The Great Pyramid

July 7, 2009

Pinned to my refrigerator is a print out of the Mediterranean food pyramid, and I try not to open the refrigerator door until I at least glance at it just once. I want to remind my brain that whatever I pull from the shelves should be on the chart!

Now, I am no saint, and every now and then I tumble off this great pyramid when I crave ice cream or a piece of apple pie.

And I guess that is OK as long as I do not do that too often, and I come back to Mediterranean comfort foods like leafy green veggies, whole grains, fruits, fish, and olive oil.

So many studies have been done of the benefits of adopting the Mediterranean diet, including its ability to reduce heart disease, raise HDL (the good cholesterol), and possibly ward off Type 2 diabetes.

Could olive oil be the ingredient responsible for the longevity of Mediterranean cultures like Greece, Spain, and Italy? The evidence might suggest that this is so.

Despite all this, the Mediterranean pyramid is still a hard sell for many Americans.

We’re accustomed to fat laden fast food, carbo loading, and couch potato exercise. One place we are noticing adverse effects of what we are eating is the epidemic of diabetes among young children as well as adults.

How do we reverse this trend? By educating people about the Mediterranean diet, changing our eating habits, getting more exercise, shopping for food items on the pyramid, and cooking together.

I promise you that if you do that, the pyramid will become a trusted friend.

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