per month. The groundbreaking Rockefeller Foundation study of the Cretan diet around 1950 stated that "olives, cereal grains, pulses, wild greens and herbs, and fruits, together with limited quantities of goat meat and milk, game, and fish have remained the basic Cretan foods for forty centuries . . . no meal was complete without bread . . . [and] Olives and olive oil contributed heavily to the energy intake." This study, originally undertaken to determine how the people of Greece could improve their diets after World War II, concluded that the diet couldn't get much better.

The Mediterranean Diet
Newly Revised and Updated
. Copyright © by Marissa Cloutier. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 56 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(15)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(17)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 56 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2002

    A diet you can live with that works

    This book explains in easily understandable language how embracing the traditional Mediterranean diet and lifestyle will help you realize your potential for health and longevity. The authors provide a good deal of information about each food category as well as practical guidelines for improving your well-being and quality of life. They discuss the importance of eating vegetables¿the heart and soul of the Mediterranean diet¿and what makes them so valuable. They also encourage you to eat more fish and impart useful tips to help you reduce your consumption of meat and shift to a more plant-based diet. Their eating plan is bolstered by an emphasis on the necessity of exercise, and they offer suggestions for fitting it into your day. They also point out the dangers of chronic stress and provide some techniques for managing and reducing it. You will never be bored with the Mediterranean diet, which boasts enormous diversity and is filled with satisfying, delicious dishes. To get you started, the book includes around twenty recipes and a menu plan to furnish inspiration and guidance. Beyond the dishes themselves lies a philosophy: life is to be savored, and food is a glorious expression of life. Meals are gatherings of people who genuinely want to spend time together, not inconvenient social obligations to be suffered through. As the authors remind us, the quality of the food as well as the manner and spirit in which it is handled are reflections of the quality of our lives. Handled and consumed with reverence, Mediterranean food is a celebration of life itself, a point also made in another book I strongly recommend: Sonia Uvezian's 'Recipes and Remembrances from an Eastern Mediterranean Kitchen,' which features recipes for hundreds of healthful and mouthwatering dishes. This volume has become a fixture in my kitchen, and I greatly enjoy reading and cooking from it.

    15 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    This is the book that got me started!

    I was desperate to try a different way to get healthy, not just for myself, but for my husband and six children as well. My husband and I both needed to lose at least 30+ lbs, and both of us have health issues, so we needed to get serious. I found this book, and was just drawn into it from the start. I read it like a novel, and learned more than I thought I would. The first shopping trip was a "shock", as I guess I didn't realize how poorly we must have been eating, since good food was quite expensive! Really, it was buying spices that I didn't have in my collection that took up the initial $. Now, it's buying what's on sale, and in season. I prep a lot of items as soon as I get them home, to save time. Busy people need this more, because it forces you to "slow down" a little to enjoy your food, instead of throwing it down your throat, the way I was used to doing. I take maybe an extra 10-15 minutes to make meals needed through lunch. Yes, my kids don't love everything, because they hate trying new things, but I just keep making small changes to the foods they do eat, hoping that will be a healthy start for them, that will lead to a lifetime of healthy habits. Now, if we "fall off" our eating habits due to holidays, or some other silly reason, we feel so horrible, we cannot wait to correct our diet again! It truly has worked for us, and I hope you will find that it works to make you feel better than you thought you ever could. :)

    13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 8, 2009

    The Mediterranean Diet

    I have been trying out mediterranean books for usefulness for my life. I found this to be the most helpful. It explains the diet in a way I can adapt it to my life. I also think I may be able to spell Mediterranean correctly before this is over. The book is helpful for someone who needs a healthy diet and I believe it can be adjusted for other types of food. I would recommend it also for the price. Can't beat that either.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2010

    Quality of the text on eReader on my iPad is terrible

    The clarity of this book on eReader on my iPad is unacceptable.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 4, 2009

    Very Informative

    This book is a great way to learn how to eat healthy meals. By doing so you will lose some weight and feel better about yourself.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2010

    good ideas

    The information in The Mediterranean Diet is worthwhile, but common knowledge nowadays. The diet itself requires diligence and planning, plus a lot of preparation. For people with busy schedules, they are too difficult to spend extra time on. A seriously committed dieter with time to shop and cook would probably be more likely to follow the program. Anyone with an active family of picky eaters would find the basic information helpful but the menus less than useful. A seriously overweight person who has been on other diets or who has other health issues, needs more than just a book, but can use the book in addition to a support program and health professional's monitoring.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2012

    The book (meaning the text) is quite good. Lots of information,

    The book (meaning the text) is quite good. Lots of information, lots of good background, and lots of references to primary research articles, which I appreciate. The diet itself is appealing, but a fairly dramatic change for most Americans; it's low on wheat and meat, and high in veggies and fish, which is not how most of us eat, in my experience.

    The eBook format is... problematical. There are places where formatting is lost. There are a LOT of places where formatting lost. Things that are clearly meant to be charts start a new line before each cell, and there are places where part of a sentence is in italics and the rest isn't.

    If the formatting had been correct, I would have given the book five stars. As it is, it's readable and clear what the intention was, but it wasn't edited very well in the electronic format. That, for me, knocks off a star. Maybe it won't bother you in the slightest.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 13, 2009

    Great Reading

    This books was a great read. More important, it was the most educational thing I have read regarding food categories, thir bebefits etc.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2012

    MOTIVATING

    I found this book motivating. It gives good information on how the Mediterranean Diet began and why it works. I just wish the recipes were easier to make.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2012

    Not what I wanted

    I had hoped for a visual presentation/recipes and ideas to create mediterranean diet dishes, I have since returned this book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Not Meant for a Reader who is new to dieting.....

    I suppose it is hard to make a diet book really interesting--but this one was all over the place and very boring--As a Cardiac Patient who would like to go on this diet I found the book to be confusing.
    New Dieters would do better to opt for a simpler -easy reading-plan book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 21, 2010

    Good Book For Understanding New Foods

    I want to change my diet to eat more healthy foods. I found this book to be the easiest one to read and help me to understand the Mediterrean Diet. Some of the other books were to "Mediterranean" for me. I don't want to go completely one way quickly, I need to be able to integrate foods into my diet I have now, which is a healthly American diet. I liked the easy way it flowed and explain the way a Mediterranean Diet could become more of a lifestyle for me. I have found some very good ways to change to more healthy ways of using the foods that other cultures use daily.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2012

    NV

    Kk

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2011

    GREAT! BOOK!

    easy to understand, informative and has persuaded me to follow a more healthy way of eating. This is the ONLY guide Im following. ..nothing else. lol

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted June 1, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2010

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