I don’t know one person my age who wasn’t terrified of oil as a teenager. In those days fat and oil was the carb of today, vilified for making you ‘fat’. Clearly, there was a blanket ban in our house. Or at least my sister and I tried valiantly to enforce one. You see, Happies, my dad is Turkish and trying to tell a Mediterranean man not to add olive oil to things is like trying to explain to Jen Aniston that it’s time for a new ‘do. It’s just not going to happen.
So for years we looked on in horror as dad free-poured extra virgin all over our Sunday morning traditional breakfast of olives, fetta, tomatoes and cucumbers, and ate nuts by the truck load encouraging us to do the same. Turns out, like most things in life, he was right.
New research recently published in the New York Times has proudly announced that the Mediterranean Diet has amazing health benefits, especially in relation to your heart. Yep, making the switch to a diet rich in olive oil, nuts, beans, fish, fruits, vegetables and even wine, YES wine, has been proven to improve the incidence of heart-related illness by around 30 per cent.
I think one of the major benefits of this style of eating is that it’s free from processed and packaged foods. Think about the way people eat in Greece, Turkey, Spain and surrounds – it’s all fresh, seasonal, made-from-scratch, REAL food. And that is where much of the benefit must come from, too.
And so, as the argument that fats are one of our most crucial dietary requirements continues, take solace in the knowledge that a handful of nuts and drizzle of oil doesn’t just taste amazing, but keeps your heart healthy too. Ole!
Tell me Happies…
Do you eat a more Mediterranean style of eating?
Do you want to?